Yankees' Nestor Cortes says he will be shut down for month

May 18, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre.

The Yankees’ 2023 season took yet another turn for the worse on Friday with news that Nestor Cortes was placed on the 15-day injured list with a left rotator cuff strain.

Cortes, who was scheduled to start on Saturday, told reporters that he would be shut down from throwing for the next three to four weeks. He hopes to pitch again this season but realizes the reality of it does not look good.

“It’s definitely tough,” Cortes said, via’s Bryan Hoch. “If we’re going to make a run at it, we need everyone healthy, not only myself but [Carlos] Rodon and all the other pitchers.”

Manager Aaron Boone added that it will be "tough" and "pretty difficult" for the left-hander to return this season with the current injury timeline, but the club will reevaluate in a few weeks.

Cortes joins Rodon on the IL while Domingo German is out for the season on the restricted list. Luis Severino is on track for one of the worst statistical seasons by a starting pitcher in Yankees history.

Without Cortes, the Yankees rotation is essentially Gerrit Cole, Clarke Schmidt and a ton of question marks. (Boone added on Friday that Severino is tentatively scheduled to get the start against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.)

In fact, the Yankees were again using an opener for Friday’s game against the Marlins due to their lack of starting pitching.

Cortes has been a fan favorite in New York since he emerged as an unlikely key piece in the rotation over the last two seasons but has struggled with injuries this year.

The lefty missed the last two months with a left shoulder strain before returning last week and pitching brilliantly against the Astros, albeit just four innings, but allowed just one hit, a home run, and struck out eight.

His return to the rotation was viewed as a boost to the Yankees’ playoff chances, but with the team entering Friday five games out of a wild-card spot those chances look as grim as ever.