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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/21/22

Judge, Judge, and more Judge; Clarke Schmidt talks pitching; a couple relievers working their way back to the big league club; a few injury updates.

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN | Jeff Passan: As we all know by now, Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run on Tuesday night. It was a glorious blast to the left field bleachers to lead off the ninth inning of what looked like a Yankees loss, and, perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone who has paid attention to the way he carries himself, Judge acted like nothing happened. This is what Jeff Passan uses as a jumping off point for the story of this magical night in the Bronx. While this isn’t exactly news, per se, it’s a great read from one of our very best baseball wordsmiths, and if you want to re-live the magic of Tuesday night, this is a great place to start.

The Athletic | Lindsey Adler: (subscription required) Picking up where Passan leaves off, Lindsey Adler builds on telling the legend of Aaron Judge. From the outside looking in, Judge seems like the consummate professional and the type of teammate and leader everyone could want to play alongside. I mean, just look at his reaction to hitting his 60th home run last night, and compare it to his reaction after Giancarlo Stanton hit his game-winning grand slam. While Judge may be re-writing the history books with seemingly every second swing, his teammates are learning to just enjoy the ride. This is another excellent read about what it’s like to be a direct witness to history.

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: As of writing this (it’s only the fourth inning on Wednesday night, after all...), the home run record still hasn’t fallen, but apparently it’s time to start running out Judge free agency predictions. The reason I like Dan Szymborski’s stuff is because he’s not just pulling numbers out of thin air — he actually has a method to his reasoning, and does a fair job of presenting it in the most reasonable way possible. I know a lot of us probably don’t even want to think about Judge’s contract status right now — you can count me amongst those folks — but if you do, this would be a good place to start.

FanGraphs | David Laurila: And now for something entirely different! Clarke Schmidt has had an up-and-down year — literally, not figuratively, as he’s bounced between the majors and the minors on occasion, despite looking quite good for the majority of the year. In this chat with FanGraphs’ David Laurila, Schmidt gives us an inside look at his new baby whirly (a.k.a. his new breaking ball) that figures to play a big role in his ongoing development. While it’s too soon to start talking seriously about what the 2023 pitching staff will look like, and there are far more pressing concerns — a division title, a record chase, World Series aspirations — at the moment, Clarke Schmidt figures to have a big role on the team one way or another, so if you want an inside look at his repertoire, start here. | Mike Rosenstein: As we all know, there are a bunch of Yankees trying to work their way back from injury in time for the playoffs. There are a bunch of folks on rehab assignments as we speak, and Mike Rosenstein has some updates on a couple of them. Zack Britton and Miguel Castro both pitched well for the RailRiders, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the two of them return to the major league club.

Speaking of injuries, there were a slew of injury updates before the game on Wednesday. Here are some of the most pressing ones:

Oh, and, lost in all of the Judge-mania and injury updates: Miguel Andújar’s time with the organization may mercifully be coming to an end, as he was demoted back to Triple-A to make room for Luis Severino’s return.