New York Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes is getting called for a strike by Major League Baseball. The league informed the hurler that a recent pump-fake pitch he threw against the Cleveland Guardians isn't legal, per the Associated Press. Cortes created quite a spectacle by pump-faking a throw like a basketball player, before finally throwing to a Guardians batter in a recent game.

Cortes' mechanics didn't end up fooling the batter, who hit a foul ball on the pitch. Cortes didn't receive any immediate discipline in the game from the umpiring crew, but was given a warning later by the MLB. The league is threatening disciplinary action if it is ever done again, by Cortes or any other pitcher.

“I’m the only one that’s done it and the only one that will ever do it,” Cortes said with a laugh, per the New York Post. “I’m in the [record] books!”

Yankees' season

New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Cortes might be laughing about the pitch, but the Yankees are surely not joking around when it comes to relying on the pitcher. The hurler is getting the trust of Yankee management this season, earning one of the best spots in the team's rotation. He was the team's Opening Day starter for 2024. The pitcher has started the season with a 1-1 record, to go with a 4.50 ERA in four outings. The Yankees have used Cortes' arm to get out to a strong 14-6 start to the season.

The pitcher is scheduled to start on Saturday for the Yankees, as the team takes on the Tampa Bay Rays. Cortes had a tough performance in his last outing, giving up four runs and five hits in only four innings of work against the Guardians. His pump-fake routine didn't help matters in his start. The team is relying on the hurler to give the club a large dose of innings this season, as the Yankees fight to rebound from a disappointing 2023 campaign. The team missed the playoffs and lost 80 games. Cortes was down with an injury for an extended period of time.

The pump fake has got the attention of baseball fans throughout the country. Debate has raged over whether the routine should be illegal or not, per USA Today. Yankees fans are clearly more open to the pitch and wind up than others who don't usually cheer for the Bronx Bombers. Pitchers frequently have used strange wind ups or throwing mechanisms in the past, but this routine seemed to be truly original.

The Yankees and Rays take the diamond on Saturday at 1:05 Eastern. Tampa Bay is 11-10 on the year. Yankees fans are hoping that Cortes can get his rhythm back on the mound.