clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/18/22

Cortes gets ball for Game 5; Latest injury updates; How Cole dominated; IKF seems to disagree with Boone’s assessment

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Last night’s rainout was poorly managed by Major League Baseball, but it did allow the Yankees to make a good change. With the season on the line, Aaron Boone will be handing Nestor Cortes the ball for this afternoon over Jameson Taillon. The lefty has gone from being cut by three different organizations to starting the biggest game of the season for the New York Yankees. Wow. It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Cortes, but this team will really need him to step up to the occasion, as he’s done all season long.

There’s no telling right now just how long Cortes’ leash on short rest will be — I’m sure the pre-Game 5 scrum will be full of these questions — but you have to assume that this unexpected postponement means every single pitcher in on the table for the Yankees tomorrow. (Gerrit Cole even declared his availability yesterday, though that seems like a long shot.) | Brendan Kuty: It wouldn’t be a Jesse news dump without another injury update. According to some pre-game (well, pre-rainout) comments, Ron Marinaccio, Frankie Montas, and Andrew Benintendi are all down in Tampa rehabbing from various ailments. Boone has indicated that Marinaccio and Montas would both be ready for ALCS bullpen roles, should they make it there, but said that Benintendi still may be a ways away. Apparently, he has recently experienced some pain in his injured wrist that is hampering his recovery. | Max Goodman: I think it’s fair to say that Gerrit Cole had a disappointing regular season, at least by his standards. His postseason, however, reminded us exactly why this team paid the big bucks to bring him in. After a dominating performance in Game 1 of the ALDS, Cole took the mound with the Yankees season — and perhaps his playoff legacy — on the line.

And all Cole did was shove. His background as a Yankees fan is well-documented, as was his desire to show the Yankees why they signed him in the first place (you know what, that kind of honestly from him was quite refreshing, in hindsight). But once Cole stepped on the mound, all he cared about was executing his pitches. Here’s the story of that awesome Game 4 performance, in (mostly) his own words. | Brendan Kuty: Whether you agree with it or not, Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s Game 4 benching — which was planned to continue in Game 5 — made waves around the organization. The starting shortstop of the New York Yankees, who the management openly defended all season long despite calls to be replaced from the fans, benched in favour of a rookie for the most important games of the season? Not to be melodramatic, but that’s kind of unheard of.

After it happened, Boone came out and said that he felt like Kiner-Falefa was pressing and wasn’t making things easy on himself, though he did stress that he would still play a role if they were to advance. Well, IKF has apparently responded, and he doesn’t exactly agree with Boone’s sentiments. I think this is all being overblown — I mean, what else is a guy who just got benched supposed to say? — but it’ll certainly make the rounds on social media.