NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 27: Yankees Legends Tino Martinez, Paul ONeill and Bernie Williams celebrate Pepsi Zero Sugar Judge for Yourself campaign at Grand Central Terminal on March 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Pepsi) (Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 27: Yankees Legends Tino Martinez, Paul ONeill and Bernie Williams celebrate Pepsi Zero Sugar Judge for Yourself campaign at Grand Central Terminal on March 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Pepsi) (Getty Images)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As the new season rolls around, Yankees legend Tino Martinez will find himself at yet another World Series reunion. It was 20 years ago the Yankees swept the Braves to capture the third championship of the four they collected in five years, as the dynasty was in full form.

Martinez, along with his former teammates, had a reunion last season for their '98 title. And as one would expect, they never get old.

"No, they're great. They're great reunions," Martinez told SNY during the Pepsi Zero Sugar "Judge for Yourself" campaign that transformed Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall into the "Judge's Chambers" where fans could try to match Aaron Judge's bat speed with a Bluetooth-powered bat on Wednesday. "It's fun to remember what you did and how hard it was to do it. It's fun to relive it."

Fast forward to now and these current Yankees have been compared to the late '90s dynasty on numerous occasions. Two seasons ago, rebuild was written all over the Yankee Stadium walls when Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino, were expected to hit a learning curve before reaching their stride.

That's something to laugh about now, isn't it?

Instead, the "rebuild" saw Sanchez break rookie home runs record, Severino showcase the stuff to be a fortified ace for years to come, and Judge capturing the Rookie of the Year in 2017. This all came as the Yankees made a surprising ALCS run that fell a single game short of reaching the World Series, and even higher playoff hopes last season.

With that instant success from this Yankees team, you can understand why expectations are that much higher in 2019. Vegas odds, MLB experts, and most likely your next-door neighbor are picking the Yankees to lift the trophy for the 28th time this season.

The legends of the yesterday are no different.

"I think everybody is expecting them to do huge things and they're capable no doubt," Paul O'Neill said. "The offense when the A-team was out there you can see what this offense is capable of doing. I think the pitching is going to surprise a lot of people and obviously the bullpen is second to none. So that's why the expectations are so high."

GM Brian Cashman didn't hook the biggest fish on the free agent market in Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, but the Yankees will still line up down the first base line during Opening Day introductions today with an even better team than their 100-game winner of 2018. Players like Adam Ottavino, James Paxton, DJ LeMahieu, and Troy Tulowitzki were added to the mix. And they add to the core mentioned before that now includes Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres - two more rookies that didn't need training wheels when they broke into the league.

New or established in pinstripes, these Yankees recognize how close they have been to writing their name on that trophy in October recently.

"They've come so close the last two years," Martinez said. "Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, those guys - they want to get to that next step of winning the World Series and they know what it takes. They know they've come up short and they've had a great spring. The guys played great."

The Yankees traveled north with hot bats from Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Sanchez -- a player who New York wants to see bounce back after a miserable 2018 campaign. Greg Bird and Luke Voit made the first base battle fun to watch all March, as both players make the Opening Day roster. And the pitching staff, especially Paxton, impressed as well.

Getting to watch this success up close and personal is why another legend in Bernie Williams was so positive about this year's Yankee team. But he knows their World Series dreams will need to go through a certain opponent.



"These guys are going to have a good year," Williams said. "They're building on what the last two years have been for them, going back into the playoffs on a consistent basis and having an opportunity to play in the World Series. I think it's going to have to go through Boston, but anything can happen."

Cashman's goal this offseason was to equip his team with an even better arsenal to defeat the Red Sox. The sting of losing in the ALDS on their home turf is still felt by these players, but they know the only way to heal it is to get revenge.

As long as health is on their side (injured have already come), the Yankees have the roster to wreak havoc through the 162-game long haul. It was the same thought that surrounded the team last year, but it feels different this time. There were still a few questions to answer despite a stacked lineup.

