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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/1/21

Aaron Judge shoring up a key weakness; Corey Kluber feels good despite uneven first start back; Gleyber Torres to rehab with Scranton; Michael King nearing a return

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: With the Yankees coming off their best month of the season, Axisa highlights some of the trends that powered them. Of particular note is how Aaron Judge has cut back on some of his strikeout issues. Long one of the biggest swing-and-missers in the game, Judge is running the lowest strikeout rate of his career, while maintaining his penchant for mashing the ball. Also noteworthy is the Yankees’ success on the basepaths during their run.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: Corey Kluber’s line in his first game back from injury didn’t look pretty, with five runs on his card across four innings. That said, the veteran said he felt like there were some real positives to take away from the uneven start, one that did see Kluber navigate the first three frames without allowing a hit. “I feel like for the most part, I executed pitches really well the entire night, besides the one that counted for four runs,” Kluber said after the outing. The right-hander also noted that he felt physically strong after throwing 68 pitches. Hopefully, Kluber is proven right, and sees better results in his starts to come.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Jaffe profiles Néstor Cortes Jr, and highlights the unorthodox ways the lefty has managed to go from journeyman to one of the most productive pitchers on the Yankees. Cortes, of course, employs all kinds of little tricks to keep hitters off balance and induce weak contact, and he also credits the Yankees pitching staff for helping him refine his breaking pitches.

The Yankees also made a few announcements via Twitter:

Gleyber Torres appears to be nearing a return, as he’ll take his rehab assignment to Triple-A Scranton, where he played on Tuesday. Also, Michael King — perhaps a bit of a forgotten member of the Yankees’ staff — began his own rehab stint. King was having his best year in pinstripes before going down with a finger contusion two months ago, running a 113 ERA+ across 48.1 innings while flitting between roles. With any luck, the right-hander will add more quality depth to the team’s pitching ranks.