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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/8/23

What’s driving the Cole Train; Sevy getting frustrated; Hamilton closes up; Judge back tomorrow

Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images | Thomas Harrigan: Gerrit Cole is one of the early favorites in the AL Cy Young race, and it all starts with his fastball. Cole’s been on the vanguard of the elevated fastball movement but this season he’s taken another step forward, leading the majors with 62 percent of his fastballs up. This keeps the ball above the plane of most hitters, and is probably the biggest contributor to his control of the home run ball.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: On the opposite end of the starter’s spectrum, Luis Severino continues to work back from injury and expressed frustration with how the Yankees are handling his rehab. The right-hander has yet to throw a regular-season pitch this year, and wanted to begin a minor-league rehab assignment last week, but the team disagreed. Sevy will start his assignment this week, and it sounds like he’s unhappy with the delay.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: Ian Hamilton recorded his first major league save on Saturday, and found himself surprised to be in the ninth inning at all. Clay Holmes had worked the eighth and Hamilton admitted feeling a little extra amped when called upon for the save. The closer role seems to be a little up in the air right now, but for at least one appearance, Ian looked capable of seizing it.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: After getting Harrison Bader back for the Rays series, a little more firepower is due. Aaron Judge is expected to be activated ahead of Tuesday’s game with the Athletics, a good club to make your return against.