This year, there isn't. This team has the star power, the depth, the chemistry, and most important, the hunger to make their postseason experience worthwhile.

Will it be third times the charm for this Yankees team looking to fulfill their destiny of becoming the new dynasty?

"I expect them to win the World Series. That's their expectations, that's the type of team they have," Martinez said.


Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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Sep 25, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Denard Span (4) hits a two-run double against the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 25, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Denard Span (4) hits a two-run double against the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Yankees saw another big blow in the injury department on Saturday, when slugger Aaron Judge went down with a left oblique strain. Judge was grimacing in pain, holding his left side after a swing during the win against the Royals. 

It is unclear how long the Yankees will be losing Judge, as he went to the hospital today to receive an MRI to check on the severity of the injury. But there is no doubt the big man will see a stint on the Injured List, a place where multiple key cogs of the Bombers has landed so far this season. 

Judge will join the likes of Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton as injured outfield pieces. Hicks and Stanton are progressing in their rehab nicely, but they are not expected to join the team any time soon. That leaves only Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, and Mike Tauchman as the only healthy outfielders on the Yanks.  

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Estevan Florial, Giancarlo Stanton, Scott Thompson
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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees move to 10-10 on the season, clobbering four home runs to beat the Royals, 9-2, at Yankee Stadium.

Five takeaways from Saturday's game…

1) Masahiro Tanaka got back on track with an impressive seven-inning outing, allowing one run on four hits, walking three and striking out four. Tanaka's production continues to be a big facet for the Yankees with Luis Severino on the mend and the veteran right-hander has answered the call.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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Judge injured in Yanks win 00:01:35
The Yankees belted four home runs in routing the Royals 9-2 but in the process, lost Aaron Judge to an oblique injury

The injuries just keep getting worse for the Yankees. 

Aaron Judge left Saturday's game against the Royals in the sixth inning with a left oblique injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI at New York Presbyterian Hospital for further evaluation, the team announced.

The Yankees slugger was grabbing his left side following a swing on a single and was grimacing in pain on his way to first base.

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Time is up on Gio Gonzalez' contract with the Yankees, and according to SNY's Andy Martino, he has decided to opt out of it.

Gonzalez seemed prepared to opt out, firing his agent, Scott Boras, and signing with CAA instead. Now the Yankees have 48 hours to either add them on their roster, or release him.

The 33-year-old was expected to start last night in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but the game was rained out. Scouts were there to see if Gonzalez still had what it takes to pitch at the big league level. 

In three starts in Triple-A, Gonzalez had a 6.00 ERA with 19 strikeouts over 15 innings. His ERA was inflated due to a rough first start, where he allowed eight runs on eight hits over four innings. He has since settled down, not allowing a run over six innings in his second start and giving up two in final one on April 14. 

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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

Aaron bleepin' Boone indeed. 

The Yankees manager was ejected in the third inning of Saturday's game against the Royals when a Gleyber Torres three-run home run was overturned by replay review and was ruled fan interference. 

Royals left fielder Alex Gordon lept at the wall to try and make a play on the ball but it went off a fans' hands. The ball appeared to be going over the wall anyway, but the fan also appeared to be slightly leaning over the wall.

Tags: Gleyber Torres
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Apr 9, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) drives in two runs with an RBI double during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Apr 9, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) drives in two runs with an RBI double during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Help is on the way for the Yankees. 

Manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Saturday that catcher Gary Sanchez will play in a rehab game on Monday and if there are no issues, he will be activated from the injured list and return to the team on Wednesday during their West Coast trip. 

Sanchez, who has been on the IL since April 12 with a strained left calf strain, has been taking batting practice, running and playing catch the last few days.

Tags: Gary Sanchez
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New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres throws to first base against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres throws to first base against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees (9-10, 4.5 games behind the first place Rays in the AL East) host the Royals (7-13) as they hope the rain clears up on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium at 1:05 p.m. 

