New York Yankees: Latest injury updates on 5 Yankees

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees have had injuries in the spring and before but have been relatively free of serious injuries that will keep players off the field for prolonged periods. The only serious injury is Luis Severino that his Tommy John Surgery caused at the beginning of last season. Here is a breakdown of the injuries and the latest updates for New York Yankee players and when fans could expect them back with the team.

Luis Severino:

On February 27, 2020, Luis Severino underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow. At the time, it was projected he would be away from the team until late summer 2021. That would include a few minor league rehab starts. But recently, manager Aaron Boone has updated his progress, say that he is doing better than expected in his rehab. Boone has actually caught a session from Severino. He is now expected to be back with the team sometime in mid-July.

Miguel Andujar:

Third baseman and outfielder Miguel Andujar has minor hand and wrist soreness that will keep him away from the team at the beginning of the season and with a difficult-to-diagnose injury, possibly beyond. After his poor showing in spring training, when he does come back, he will most likely be sent down to Scranton and won’t be used unless injuries require him. His expected return is sometime next week.

Luke Voit:

The loss of last year’s baseball home run leader is one of the most significant injuries so far in the spring. Voit had knee surgery in New York. It was first noticed when he had trouble running the bases. An MRI revealed a partial meniscus tear. He is expected to be away from the team for at least another three to four weeks. His absence from the team has been costly hitting wise as well as his defense at first base. His replacement Jay Bruce has not been performing.

Zack Britton:

It was discovered that left-hand reliever Zack Britton has a bone chip in his elbow. He underwent surgery to have it removed on March 15. There is conflicting information on when fans may expect him to return. Some say six weeks; others say two to three months. Based on the worst-case scenarios, he will be back with the team sometime before the end of June. CBS Sports reports that he won’t be back before May 28th.

Clarke Schmidt:

The news on Clarke Schmidt’s elbow injury is not good. He experienced an extensor strain in his right elbow; it’s a common ailment and not long-term serious. Manager Aaron Boone said Thursday that Schmidt’s return to throwing could be “imminent.” However, no matter how minor, he will have to build back up for season play. He was put on the 60-day IL and was expected to be out until at least May 31st. The latest update from Aaron Boone is that he is doing well and might start throwing as early as this weekend. If all is successful, he may return sooner than originally thought.

The good news in all of this is that the last injury report had 8 Yankees on it. Justin Wilson, Michael Tauchman, and Aaron Judge are now back with the team and remain healthy.

New York Yankees: The latest injury updates on 8 Yankees

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees have had injuries in the spring and before, but have been relatively free of serious injuries that will keep players off the field for prolonged periods. The only serious injury is Luis Severino that was caused by his Tommy John Surgery at the beginning of last season. Here is a breakdown of the injuries and the latest updates for New York Yankee players and when fans could expect them back with the team.

Luis Severino:

On February 27, 2020, Luis Severino underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow. At the time, it was projected he would be away from the team until late summer 2021. That would include a few minor league rehab starts. But recently, manager Aaron Boone has updated his progress, say that he is doing better than expected in his rehab. Boone has actually caught a session from Severino. He is now expected to be back with the team sometime in mid-July.

Miguel Andujar:

Third baseman and outfielder Miguel Andujar has minor hand and wrist soreness that will keep him away from the team at the beginning of the season and with a difficult-to-diagnose injury, possibly beyond. After his poor showing in spring training, when he does come back, he will most likely be sent down to Scranton and won’t be used unless injuries require him.

Luke Voit:

The loss of last year’s baseball home run leader is one of the most significant injuries so far in the spring. Voit had knee surgery yesterday in New York. It was first noticed when he had trouble running the bases. An MRI revealed a partial meniscus tear. He is expected to be away from the team at least until the middle of May.

