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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/23/22

Hits few and far between; playing time questions for Torres; Catcher situation now a tandem; Volpe’s story a player dev success

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Entering play Friday, MLB hitters had a .231 batting average. It’s not just Joey Gallo and it’s not just the Yankees — getting hits right now, the specific act of getting a hit, is the hardest it’s ever been in baseball history. Every single pitch is thrown harder than ever before, April has been noticeably cold, and the baseball has been flying less and less when it is put in play. If it feels like the Yankees’ offense has been bad, well, it has, but so has just about everyone else’s.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: One of those Yankees struggling in April is one-time shortstop Gleyber Torres, who has just six hits in the first two weeks of the season. Torres was benched twice in the three-game series in Detroit, as the Yankees need to keep DJ LeMahieu in the lineup every day and clearly don’t trust Torres’ defense. Although manager Aaron Boone was his usual confident self around Torres, it’s going to be tough to find him playing time with LeMahieu’s play and Isiah Kiner-Falefa holding his own with the bat.

Yahoo! Sports | Phillip Martinez: It kind of felt like the Yankees were trying to make Kyle Higashioka a proto-starting catcher this season, giving him almost triple the number of plate appearances as Jose Trevino to start the year. Higgy’s fallen flat on his face offensively, and we can’t judge Trevino on 15 plate appearances, but he’s certainly looked strong behind the plate. Fittingly, Boone announced yesterday that the two catchers will adopt a 50/50 playing time system for the time being. | Brendan Kuty: Anthony Volpe gives up a lot in body mass to Aaron Judge, but the prospect’s fitness and workout regimen, as well as his dedication to the science of hitting, has impressed the Yankees superstar. Volpe’s journey from relatively-unheralded-first-round-pick to Top 10 prospect is one of modern player development and using the tools available — Volpe’s a self-admitted film room nerd and that can only help him on his path to the Bronx.