Yankees Notes

Brett Gardner gets the day off despite hitting two go-ahead home runs in his last three games. ... DJ LeMahieu will bat leadoff despite his recent struggles, collecting just one hit in his last 20 at-bats but was robbed of an extra-base hit on Friday night by Royals center fielder Billy Hamilton. ... Clint Frazier went hitless on Friday, but has still reached base in his last four consecutive games, where he is 6-for-15 with a home run and two RBI. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Kansas City Royals, Masahiro Tanaka
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CC leads Yanks past KC 00:01:00
CC Sabathia pitched shutout ball for 5 innings and got homeruns from Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman as the Yankees beat the Royals, 6-2

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees bounced back from Thursday's loss to defeat the Royals Friday night, 6-2. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Friday's game…

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Gleyber Torres, Tommy Kahnle, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws to first base in the fourth inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws to first base in the fourth inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)

Miguel Andujar appears to be making some progress in his way back from a small tear in his right labrum. 

During batting practice on Friday, the infielder was throwing from third base for the first time since going on the IL on April 1. 

Andujar, who was also taking batting practice for the second straight day at Yankee Stadium, told YES Network reporter Meredith Marakovits that he was throwing to first base at about 50 perent and had no issues with his shoulder. 

 

Tags: Miguel Andujar
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New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees may be getting one of their big bats back very soon. 

Gary Sanchez caught a bullpen session with J.A. Happ on Friday, a step forward in his way back from a left calf strain that put him on the 10-day IL. 

He also took batting practice, ran and played catch for the second straight day and told reporters he hopes to play in rehab games soon and that he is just waiting on doctor's orders for that. 

Tags: Miguel Andujar
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Mar 6, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) smiles as he works out prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 6, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) smiles as he works out prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees (8-10, 5.5 games behind the first place Rays in the AL East) host the Royals (7-12) on Friday night at Yankee Stadium at 7:05 p.m.

Yankees Notes

CC Sabathia is 11 strikeouts away from reaching 3,000 for his career and becoming just the 17th pitcher ever to accomplish that feat. ... Despite being two games under .500, the Yankees' +15 run differential is the fourth-best in the American League. ... Clint Frazier has gone 8 for his last 21 to rise his batting average from .321 to .347. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Kansas City Royals, Kyle Higashioka, Luke Voit, Tyler Wade, Danny Abriano
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The clock is ticking for the Yankees and Gio Gonzalez

The left-hander is eligible to opt out of his minor-league deal on Saturday and appears increasingly likely to, according to SNY's Andy Martino. 

A source confirmed that Gonzalez fired Scott Boras as his agent on Friday and hired CAA to represent him. 

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Minnesota Twins first baseman Logan Morrison hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. (Jordan Johnson/USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins first baseman Logan Morrison hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. (Jordan Johnson/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees will sign veteran first baseman Logan Morrison to a minor-league deal, according to Mass Live's Chris Cotillo.

The 31-year-old Morrison, who slashed .186/.276/.368 with 15 home runs and 39 RBIs in 95 games with the Twins last season, gives the Yankees depth at first base after they placed Greg Bird on the injured list earlier this week. 

Morrison has a July 1 opt-out date and will earn $1 million if he makes the MLB roster, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Luke Voit
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New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

An All-Star collection of Yankees sit on the club's injured list, which has been one of the main culprits to their 8-10 start to the season. There are six regulars that have already missed significant time in 2019, but who is missed the most?

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge reacts after being hit by a pitch from Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis in front of Royals catcher Salvador Perez during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge reacts after being hit by a pitch from Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis in front of Royals catcher Salvador Perez during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is not holding a grudge against Royals pitcher Jakob Junis as he readies to face him for the first time since he fractured Judge's wrist last July.

When the Yankees face the Royals in the second game of a four-game series Friday night, it will be the first time Judge faces Junis since the Royals' righty hit Judge with a 93 mph fastball, resulting in a chip fracture in his right wrist and a 45-game absence.

