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Yankees Mailbag: Nestor Cortes, bullpen help, Field of Dreams unis, and prospect status

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The mailbag is in town to answer some more of your questions.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Good afternoon everyone, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Jeremy C. asks: Hypothetical here: let’s say a playoff series (not the Wild Card) was starting today. Would you rather have Cortes in the playoff rotation (Cole-Monty-Taillon-Cortes) or put him in the pen so he can throw 4-5 innings throughout the series (rotation of Cole-Monty-Taillon-Gil)?

What a world we’re living in where Nestor Cortes Jr. is a viable option to start a postseason game and I wouldn’t question it. The Yankees have certainly rallied around Nasty Nestor, as evidenced by the team’s adoption of his shirt for some pregame attire. You never know quite how he’s going to get through the lineup, but so far Cortes has cut through hitters every time he’s asked to take the ball — that’s someone you want starting. Will that be the case in a month or so from now? Honestly, I hope so. It would be massively entertaining to see Cortes get through five or six innings en route to a series-clinching win or something like that.

donnie4hof23 asks: The Yankees are in need of consistent veteran bullpen help. David Robertson showed he was still serviceable in the Olympics and signed with the Rays. Did the Yanks look into Robertson or have any veteran relief help in their sites?

Just as much as I can’t believe that Cortes has been one of the Yankees’ best pitchers, I have a hard time contemplating David Robertson, Rays reliever. My hope is that he proves to be an embedded Yankee and helps the Bombers close the gap in the division race, but I digress.

I didn’t hear the Yankees’ name involved in Robertson’s market at all, nor did I think he would get much of a look by major league teams following his Olympic stint. It wasn’t much of an exhibition for Robertson, and his recent track record with the Phillies was a bit of a mess, but some teams are desperate for any live arms to throw at this point in the season. I don’t think the Yankees are in that boat — they’ve had some scuffles with Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton at closer, plus the occasional Chad Green meltdown, but overall the bullpen has been excellent. If anything, they have a host of young arms to call up to help if the need arises.

Chris F. asks: Do you think that we will see the same uniforms that the Yankees wore in the Field of Dreams game in a game in Yankee Stadium?

I wouldn’t be opposed! The Field of Dreams jerseys were a neat throwback, clearly going for a vintage style as opposed to some of the more adventurous designs that modern alternate jerseys have been looking like. The Yankees aren’t prone to using anything other than their home and road jerseys unless MLB dictates it though, so that means an event like the Field of Dreams, the Player’s Weekend unis or the launch of their City Edition jersey that they’ll eventually get. Maybe they can put together some type of promotion to warrant it, perhaps against an opponent like the Red Sox, but otherwise it’s unlikely they’ll be brought out of storage again.

byomtov asks: We sometimes read about a player losing, or outgrowing, or graduating from, or something, “prospect status.” Is this some sort of formal designation, or is it just an agreed upon way for baseball writers to distinguish players who are still essentially minor leaguers from those who have real MLB status?

Prospect status is a formal designation, and it’s mostly used to qualify which players would still be rookies and can gain votes for Rookie of the Year should they appear in short stints across multiple seasons. There are two cutoff points where a prospect “graduates,” and that occurs when they accumulate 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched, or if they are on the major-league roster for 45 days not including days past September 1st, since rosters expand then.