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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/20/22

The roster changes for the ALCS; why Isiah Kiner-Falefa started Game 1; the making of Nestor Cortes.

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MLB: Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: The potential for injured players to return already meant that the Yankees’ ALCS roster would differ from that of the ALDS, but Aaron Hicks’ knee injury confirmed that. This round, the Yankees added Oswald Peraza, Frankie Montas, and Greg Weissert while dropping Hicks, Lucas Luetge, and Marwin González. Peraza’s addition is welcome after the defensive struggles of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Montas could serve in an opener or long relief role coming off of his shoulder injury.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: Speaking of IKF, the decision to start him in Game 1 against Houston earned some groans. If he isn’t good enough to start an elimination game against Cleveland, why is he good enough now? Aaron Boone said it’ll be a day-to-day decision who starts at shortstop, and because Justin Verlander’s splits have him better against left-handed batters. IKF is a righty, and he does obviously have scores more experience than Peraza. The end result: a 1-for-4 night with a pair of strikeouts. You be the judge.

The Athletic | Chris Kirschner: (Subscription required) As good as he’s been this year, it was no sure thing that Nestor Cortes was going to be as strong as he was in Game 5 against Cleveland. He doesn’t have a long history as a starting pitcher, plus being on short rest was going against him. Nasty Nestor’s toughness is well-earned, though. The Athletic provides a nice read about Cortes’ background, including being raised by Cuban immigrants who struggled with money and the language barrier. He’s an easy guy to root for, as you know by now.