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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/30/22

The Yankees have been one of the healthiest teams so far; Anthony Rizzo’s thoughts on his contract and fast start; Joey Gallo’s slow start being driven by bad luck; Anthony Volpe enjoying being a hometown kid in Double-A

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Joel Sherman: A frequent pain point from recent Yankees seasons has been the number of injuries, and the inability of the team’s strength and conditioning team to keep the team healthy, within what’s in their power. While it’s still very early, health has been a key factor in the Yankees’ April success so far, particularly with their starting rotation. Sherman points out that the Yankees are only one of eight teams to use only five starting pitchers so far, and only two teams have used fewer than the 29 players New York has sent out. The health of Luis Severino was a particular question mark coming into the regular season, but so far he’s been deployed like all of the other starters.

Sports Illustrated | Stephanie Apstein: MLB home run leader, Anthony Rizzo? He wasn’t the sexiest pick to start at first base this season, but he’s been on a tear so far. After the bigger contract he was looking for proved unavailable this offseason, Rizzo discusses the easy choice he made to rejoin the Yankees, particularly noting that he pivoted to a shorter contract that would allow him to reenter the free agent market next season, when the plan is for the defensive shift to be banned. Of course, they can’t shift into the short porch, and if Rizzo keeps hitting like he currently is with a league-leading nine homers, he’ll have more suitors than just New York next year.

The Athletic | Lindsey Adler: (Subscription required.) Adler takes a variety of questions from Yankees fans in a mailbag article. She notes that Joey Gallo’s slow start seems largely based on bad luck and possibly cold weather/less live baseball, but also that fans might have misconceptions of who Gallo is as a player. He’s always hit for a low average, and his home runs tend to come in bunches, as we’ve seen recently. She also notes the 2021 Yankees’ tendency to hit solo home runs and how DJ LeMahieu’s bounce back is driven by health, among other topics.

MLB.com | Sam Dykstra: Top prospect Anthony Volpe is going to field a lot of interviews this year. In this Q&A, he notes that Double-A Somerset, where’s playing, is close to his hometown, so he had about 100 friends and family members at the home opener and for his recent birthday; the challenges of adjusting to the pitchers at his new higher level; that he lives at home with his family, allowing him to forgo some of the worst parts of the minor league grind; how he’s adjusting to seeing more breaking balls; and how he trains on defense to make sure he can stick at the shortstop position. He also has some New Jersey food recommendations to share.