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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/26/22

Andújar recalled with Hicks on paternity; Rizzo, Kiner-Falefa working out well so far for Yanks; bullpen management paying off; pitching staff allowing fewest runs since ‘50s; Trevino making the case to start behind the plate

Los Angeles Angels v. New York Yankees Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

NY Post | Joel Sherman: They had very different starts to the season, but overall, Anthony Rizzo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa have been showing up for the Yankees so far. Rizzo has brought some lefty pop to the lineup, leading the team with five home runs while showcasing the defensive value that the front office favored over the incumbent Luke Voit (on the Padres’ IL with a biceps injury). Kiner-Falefa looked shaky at first, but like Didi Gregorius before him, he’s coming into form and finding some timely hits as the season gets going. The Yankees will need both to keep ramping up if they want to make it deep into October this year.

NY Post | Greg Joyce: The Yankees have had to ask a lot of their bullpen so far, using them to pitch the seventh-most innings of any team’s relief corps this year. Despite that, their commitment to a deep bullpen with a host of options has paid off in managing the workload — only Michael King, who has thrown 10.2 innings so far, is among the top 40 relievers in innings pitched. As we near the cutdown to 26-man rosters and the return of the 13-pitcher cap, this period in the season could be looked back at as a pivotal one.

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: That bullpen is just part of the formula for the Yankee pitching staff firing on all cylinders. The staff has allowed the franchise’s fewest runs across 16 games since 1958, and that’s without staff ace Gerrit Cole being on top of his game yet. Obviously, you can expect some regression elsewhere, but between King’s dominant relief outings, Nestor Cortes’ career revitalization, and an improved defense, the pitching staff is leading the way again.

Newsday | Anthony Rieber (subscription required): Jose Trevino wasn’t expected to be on the team at the start of the year, but he’s making a case to be the starting catcher. After Gary Sánchez was traded in the offseason the starting job was up for grabs and newly-acquired Ben Rortvedt was put on the injured list prior to Opening Day, Trevino found himself backing up Kyle Higashioka. The incumbent’s spring training successes fizzled away immediately however, and Trevino has been making the most of his opportunities. He also caught Cole’s most successful start of the year after Aaron Boone suggested that Cole work with him, meaning that at worst, the planned 50/50 split isn’t going away anytime soon.


Finally, in some roster news, it appears that Miguel Andújar will be rejoining the big league team after a hot start in Triple-A Scranton. There’s no confirmation yet, but reportedly, Aaron Hicks is going to be placed on paternity leave, which would be the resulting move, so this is likely a temporary measure.

Update

The Yankees confirmed the Andújar and Hicks news this morning. Boone said that Hicks will likely miss the three-game Orioles series.