"He hit me but that is part of the game. It cost me a while but it is part of the game,'' Judge said, according to the New York Post's George A. King III. "It was nothing intentional. It was up and in and a two-seamer like he has, it got away.''

Tags: Aaron Judge, Kansas City Royals
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Yanks offense sputters in loss 00:00:59
The Yankees managed just four singles while allowing 11 hits including a pair of homers, in a 6-1 loss to the Royals

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees bats go cold in 6-1 loss to the Royals at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Thursday's game…

Tags: Domingo German, Jonathan Holder, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Chris Carelli
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How does Frazier fit? 00:01:22
SNY's Sweeny Murti discusses Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner, and how they fit the roster once Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton return.

For the moment, Clint Frazier is providing exactly what the Yankees need given the number of key players on the injured list. 

The 24-year-old outfielder, who is not far removed from being considered one of the best prospects in baseball, is healthy after dealing with concussion issues last season and is displaying the "legendary" bat speed GM Brian Cashman has previously praised Frazier for. 

In 13 games entering Thursday, Frazier was slashing .333/.347/.622 with four homers and 12 RBI; he also had 11 strikeouts against two walks.

This comes as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks are both nursing injuries, so the Yanks have been able to plug Frazier in at either DH or left field with Brett Gardner occupying center, Mike Tauchman seeing some time in left, and of course, Aaron Judge in right field.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton
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Miguel Andujar (41) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Miguel Andujar (41) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Yankees INF Miguel Andujar continues to work his way back toward the team, with the hope he doesn't need surgery to repair the small tear in his labrum. If surgery isn't needed, manager Aaron Boone noted Thursday that the team is considering how to deploy him so he doesn't suffer a setback. 

It was a week ago that SNY's Andy Martino suggested the Yankees use Andujar as primarily a DH, and even at first base in certain situations. Well, that's exactly what the Yankees are discussing right now, according to Boone.

Hitting hasn't been as much an issue as throwing for Andujar during this rehab process, which is why DH would make the most sense. The Yankees, though, have multiple hitters that can fill that role -- some of which are on the IL with Andujar. Giancarlo Stanton is one player that comes to mind, and he's reportedly close to coming back from his biceps strain as well. 

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, troy-tulowitzki
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Yankees (8-9) welcome the Royals (6-12) to the Bronx for a four-game series beginning Thursday night at 6:35 p.m.

Yankees Notes

Brett Gardner is staying in the leadoff spot after his clutch grand slam helped the Yanks beat the Red Sox on Wednesday. ... Mike Ford is set to make his MLB debut, batting seventh as the designated hitter. Ford was called up on Tuesday when Greg Bird went on the injured list with a plantar fascia tear. Ford was raking in 10 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 16-for-39 with five homers, four doubles and 14 RBI. ... DJ LeMahieu slides back to third base with Tyler Wade playing second and Gio Urshela on the bench.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Domingo German, Kansas City Royals
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | : By the time the clubhouse opened to the media, some 20 minutes after the Yankees finished off a kick-em-while-they're-down sweep of the Red Sox, the place looked and smelled like the aftermath of a Fourth of July fireworks show.

Turns out it was the aftermath of a dance party instead, complete with a fog machine and strobe lights, which apparently has become the Yankees' standard post-win celebration in this young season.

Only extra-heavy on the fog for this one.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, J.A. Happ, John Harper
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Feb 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

Of all the Yankees currently sitting out on the Injured List, Luis Severino may be the most mind-boggling of them all. 

Severino's injury started with shoulder inflammation, an injury that usually needs rest to heal. But, after feeling more pain during his throwing program, Severino returned to New York to be reevaluated. Well, that evaluation included an MRI that revealed a lat strain, which has shut down the righty with July being his potential comeback.

