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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/8/22

IKF gamble paying off; Deep dive on Michael King’s repertoire; Unknown catcher turning heads at Double-A Somerset; Joey Gallo on brink of breakout

MLB: MAY 01 Yankees at Royals

New York Post | Jon Heyman: Yankees decision makers came under a considerable (and justified) amount of scrutiny over the offseason when they eschewed signing one of the superstar free agent shortstops for stopgap Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Well, it looks like that gamble is paying off, as IKF has performed admirably on both sides of the ball while providing the payroll flexibility that the Yankees so covet — something that would have been harder to achieve had they signed, say, Corey Seager. However, just because a decision produces favorable results does not mean it was inherently the best solution.

FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: It’s no exaggeration to say that Michael King has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in the first month of the season. His command over four plus-plus pitches — sinker, four-seamer, curveball, and changeup — gives him a variety of ways to attack both righties and lefties. He’s given up just one earned run across his first 17.2 innings, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t continue this run of dominance.

MyCentralJersey | Mike Ashmore: In a minor league system replete with promising catchers, one name has gone under the radar. Drafted in the 27th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of Bryant University, Mickey Gasper has turned heads through the early going, batting .387 while striking out and walking at equal rates. With more highly touted prospects ahead of him on the depth chart, Gasper has had to make the most of every opportunity afforded to him.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: Joey Gallo couldn’t have had a much worse start to his season, producing a measly 36 wRC+ entering the final week of April. However, he showed signs of life, clubbing home runs in back-to-back contests before missing three games with a mild groin injury. He picked up right where he left off when returning from injury, hitting an opposite-field home run off a left-handed pitcher his first game back — a shot which suggests his swing is returning to the one which dominated for four-plus years in Texas.