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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/1/22

Aaron Judge credits lineup diversity for success; Former All-Star starter performing well at Triple-A; DJ LeMahieu’s return to health helping out on defense; Aaron Hicks and Cheyenne Woods announce birth of baby boy.

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Many Yankee fans have clamored for a diversified lineup, one that wasn’t as heavy on right-handed sluggers and home runs. Aaron Judge credited the club’s more varied lineup as part of the reason they’ve succeeded so far. “I think that’s what makes this team different from other years, just having that diversity in the lineup,” Judge said after Friday night’s 12-2 drubbing of the Royals. It’s hard to say if the added diversity has propelled the lineup, or if it’s the simple fact that a team that still relies heavily on dingers has just hit more of them this year than last. Either way, it’s working. | Brendan Kuty: Among the low-profile minor league moves the Yankees made over the offseason was the signing of former All-Star starter Shelby Miller. The 31-year-old has performed well at Triple-A, allowing two earned runs across eight innings, striking out ten against just one walk. Miller has can opt out of his minor league pact today, and with the Yankees already in possession of a stacked bullpen, it may be hard for Miller to force his way into the conversation.

New York Post | Dan Martin: DJ LeMahieu is healthy this year after dealing with a sports hernia in 2021, and it’s showed in his offensive performance. That return to health has also aided his defense, which has been strong so far across the diamond. “I feel comfortable defensively everywhere now. I feel quicker and can get to a few more balls and set my feet better to throw” LeMahieu said of his work on the dirt this year. LeMahieu’s bat is crucial to the Yankee offense, but his ability to perform well at multiple positions makes Aaron Boone’s job filling out the lineup card much easier on a day-to-day basis.

New York Post | Jenna Lemoncelli: Aaron Hicks recently returned from paternity leave, and he and his wife Cheyenne Woods announced the birth of their first-born son Cameron Jaxson Hicks on Instagram. Congrats to the two of them!

Also of note, Joey Gallo was pulled from last night’s game with left groin tightness. Hopefully his injury proves minor, but we’ll keep you updated as the situation progresses.