But how can shoulder inflammation turn into a lat strain? Severino, who was at Yankee Stadium during the Yankees' win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night, believes that the strain actually occurred when he initially suffered an injury back on March 5.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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Yankees beat Boston, 5-3 00:00:34
Brett Gardner talks about the big feeling from his big grand slam, and Aaron Boone talks about J.A. Happ as the Yankees beat Boston, 5-3.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees rallied in the seventh inning to beat the Red Sox, 5-3, at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Tuesday's game…

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees (7-9, five games behind Rays for first place in AL East) will look to sweep the Red Sox (6-12, last in the AL East) in the quick two-game series on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.

Yankees Notes

James Paxton was electric for the Yankees last night as he set the tone in the win. The Yankees helped by plating eight runs on the night. ...Mike Tauchman collected his first Major League homer with a three-run bomb to right field. Clint Frazier also added a homer to right center that was just out of the reach of Mookie Betts

Tags: Boston Red Sox
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Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ever since he broke in with the Phillies a decade ago, J.A. Happ has relied on rhythm and precision to carve up hitters. During his best seasons, Happ's results have outpaced the quality of his actual repertoire.

In order to achieve this, Happ relies on the subtleties of confidence and controlled aggression. When he's on, he works quickly, pounds the edges of the strike zone, and tricks himself into being unafraid that the ball might drift out over the middle of the strike zone and end up crushed over an outfield wall. He's one of those players who's good because he believes he's good.

So far this season, Happ has not been able to find that mindset. He is overthinking between pitches, and finding the ideal pace elusive. He is tentative and cerebral -- two qualities that undermine him when they emerge too strongly.

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Andy Martino
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Fans wait in line to enter Yankee Stadium at gate 6 before a game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on opening day. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Fans wait in line to enter Yankee Stadium at gate 6 before a game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on opening day. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The first installment of The Rivalry in 2019 wraps up this evening at Yankee Stadium, where the Red Sox and Yankees will play the back-end of their quick two-game set.

As it is, you'd normally be thinking of taking an over when this pair of rivals get together, as they boast two of the best offenses in all of baseball. That feeling is turned up when two struggling starting pitchers are set to do the bidding on the mound.

Tags: J.A. Happ
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Yankees shut out the Sox 00:01:11
James Paxton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Boone, and Mike Tauchman recap a big 8-0 win over Boston for the Yankees on Tuesday night in the Bronx.

This was the James Paxton the Yankees thought they were getting when they traded for the 30-year-old southpaw this winter.

After two subpar outings, the Yankees left-hander looked like an ace against the Red Sox on Tuesday night, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing just two hits while striking out 12 in the Yankees' 8-0 victory at Yankee Stadium. 

His fastball reached 99 mph in the eighth inning as he became the first Yankees pitcher with at least 12 strikeouts and two hits or fewer against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in franchise history. 

Tags: James Paxton
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Apr 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) reacts during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) reacts during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | ArchivesThe Yankees, behind stellar pitching and plenty of offense, beat the Red Sox, 8-0, at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Tuesday's game…

1 ) James Paxton was absolutely electric tonight. It was the first time he went to the mound in pinstripes, and just unleashed on the opponent. Paxton surely wasn't tipping any pitches, throwing 110 on the night, 80 of which were four-seam fastballs. Those fastballs averaged 97 mph with the fastest topping out at 99.2 mph. Paxton's final line - 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K - could not have come at a better time for the Yankees. The Yanks traded for Paxton with this kind of a performance in mind, and hopefully for New York he builds on it.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws to first base in the fourth inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws to first base in the fourth inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)

While Greg Bird became the latest member to join the Yankees' already crowded Injured List on Tuesday, manager Aaron Boone addressed the other players and their progress ahead of tonight's contest with the Red Sox. 

Among the 12 members (including Bird), Miguel Andujar's status (shoulder) is still in question. Boone told reporters that he continues his program, which saw an increase in throwing as well as his normal hitting. While Andujar seems to be responding well to the treatment -- he hasn't had a setback -- it is still too early to make the determination for surgery to repair the shoulder tear or not. 

