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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/10/22

Cortes wasn’t sure if he’d make 2022 Yankees’ rotation; injury updates on Locastro, Germán; Nestor fun facts

MLB: MAR 01 Spring Training - Tigers at Yankees Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images | Gary Phillips: What else can we say about the mastery of Nestor Cortes? He turned in another gem on Monday, throwing no-hit ball into the eighth while lowering his ERA to a sparkling 1.41 with 42 strikeouts in 32 innings. Somewhat amusingly, pitching coach Matt Blake told Phillips yesterday that Cortes called him in the offseason and asked if he “had an outside shot” at making the rotation. Given that Cortes dominated in the second half last year, Nestor likely needn’t have worried, but it’s hard to blame any former 36th-round pick who began the previous year at Triple-A for being unsure. Incredibly, he seems to have only gotten better. | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees’ bench took a hit when outfielder Tim Locastro landed on the IL with a lat injury prior to the beginning of play on Sunday, sapping them of their primary pinch-running threat and a fine fourth outfielder. There are two small bright sides though, namely that the Yankees were likely facing a pitching crunch during this busy stretch of 23 games in 22 days and that neither Locastro nor manager Aaron Boone seem very worried about it. Locastro thinks that it will be “a short [IL] stay” and Boone said that he’s responding well to treatment. Honestly, it sounds like this was more a conveniently-timed preventive measure to keep a nagging injury from getting worse than anything else. | Brendan Kuty: When the MLB lockout was lifted back in March and teams reported to spring training, one question lingering around the Yankees focused on Domingo Germán, who made 18 starts of league-average ball for the team last year but seemingly didn’t have a spot in the current version of the rotation (Nestor’s personal uncertainty aside). The situation temporarily resolved itself when Germán hit the 60-day IL with right shoulder impingement syndrome, but he’s making progress at a return. Boone told Kuty that he’s on track to face hitters in batting practice soon. Given his unknown current role amid the rest of the rotation’s health and the bullpen’s dominance, the Yankees probably don’t mind that Germán will take his time rehabbing.

WFAN | Ryan Chichester: Lastly, it’s actually a pretty light news day, so help out an old PSA scribe! Ryan discussed a qualifier-filled Nestor fun fact that made a little bit of minor Yankees history. It’s a tribute to how many strikes he’s generated in just a short amount of time while simultaneously being quite stingy about merely allowing runs. The man just hates it when folks cross home plate, and I share Ryan’s dream of hopefully seeing Cortes in L.A. for the All-Star Game this summer. It’s absolutely early, but what a start he’s on.