Justin Wilson:

Left-hand pitcher Justin Wilson was supposed to partially make of for the loss of Zack Britton; he left a March 22 outing with shoulder soreness and tightness. An MRI did not find any serious injury. He is on Anti-inflammatories but will miss the beginning of the season, which is on Thursday of this week. Wilson is progressing nicely and doesn’t want to be in the IL; however, general manager Brian Cashman announced yesterday that he would start the season on the 10 day IL. He will probably return when that expires.

Zack Britton:

It was discovered that left-hand reliever Zack Britton has a bone chip in his elbow. He underwent surgery to have it removed on March 15. There is conflicting information on when fans may expect him to return. Some say six weeks; others say two to three months. Based on the worst-case scenarios, he will be back with the team sometime before the end of June. CBS Sports reports that he won’t be back before May 28th.

Mike Tauchman:

Backup outfielder Mike Tauchman is suffering from a mild self-inflicted injury. Tauchman fouled a pitch off his lower right leg, near his calf, during an eight-pitch at-bat against Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler on Sunday. He is presently icing it down and taking anti-inflammatories. The injury is minor, but his readiness for opening day is questionable.

Clarke Schmidt:

The news on Clarke Schmidt’s elbow injury is not good. He experienced an extensor strain in his right elbow; it’s a common ailment and not long-term serious. Manager Aaron Boone said Thursday that Schmidt’s return to throwing could be “imminent.” However, no matter how minor, he will have to build back up for season play, and he is expected to be out until May 31 after being put on the 60-day IL on Saturday.

Aaron Judge:

Fans were wondering why Aaron Judge was not in yesterday’s New York Yankee’s game after also missing the game before. The good news is that there is nothing seriously wrong with the slugger. He is under the weather. He has gone through the COVID health protocols and has passed those. Both general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone said he would be ready to start the season on Thursday. Other sources say that is questionable.

 

 

The New York Yankees’ starting rotation is set, making it easy to forget about their secret weapon

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

One of the more exciting storylines for the New York Yankees this off-season is their starting pitching rotation. Just a few weeks ago, general manager Brian Cashman was being shredded for his approach toward solving the departure of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ. However, when it rains, it pours, and he proceeded to sign Corey Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal and acquire Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in trade.

Cashman’s moves seem to be panning out, as the rotation has looked stellar this spring and continues to gain positive momentum as opening day approaches on April 1.

Projected starting rotation for the New York Yankees:

1.) Gerrit Cole

2.) Corey Kluber

3.) Jameson Taillon

4.) Jordan Montgomery

5.) Domingo German

6.) Deivi Garcia

After looking at that unit, you can probably make the assumption the Yankees have made a few upgrades. However, it is easy to forget about their secret weapon, Luis Severino. Severino is still rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery last spring, and he has made some great progress lately during his bullpen sessions.

In fact, Seve is excited to begin diving into his breaking pitches soon, but he might be a bit ahead of the curve.

“I’m not worried about it, I just want to know,’’ said Severino this past week. “I want to start throw breaking pitches and see how it feels, not just that day, but also the next day to see how my arm is recovering from throwing those pitches.”

Of course, taking things slow is a priority for Severino, but he is in hyperdrive as he looks to return to the team as soon as possible. Severino last pitched more than 12 innings in 2018, when he recorded a 3.39 ERA over 191 innings. He was expected to be the Yankees’ ace moving forward, but upon his return, he will be a fantastic addition to the rotation, one that will hopefully remain healthy during the 2021 season.

“I was feeling really good that [first] day and I’ve been feeling pretty good,’’ Severino said. “I didn’t know what to do in that first bullpen, so I treated it like a normal bullpen. They told me not to throw too hard so I tried to back up a little bit, but I was throwing good. A lot of strikes.”

Yankees News: Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar injury update, Domingo German on fire

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees are dealing with a few injuries, thankfully most of their star players are fully healthy and prepared for the start of the 2021 season on April 1. However, players like Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, and Zack Britton are all fighting to regain their health.

Multiple injury updates for the Yankees:

Luis Severino update:

Severino has been making good progress on his return from Tommy John surgery. He has pitched in two bullpen sessions this spring, and everything went well, according to the coaching staff and Severino himself. In fact, he’s gearing up to take the next step forward, throwing the breaking ball.