Other than Andujar, Aaron Hicks and Troy Tulowitzki appear to be progressing nicely. Hicks hit off a tee and soft toss as well as throwing and running before the game. He should be taking part in batting practice on Wednesday or Thursday. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar, troy-tulowitzki
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Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) hits a double during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) hits a double during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees (6-9, 5.5 games behind the Rays for first place in the AL East) face their archrival Red Sox (6-11, 6.5 games behind Tampa Bay) for the first time this season at Yankee Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. 

Yankees Notes

The Yankees snapped have lost four of their last five games. ... Since the start of 2013, the Yankees and Red Sox are 57-57 against each other. ... Tuesday's game will mark the first time since 1992 both teams will play each other with a losing record at least 15 games into a season. ... DJ LeMahieu leads off for the second straight game. He was 0-for-4 in the top spot of the order Sunday against the White Sox. ... Aaron Judge has hit safely in five of his last six games. 

Tags: Boston Red Sox
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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) hits a single during the fifth inning in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) hits a single during the fifth inning in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The schedule makers snuck in an early Yankees/Red Sox series, searching for a narrative among teams expected to be sitting at the top of the American League East standings. Instead, the clash is being described as one to determine which club will utilize the series to turn its season around.

The Yankees (6-9) have battled a slew of injuries that leaves almost a complete -- and quality -- ball club on the injured list. Despite the injuries, the Yanks have held the lead in 14 of its 15 games, meaning there is clear underperformance buried in the squad's record.

The Red Sox (6-11), coming off a World Series title, are caught in the often traditional throes of the impact of a long postseason at the outset of a new year. The Sox are mostly healthy, but the club has had a difficult time getting fully on track. As both teams look to reverse course, which areas can the clubs expect improvement in and which aspects might not get better?

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 (Reinhold Matay)
(Reinhold Matay)

With Greg Bird heading to the IL due to a plantar fascia tear, the Yankees have called up slugging lefty-hitting first baseman Mike Ford from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Here are three things to know about him...

He was crushing it in Triple-A, but is an 'old' prospect

Ford was hitting .410/.467/.897 with five homers and four doubles in 10 games (45 plate appearances) this season in Triple-A. And while those numbers are incredibly impressive Ford -- at 26 years old -- is an "old" prospect.

His 2019 performance is also an aberration compared to how he's performed during his minor league career. In seven minor league seasons, Ford has hit .271/.372/.442 with 71 homers in 561 games.  

Tags: Luke Voit, Danny Abriano
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Mar 31, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) reacts after being called out on strikes during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 31, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) reacts after being called out on strikes during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The injury bug has bitten the Yankees once again. 

The team placed Greg Bird on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a left plantar fascia tear. The Yankees called up Mike Ford from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Bird's roster spot. 

Bird, who broke camp with the team after a strong Spring Training, had not been making the most of his opportunity in the big leagues. Following a solo homer on Opening Day, which accounted for his lone RBI through 10 games and 35 at-bats, Bird managed five more hits -- all singles. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (45) forces out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) during the first inning in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (45) forces out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) during the first inning in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Misery loves company, and the Red Sox will be a welcome sight for the Yankees in the Bronx.

Because this quick two-game series represents an opportunity for the Yanks to get back on track as both clubs have been mired in poor starts, and after these two teams met in the ALDS last season, nobody would've predicted their first meeting of the 2019 season would be under these circumstances.

Tags: James Paxton, Boston Red Sox
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Gio Gonzalez has a decision to make this week.

There is an April 20 opt-out in the minor deal deal Gonzalez signed with the Yankees last month, giving him the chance to return to free agency if he hasn't been called up to the majors by Saturday.

"Right now, I'm not even thinking 30 teams," Gonzalez recently told the New York Post. "If it's not good enough for this team that I'm with right now, that's all that matters. I want to perform for the team that has me in their minors right now. Hopefully something happens."

