Yankees starter Nestor Cortes was removed from Game 4 of the ALCS after two-plus innings of work due to what the team described as a left groin injury. Cortes allowed only a single and a walk in his first two frames, but walked his first two batters of the third inning and then allowed a three-run homer to Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena. Cortes was replaced by Wandy Peralta after the Pena home run.
Manager Aaron Boone and a team trainer briefly visited Cortes on the mound after the initial walk, but elected to leave the southpaw in the game. Later, during an in-game interview with TBS reporter Lauren Shehadi, Boone said that Cortes had been dealing with a groin problem throughout the postseason. Cortes made two starts against the Guardians in the ALDS, with a solid 2.70 ERA over 10 innings of work. The Yankees won the second of Cortes’ outings, the series-clinching Game 5.
Cortes missed a little over two weeks on the 15-day injured list with a left groin strain in late August and early September, so it would seem like this current injury may have been a recurrence of that original problem. Further roster maneuvers may soon be a moot point for the Yankees since they trail the Astros by a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS, though if they force a Game 5 and have to replace Cortes on the roster, the left-hander wouldn’t be eligible to participate in the World Series if New York did launch a miracle comeback.