“I just want to know,” Severino told on Monday. “I want to start throwing breaking pitches and see how it feels, not just the same day but the next day to see how my arm recovers from throwing those pitches.”

Severino last pitched a full season back in 2018, when he earned a 3.39 ERA over 191.1 innings. Over the last two years, he’s only featured in 12 innings, making an appearance in the latter portion of the 2019 season before tearing a ligament in his elbow last spring.

Miguel Andujar update:

Andujar is dealing with a sore wrist and hand, something that has been bothering him since the winter league. As he fights to make the active roster and land a depth spot, missing time is not exactly what the 26-year-old needs currently. After having a troublesome 2020 campaign where he hit just .242 with one homer and five RBIs, he’s looking for a bounce-back season offensively.

Manager Aaron Boone didn’t seem too optimistic with Andujar and his hand injury, stating that they will monitor the issue and it could keep them out for a few weeks.

“Andjuar is dealing with a muscle strain in his hand that they are going to continue to treat,” Boone said. “He’s got a little bit of a nerve issue there that they’re going to monitor and follow and try to get their arms around, too. But mostly just dealing with a muscle strain that they’re treating in the hand.”

Domingo German on FIRE:

New York Yankees: 7 Yankee player injury updates

Since the beginning of spring training, the New York Yankees have been blessed with no major injuries to keep players out for the whole season. Although that is good news compared to the last two seasons, the Yankees have not been unscathed. Here are the most recent updates on the Yankee injured players.

Clarke Schmidt:

Schmidt vying for a place in the starting rotation, was hit early in spring training with bad news on that front. He was the first Yankee to suffer an injury in spring training. Schmidt suffered a common extensor strain. No matter how common he will miss significant time. Aaron Boone said that he is making satisfactory progress over the weekend but is still at least a week away from starting to throw again. Once he starts that, a better prediction can be made when he will pitch against live batters.

Zack Britton:

There have been quite a few minor injuries to players this spring training, but nothing compared to the last two seasons. The most devastating blow to the New York Yankees was when Zack Britton developed soreness in his elbow after a bullpen session. He had an MRI, and it was determined that surgery would be necessary to remove a bone chip from this throwing elbow.

This is particularly devasting due to the loss of Tommy Kahnle to the Dodgers. The Yankee did acquire Darren O’Day to ease the loss of Kahnle, but it made Britton’s role in the bullpen even more important as he would be the key setup man for Aroldis Chapman, even closing some games. Although it is unclear, the surgery is expected to occur today in New York by team surgeon Dr. Christopher Ahmad. He will be shut down for a month to six weeks and will have to build back up, making his return to the team sometime in late May or June.

Luis Severino:

Severino pitched in only three games in 2019 ( ERA 1.50) before needing Tommy John surgery; he lost the rest of the season and all of 2020. Now rehabbing, he is expected to rejoin the team in June or July. The recent reports on his progress are encouraging. Over the weekend, Severino, who has been throwing off the flat, took his first pitches off the mound. Bullpen coach Harkey said that Severino has been “working his tail off” to get back to form. Harkey believes he will be 100% upon his return.

Michael Beltre:

Beltre left Friday’s game against Pittsburgh with a hamstring injury, Marly Rivera of ESPN.com reported. The severity of the injury is not known as he consults with team doctors. Beltre posted a .637 OPS in the minors in 2019. So far this season, he had a hit in 11 plate appearances hoping to make the team. Rehab time for hamstring injuries is hard to predict. He could be back next week, or his spring training could be over; it sometimes takes a couple of months to recover fully according to the injury’s severity.

Robinson Chirinos:

With the loss of backup catcher Erik Kratz to retirement, the Yankees needed another catcher. They solved that with the signing of veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos. He has been playing and catching well, but now all his plans are on hold due to getting hit by a pitch last Wednesday. He is consulting with specialists to determine if he will need surgery. If he does, he will be out for some time.