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Luis Severino
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Feb 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Albert Abreu (87) throws as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Albert Abreu (87) throws as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Every Monday, we'll be taking a look at how the Yankees' top prospects (their MLB.com Yankees Top-30 rankings are in parenthesis) are faring.

Jonathan Loaisiga, SP, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (No. 2) - 2019

Loaisiga, who is ranked No. 64 among all MLB prospects per MLB Pipeline, just returned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after a brief stint with the Yankees. The 24-year-old made two starts with the Yanks, allowing two runs in 7.0 innings. With the Yankees' multiple health issues in the rotation, it will not be surprising to see Loaisiga once again in the Bronx. Until then, he will work with SWB with the concentration being to build up innings -- something he has yet to do in a professional season (68.2 innings is a career high that he set back in 2013).

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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Maybe the pomp of the first series with the Red Sox this season is just the tonic the lackluster Yankees need in what's been a blah start to their season. 

Nothing like a visit from a bitter rival to jolt a club. And make no mistake: The Yankees need a jolt. Badly. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka walks off the mound after being relieved during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka walks off the mound after being relieved during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka attributed his struggles in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox to his ineffective split-finger fastball.

"It wasn't coming out of my hand right," Tanaka said, according to the New York Post's Zach Braziller. "It's not just today, it's been like that for a little bit. I think it comes down to mechanics. I definitely need to make some adjustments, so it's an effective pitch."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chicago White Sox, Masahiro Tanaka
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Yanks come up short in loss 00:01:46
The Yankees struggles continued as they were beaten by the White Sox, 5-2, but the team remains confident they will turn things around

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees lost the series rubber match to the White Sox, 5-2, at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Sunday's game…

1) Masahiro Tanaka was cruising … and then he wasn't. Tanaka had six strikeouts and faced just 10 batters in the first three innings. In the next inning-plus, Tanaka allowed eight baserunners, including three uncharacteristic walks. Tanaka was charged with five runs, four of which came on a Tim Anderson grand slam. Tanaka was fantastic over his first three starts, so hopefully this was a simple bump in the road as the Yanks need the right-hander on top of his game.

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Winter is here.

With Game of Thrones set to return Sunday for its eighth and final season, New York athletes gave their predictions and talked about theories for how the saga will end.

Click below...

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New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

For Aaron Hicks, the good news is that he's resumed limited baseball activities. The bad news is that exactly when he'll return to game action still appears foggy. 

Hicks has begun throwing, running, hitting off a tee and taking soft-tosses. Prior to the Yankees' game against the White Sox on Sunday, he stopped by the clubhouse so the team could see him up close.

He also guessed that he could begin taking on-field batting practice in about a week. Hicks has been out since Spring Training with a back issue that led to a pair of cortisone shots. Beyond the possibility of batting practice, a timetable for Hicks' return remains unknown. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks
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Apr 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)
Apr 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

James Paxton was hit hard against the Astros during his last start, allowing five runs on eight hits (including two home runs to Jose Altuve) and three walks as his ERA for the season rose to 6.00.

Paxton, who threw 95 pitches in just 4.0 innings, revealed Sunday what was likely part of the reason why he struggled to get outs.

The left-hander told reporters that he was tipping his pitches against the Astros -- specifically his knuckle curve and specifically when runners were on second base, with Astros runners relaying the info to the hitters. 

Tags: James Paxton, Danny Abriano
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Mar 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals before the game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals before the game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

As the Yankees deal with an injured list as long as a CVS receipt, any shred of good news is welcome.

So there is a glimmer of optimism regarding Giancarlo Stanton, who went on the injured list on April 1 with a biceps strain. After hitting off a tee and soft toss on Saturday for the second time, Stanton said, "I think I'm on track."

