(Miguel Andujar working out earlier this season – Photo by Jason Schott)
On Monday evening, the Yankees made the announcement that infielder Miguel Andújar would be going back on the 10-day injured list with a right labrum tear a little more than a week after he returned from a lengthy IL stint.
The move came about an hour before the scheduled first pitch of the Yankees’ game against the Baltimore Orioles.
In a corresponding move, the Yankees recalled left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Andujar was placed on the injured list on April 1 with a right shoulder strain, and he returned on May 4. He has gone 3-for-34 since his return, and he has primarily been used as the designated hitter.
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of Andujar on Monday afternoon, “We do feel like the injury is certainly a contributing factor to some of the struggles. The IL is something we might do real quickly and just give it a little timeout to declare itself a little bit more and reevaluate it…It’s just we’ve got to get a better handle on this and probably get him built up in the best way possible if we can move forward with that.”
In the meantime, Gio Urshela, who is hitting .341 with two home runs and 15 RBI, will continue to be the Yankees’ everyday third baseman.
Urshela had a few big performances last week, as he hit a two-run home run to tie Tuesday night’s game against Seattle, which the Yankees went on to win; had a big two-out single on Thursday against Seattle in the eighth inning of a 3-1 win, and he had what turned out to be the game-winning hit, a two-run single in the sixth inning of a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Cortes, Jr. was called up on Thursday and pitched in Saturday night’s 7-2 loss to Tampa Bay in which he threw two innings, but allowed 3 runs (all earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks.
A left-hander, Cortes, Jr. was drafted by the Yankees in the 36th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
After making his way through the Yankees system and spending 2016 and ’17 at Double-A Trenton and reaching Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017, Cortes, Jr. was selected by the Orioles in the first round of the Major League phase of the 2017 Rule 5 Draft on December 14, 2017.
Cortes, Jr. made his Major League debut with the Orioles last season, as he pitched in four games (4.2 innings, 10 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 2 home runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts) before he was designated for assignment on April 10 and returned to the Yankees on April 13.
He made one appearance in Trenton (3-1/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts) before returning to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he appeared in 23 games, with 18 starts, and threw 111.2 innings, allowing 50 runs (46 earned), 95 hits, 13 home runs, 37 walks, and 96 strikeouts.
In six appearances, including five starts for Scranton/WB this season, Cortes, Jr. has a 4.54 ERA, with 33.2 innings pitched, 17 runs (all earned), 28 hits (3 HR), 11 walks, and 34 strikeouts.
Cortes Jr. had the second-lowest ERA in the Minor Leagues from 2016-18 at 2.46, allowing just 89 earned runs in 325.2 innings pitched.
Last Thursday afternoon, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of what Cortes, Jr. can bring, “Pitch-ability, he’s a strike-thrower, he’s got length. We really like who he is in the room, really liked him in spring training. He’s a guy that I’m looking forward to having as part of the staff because, in a lot of different situations, I feel like he can go out there and give us important outs and innings. Looking forward to him being here and glad he’s here.”