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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/9/22

An NL suitor emerges for Aaron Judge; The numbers behind the Yankees’ hot start; Ken Waldichuk is impressing everyone; Nestor Cortes’ moustache might have magic power; How many Yankees are All-Star bound?

MLB: New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports | Mike Rosenstein: Another day, another Aaron Judge offseason rumour, this time courtesy of Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman’s podcast. According to Heyman, the Yankees see the San Francisco Giants as the team to beat in this offseason’s Aaron Judge Sweepstakes, and the team will likely have to up their offer to ensure the Northern California-born face of the franchise stays in the Bronx. Given how amazing Judge has been this season and the fact that his contract status is up in the air, expect plenty of stories like this to come out the rest of the way, but as always, be sure to take them with a grain of salt. | Mike Petriello: Much to our delight, the Yankees are off to a ridiculously good start this season after what was considered to be a largely disappointing offseason around these parts. Their start has been so good, in fact, that it’s left a number of fans wondering how they’ve done so well this year. Petriello has dug into the stats for us, and has rounded up the numbers that show just how much this team has improved, and just how absurd this start has been, on both sides of the ball. | Mike Rosenstein: The big league pitching staff has been making headlines since the start of the season, and for good reason, but there is one particular pitcher in the minor league system that has also been turning heads all season long. Ken Waldichuk’s performance to this date has earned him the label of hottest arm in the Yankees system on the back of a solid repertoire of pitches and an incredible performance across Double-A and Triple-A this season.

ESPN | Joon Lee: Ever since his unexpected rise to stardom last year, Nestor Cortes has been getting a lot of attention, and I have eaten up every bit of it. We’ve seen articles detailing everything from the pitches he features on the mound and his pre-game preparation to his early-career lack of success and unlikely return to New York. At long last, though, the story of Nestor’s phenomenal facial hair is being given the attention it so rightfully deserves. This is the story of Nestor’s moustache, its magical powers, and why it belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (oh, and, his rise to Cy Young candidate status too, last night notwithstanding). | Max Goodman: The All-Star ballot officially went live yesterday, so naturally a big chunk of the league-wide discussion will be dedicated to which stars will be making appearances in the big game. According to MLB Insider Jim Bowden, there’s a possibility that, despite the Yankees hot start, only three of them will be representing the American League in July’s All-Star Game.

Bowden’s choices are, naturally, Aaron Judge, Nestor Cortes, and Gerrit Cole, but he goes on to list Clay Holmes, DJ LeMahieu, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jose Trevino, and Anthony Rizzo in his “just missed” category. How exactly the otherworldly Holmes “just missed” when two inferior closers in Jordan Romano and Liam Hendriks were picked instead is, well, a mystery.