Injury Takes Yankees Starter Out Of World Baseball Classic

Four New York Yankees had been set to participate in the World Baseball Classic next month, but one of them has had to drop out. Starting pitcher Nestor Cortes has suffered a "tweaked hamstring." 

MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal reports that Cortes will be held out of the event due to the hamstring. Cortes said that he sustained the injury while running sprints on Feb. 6 near his home in Miami. He will not throw from a mound for at least two weeks, per Bryan Hoch of

He'll continue working out otherwise, and he "believes there will be enough time" to be ready for Opening Day on March 30th. 

Cortes is the second Yankee starter to come up lame in the leadup to spring training; right-hander Frankie Montas is not expected to be ready for the start of the regular season due to inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

He is obviously indispensable in the rotation for New York, so making sure he gets ready for the regular season is the primary concern.  

The USA squad for the Classic still features Clayton Kershaw, Merrill Kelly, Lance Lynn and Adam Wainwright heading up the rotation, with Miles Mikolas and Nick Martinez as other options.

The other Yankees still headed to the Classic are C Kyle Higashioka (USA), 2B Gleyber Torres (Venezuela) and RH Jonathan Loáisiga (Nicaragua).

Cortes, 28, is coming off his second consecutive stellar campaign for the Yankees, and his first All-Star appearance. He went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 0.92 WHIP and a 163:38 strikeout-to-walk ratio, all spectacular full-season numbers. 

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports