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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/20/23

Captain’s leadership was evident right away this spring; Oswaldo, Oswald have been swinging the bat; King could be a key part of the 2024 rotation; Cole looks like MLB’s next 200-game winner; Green returns to New York

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Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Athletic | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees didn’t just recognize Aaron Judge’s preternatural skills on the diamond this past offseason when they signed him to his monstrous contract. They also identified Judge’s inherent leadership abilities when they named him Captain. In this piece, Kuty goes back to spring training and relays an anecdote. Judge, understanding how important it is for everyone to feel like a valued member of the team, went out of his way to do something nice for super-prospect Jasson Domínguez, who was extremely appreciative. In a lost season, a nice story and one that reinforces Judge’s leadership skills, something that could loom large as the next wave of Yankee youngsters arrive. | Max Goodman: Speaking of the Yankee youth movement, both Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza have come around at the dish recently, in admittedly small sample sizes for both. For the former, it’s a welcome sight after a season long swoon amid sporadic playing time, after he entered the 2023 campaign with high hopes that he’d be the Yankees super-utility man (yes, I had dreams of 2009 Ben Zobrist. Sue me.). For Peraza, it’s his first sustained success at the dish this season. What, if anything, could a strong finish to their seasons mean for 2024? That remains to be seen.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: Michael King is yet another Yankee whose recent performance has 2024 ramifications. King, who’s been pitching from the rotation in the past weeks, has seemingly played himself into the conversation for a rotation spot next season. He’s allowed three earned runs in his last 21.1 innings, and his 2.77 ERA and 2.7 bWAR in only 87.2 frames jump off the page. For a rotation that could conceivably only feature Gerrit Cole as a fully trustworthy option next season, King could be an absolute blessing.

The Sporting News | Ryan Fagan: Earlier this week, Adam Wainwright locked down his 200th career win, at the end of his final MLB season. His milestone achievement poses the question: “Who’s next?” The answer is likely Gerrit Cole. The presumptive AL Cy Young frontrunners sits at 143 wins with a couple of starts remaining this year, and plenty of green grass ahead of him. After Cole though ... it looks like it could be a while before someone else gets to 200.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: A familiar face makes his return to Yankee Stadium this week. Chad Green, formerly a key piece of the New York bullpen, comes back to the Big Apple wearing enemy colors. Green returned from the injury that ended his Yankee tenure on September 1st. So far, the results have not been great (though seven of the runs he’s allowed have come in 1.2 innings). But it’s nice to see Green back in The Show, even though I hate that he’s playing for the Blue Jays.