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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/14/22

Montgomery progressing well after injury scare; Kiner-Falefa believes he can right the ship after slow start; Cortes proving his funky mechanics can play; Hicks credits winter ball for straightening him out.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Jordan Montgomery’s first start of the year on Sunday was cut short, thanks in large part to the scorcher that he took off of his knee in the first inning against the Red Sox. Montgomery stayed in the game until the fourth inning, but the knee had swollen and concerned the team enough to take him out. After getting some fluid drained from the knee, Montgomery threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and progressed through it without incident, putting him on track to take his next scheduled start on Friday in Baltimore.

NY Post | Peter Botte: Isiah Kiner-Falefa may not be taking over for Derek Jeter like Didi Gregorius did, but he’s felt the pressure of the position a bit in his opening week debut as the Yankees’ shortstop. However, Kiner-Falefa isn’t worried about the slow start that he’s embarked upon (1-for-17 after Wednesday), citing the slump that he faced in Texas last year after a hot start as part of the balancing act of a MLB season. | Bryan Hoch: Nestor Cortes pitches like he’s from a different era, where a deceptive pitcher had a place on plenty of teams’ rotations. The league has optimized its way past that, but Cortes is out to prove that he still has a fit in the modern MLB, and it starts with building off of his solid 2021 season. His first start this year was a step in the right direction, leading off the combined shutout for the staff, but he wants to be relied on to pitch deeper into games than the 4.1 innings he tossed in that outing.

NY Post | Greg Joyce: Aaron Hicks knew that he needed to get going earlier than usual after missing most of the 2021 season to a wrist injury, and he found an opportunity in the Dominican Republic. Playing in the winter league there got him the at-bats that he needed to shake the rust off, and prepped him to come into this season. Hicks is facing a critical juncture of his Yankees tenure, seeded at the bottom of the lineup but needed to man the outfield, so any progress he can make to get his bat going will go a long way towards making an impact on this year’s title push.