NJ.com | Bob Klapisch: The Yankees have been running a rotation of Gerrit Cole and a rotating cast of disappointment for most of the season so far. Outside of a few Domingo Germán starts where he held his own, Nos. 2-5 in the starting rotation haven’t delivered quality starts for the team, and there was hope that things would change rapidly once some of the big injured names returned.
Luis Severino has made two starts since coming off of the IL now, and those hopes have in the short term been fulfilled. Severino has maneuvered his way through a lackluster Reds offense and a far-more potent Padres lineup, and looked quite efficient in the latter outing as well. Given how turbulent this opening stretch has been on the pitching staff, there was a significant concern that if Severino (and Carlos Rodon, who we’re still waiting to see) didn’t hit the ground running it was going to be a long season in a bad sense. While his history doesn’t allow us to speculate too far into the future, it is comforting to know that Severino still appears just as formidable as he’s been at his peak whenever he can play.
NY Post | Jon Heyman: Aaron Judge got paid handsomely in the offseason, and after a slow start and IL stint of his own the new Yankee captain has come roaring back to life and is now firmly in the discussion to defend his AL MVP title. His surge is making his megadeal look just as enticing as it was for several teams to bid the figures that they did on his services, but around the league the same can’t be said for other names that signed on the dotted line this winter.
A pair of those names are in town currently, with Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado giving mediocre and downright poor performances respectively so far, and others like Carlos Correa and Trea Turner have given their teams reason to worry as well. Judge’s strengths may not age entirely well into the later years of his deal, but he’s sure capitalizing on them while he’s got them in his prime, and that’s the whole point of these kinds of deals.
NJ.com | Max Goodman: Matt Carpenter enjoyed a fun stay in New York last summer, emerging as a core piece of the lineup unexpectedly after his career in St. Louis fizzled out and he attempted to remake himself. An injury cut that fun run short, though he attempted to comeback for the postseason — a choice that in retrospect was harmful for Carpenter, as he was still injured and it delayed his healing into the offseason. It was evident at the time as he struggled to make much with his at-bats in October, but the team was desperate enough for any offense that they rolled those dice, and unfortunately they didn’t land the way that everyone involved wanted.
NY Daily News | Gary Phillips: Randy Vásquez made his MLB debut on Friday, but he was quickly demoted after the spot start in order to get a fresh arm up to help the big league team. That corresponding pitcher ended up being Matt Krook, who is set to make his MLB debut after eight years in the minors. Aaron Boone had high praise for Krook, who has been dealing in Triple-A, even admitting that the team thought about activating him for the playoffs last season. He may have missed out on that opportunity, but Krook’s here now — and he’s likely to get several shots at making an impression this year.