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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/9/23

Judge is here to save the day; Mental errors doom Yankees versus Rays; DFA possibility looms for Hicks after first extra-base hits; Derek and Hannah Jeter welcome fourth child

Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

ESPN | Joon Lee: At long last, Aaron Judge is set to return from a hip injury. It hasn’t actually been that long, as Judge has only missed the minimum 10 days on the IL, but it feels as though he’s been gone ages, with the Yankees in desperate need of an offensive jolt. Judge says he hasn’t felt pain in the hip for several days, so it sounds like it should be all systems go for him from the jump. | Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru: Ian Hamilton has been getting some shine lately, what with the surprise bullpen ace recording his first career save over the weekend. Here, Hamilton is highlighted on a list of the best pitches thrown by lower-profile players. His “slambio” has been a revelation, with the unconventional slider absolutely befuddling opposing hitters.

New York Post | Mark W. Sanchez: The Yankees’ ugly Sunday loss to the Rays was highlighted by a number of mental errors, including Jimmy Cordero’s gaffe in the seventh inning that led to a crucial run, and Gleyber Torres’ fifth-inning error that gifted Tampa an unearned run. It’s easy to point to these plays as the difference between the Rays and Yankees right now, but in truth, little mistakes aren’t what separate first and last; these teams are where they are because the Rays have a 143 team wRC+ while the Yankees are at 90, not because Cordero’s PFP work seems to have been lackluster. | Betelhem Ashame: Aaron Hicks notched his first (first!) extra-base hit of the season on Sunday, after going 7-for-52 with seven singles over the season’s first month. He followed last night with his first dinger of the season, converting the boos from the Bronx faithful into cheers at last. Those couple of knocks brought Hicks’ wRC+ all the way above zero, to 23. Hicks was clearly happy to get that both of those monkeys off his back, and we’ll see if it was enough to avoid a DFA; with Judge set to return today, an active roster spot needed. The Yankees will have to decide between cutting Hicks, and sending a young player like Oswald Peraza or Oswaldo Cabrera to the minors (the club could also theoretically IL Peraza with his ankle sprain).

Yankees PR: Nick Ramirez was demoted following the Yankees/A’s game last night. The last man in the bullpen, he soaked up the final two innings of the 7-2 win to give the rest of the ‘pen a bit of a breather. For the record, this won’t be the move to activate Judge; expect to see another arm to replace Ramirez in the relief corps.

Also, Derek and Hannah Jeter welcomed their fourth child last week, joining daughters Story, River, and Bella. Kaius Green Jeter is the couple’s first son:

Congrats to the Jeters!