"Didn't take 100 percent swings, but I took good progress swings," Stanton said Saturday, according to the Daily News.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (6-8, 4.5 games behind the Rays for first place in the AL East) wrap up their series with the White Sox (4-9) at Yankee Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Yankees Notes

The Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak on Saturday. ... Masahiro Tanaka, who gets the start on Sunday, has allowed one run in each of his first three starts this season. ... Aaron Judge, who homered on Saturday, is on pace to finish the season with 46 homers and 243 strikeouts. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chicago White Sox, Masahiro Tanaka
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CC leads Yanks past ChiSox 00:01:31
CC Sabathia pitched 5 strong innings in his season debut and Aaron Judge added a solo home run as the Yankees blanked the White Sox, 4-0

The Yankees beat the White Sox, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx >> Box score

Six takeaways from Saturday's game…

1) CC Sabathia, coming off the injured list to make his first start of the season, was spectacular. In five innings, Sabathia allowed just one base runner (on a single) and struck out three. Sabathia, who will be retiring at season's end, is now 11 strikeouts away from 3,000 for his career, which should aid his bid to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Before we concern ourselves with Sabathia's career worth, right now the Yanks can use some of the stopper stuff he's possessed the last couple of seasons. He provided it Saturday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chicago White Sox, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Chris Carelli
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Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

Injured Yankees reliever Dellin Betances (shoulder impingement) isn't expected to return to the team until at least six or seven weeks from now, but he felt relieved on Saturday after receiving a cortisone shot. 

"There's relief just because there's nothing structurally wrong," Betances said, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. "I know with this shot that in three weeks, with rest, I know everything will be right and I'm excited to help the team out and finish this season."

Seven weeks from this point brings us to the early part of June, when the Yankees hope to have many of their other walking wounded back, including Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Troy Tulowitzki. Miguel Andujar could also be back before then if he is able to avoid season-ending surgery

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Danny Abriano
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CC Sabathia (52) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
CC Sabathia (52) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (5-8) host the White Sox (4-8) at Yankee Stadium on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

Yankees Notes

The depleted Yankees have lost four games in a row to fall 5.5 games behind the Rays for first place in the AL East. ... CC Sabathia returns from the DL to make his first start of the season. ... Aaron Judge has struck out four times over his last two games and is on pace to strike out 249 times this season. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chicago White Sox, Clint Frazier, Domingo German, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Kyle Higashioka, Tyler Wade
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Cashman updates Betances injury 00:01:09
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman details the timeline reliever Dellin Betances will be on after his latest procedure.

Brian Cashman provided an update on Dellin Betances Friday night, and it wasn't a positive one.

Betances will get a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Saturday and will be shut down for three weeks, meaning he won't be able to return to the Yankees' active roster for six-to-seven weeks. 

The shot will be where there's inflammation around a pre-existing bone spur. Betances returned to New York after struggling during a simulated game on Thursday. Cashman said their team physician is optimistic that the injection will resolve the issue.

Tags: Dellin Betances
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Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees lost to the White Sox, 9-6, in a rain-shortened affair at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks have lost four straight. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Friday's game…

1 ) What's happening (get it?) to J.A. Happ is clearly not what the Yankees were expecting when they signed the 36-year-old to a two-year deal (with a vesting option). Happ was handed a 4-1 lead, yet he allowed base runners in each inning and yet another home run. Happ's line - 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 BB and 5 K was horrendous as is his 6.19 ERA for the season. Happ is simply leaving too many pitchers over the heart of the plate and hitters are not missing them.

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar hits a fielder's choice ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP)
New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar hits a fielder's choice ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Miguel Andujar swung a bat on Friday for the first time since doctors diagnosed him with a torn labrum earlier this month, and declared himself a fully healthy hitter. The problem with his injured shoulder is that it prevents him from making the throw from third to first base.

Here's a suggestion for the terribly depleted Yankees: Throw a band-aid on this makeshift lineup, and use Andujar as a DH or first baseman in the short term in order to get his bat back.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Miguel Andujar, troy-tulowitzki, Andy Martino
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