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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/27/22

“Sign stealing” letter released; impact of bullpens in 2022; Rizzo off to hot start in return; the key to Marwin’s career

Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

SNY | Andy Martino: Two years after a federal judge ordered it unsealed, the infamous Yankee Letter was released yesterday, providing details on an MLB investigation into alleged sign stealing practices. The team was fined $100,000 in 2016 for improper use of dugout phones to relay signs to baserunners, however, no other punishments were meted out for rule breaking.

FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: Perhaps the biggest story in the early days of 2022 has been suppressed offense, with hitters struggling at a level not seen in modern baseball. There are a lot of factors at play, but certainly the number and ability of modern relief corps play a major role in reducing offense. This is particularly pertinent to the Yankees, deploying one of the best bullpens in baseball and a textbook example of how what might be the best way to win ball games may not be the most entertaining way.

Sports Illustrated | Gary Phillips: Anthony Rizzo may not have been the most exciting choice for the Yankees first base job this offseason, but in the season’s first month he has more than held his own. Entering play yesterday, Rizzo’s .954 OPS in April put him right between Matt Olson and Freddie Freeman, the two other major names linked to the Yankees over the winter, and then he eclipsed Olson with his three (!) home run night against the Orioles. Meanwhile, onetime incumbent Luke Voit has stumbled out of the blocks since being dealt to San Diego and been moved to the IL.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Marwin Gonzalez will never be the most talented player on an MLB roster, but the Yankee benchpiece has carved out a pro career for himself by being able to play just about every position on the diamond. Although he’s appeared at short and third to start the season in the Bronx, he has seen time at every slot save for center and catcher, and that kind of versatility should pay dividends for a club dedicated to rest and rotation within the lineup.