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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/18/22

Concern for Yankees’ deadline day headliner; Comparing Judge and Ohtani in MVP race; Rizzo, Bader nearing returns; Looking back on Joey Gallo trade

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin and Jon Heyman: A day after squandering a five-run first inning lead, Frankie Montas is set to undergo an MRI on his shoulder. The Yankees’ trade deadline acquisition lasted only 3.1 innings on Friday, with his fastball velocity one mph down from his season average. It’s the same shoulder that he strained earlier in the season, causing him to miss 17 days. Neither the Yankees nor Montas sound too concerned, with the pitcher confident he can make his next start while the team was well aware of the July injury, had his medicals, and still completed the trade. In eight starts for the Yankees, Montas is 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA with worse strikeout and walk rates than the first half of his season with Oakland. | Mike Petriello: The AL MVP is going to either Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani, and one could make a compelling case for either superstar. In this article, Petriello examines the pluses and minuses of relying heavily on a WAR-based rubric, and asks whether WAR truly captures all of Ohtani’s value and merit as an MVP candidate. He asks a handful of questions, including the value of saving a roster spot and the relevance of playing on a playoff team (or not) and how this should be weighed in MVP voting.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: The Yankees have had to cobble together their starting lineup with a handful of regulars missing time, but it looks like they’ll be getting a pair of reinforcements this week. Anthony Rizzo is scheduled to come off the IL on Sunday for the series finale against the Brewers. Out since September 1st, Rizzo’s return was delayed by migraines suffered after receiving a cortisone shot for his ailing back. We’ll also get our first look at Harrison Bader, who is expected to make his Yankees debut in the series opener against the Pirates on Tuesday. The plan for Bader, who has missed over two months with plantar fasciitis, is to plug him in as the starting center fielder allowing Aaron Judge to return to right while pushing Oswaldo Cabrera over to left.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Is it possible the Yankees won the Joey Gallo trade? That’s what Goodman believes, pointing to the improved performance of Clayton Beeter (the player they got in return) since joining the Yankees organization. In seven outings, he’s pitched to a 2.13 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 25.1 innings for Double-A Somerset after floundering with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate to start the season. Gallo on the other hand got off to a hot start in LA, but has since returned to his unproductive ways, slashing .165/.276/.400 with five home runs, 16 RBI, an almost 40 percent strikeout rate (higher than during his time with the Yankees!) and a 92 wRC+ in 31 games for the Dodgers.