Miguel Andujar:

In May of 2019, Andujar had season-ending surgery on his shoulder for the budding Yankee star. The Yankees needed a replacement at the hot corner, and they brought up Gio Urshela to fill in, a move that would prove unfortunate for Miguel. Urshela was so good he became the Yankees’ permanent third baseman. Last season he fought his way back even though the Yankees had no place for him, and that continued this spring training as he tried to gain a spot in the lineup. All of that is in question with an odd wrist and hand soreness that has become more intense in spring training. Now he is enlisting the services of a hand specialist. With this type of injury, there is no way to tell how long he will be away from the team.

Aaron Boone:

Over the offseason and particularly at the beginning of spring training, New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone felt punk, just not right. At the start of spring training, Boone noticed bouts of being tired and labored breathing. He consulted with doctors, and it was determined that his heart was beating too slowly and would require a pacemaker to correct the deficiency. In his second week with the pacemaker, the good news is that he back with the team and is feeling great, better than in years.

Although not injured, I have to mention that the New York Yankees have to be encouraged that both Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon seem very healthy and are performing as advertised. The Yankees took a big risk, hiring Kluber and trading for Taillon; both had not pitched for over a year due to injury and surgery.

Yankees News: Great Luis Severino injury update as Spring Training continues

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees are going into the 2021 season with the expectation that starter Luis Severino will not be a part of the rotation. His timeline for return has him joining the team in late summer, which means the Yankees will have to supplement his loss in the meantime.

Luckily, the Yankees did a solid job adding starting pitching this off-season, even if they took a few big risks in the process. General manager Brian Cashman admitted that he was forced to take a few calculated risks based on financial flexibility and ownership’s desire to stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold.

The New York Yankees receive good news on the injury front:

However, the latest updates on Severino are inspiring, as he’s taking significant steps forward toward a return, which might lead him to a more efficient recovery timeline and previously anticipated.

Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey is convinced that Severino will return to 100% health and make an impact this upcoming season.

“I’ve seen a lot of first-time bullpens after Tommy John (surgery),” Harkey said, “and watching Sevy’s was probably the most comfortable I’ve ever seen a player.”

Harkey said Severino looked “comfortable” and “aggressive.”

“Zero worry about whether it’s surgically repaired,” the bullpen coach said.

Harkey detailed why Severino looks as good as he does, complementing his work ethic and undying desire to make a full comeback.

“It’s all because of hard work,” Harkey said. “He’s worked his tail off to get to this point. Through a series of serious injuries and rehabbing for months and a year, it takes a toll on your mind, and definitely takes a toll on your body. But it also gives you the chance — if you dig into it — you can do things now to your body that you weren’t able to do when you were healthy because you have that extra time.”

The last time Severino pitched was in 2019, pitching just 12 innings after recovering from another significant injury. That next spring training led to Tommy John surgery, so he’s only pitched 12 innings over the past two years, indicating he might suffer through some speed bumps along the way in 2021.

However, we know Severino can be a quality pitcher, hosting a 3.39 ERA in 2018 over 191.1 innings. His 10.35 strikeouts per nine and 19 wins tell the story, and adding him back to a rotation that seems to be flush with talent should get fans excited.

Yankees: Brian Cashman discusses Luis Severino, Jasson Dominguez, and other topics

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman talked to reporters over Zoom on Friday, and covered lots of topics, most notably Luis Severino’s recovery and an update on top outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez.

Regarding Severino, the Yankees’ boss said that he is still going through his rehab from last spring’s Tommy John surgery. He declined to say exactly when he will return to mound work, but he did say that the team expects him to do it “shortly.”

“I don’t want to give the wrong information, [but] it’s going really well,” Cashman said on Severino’s progression. “. … He’s due to get on the mound again shortly. … but I don’t have the exact bullpen date.”

About Dominguez, who is by most outlets the Yankees’ top prospects, Cashman said that he is honing his skills while he waits for a minor league season to take place, like every other prospect.

“He’s like everybody else in the minor league population waiting for a minor league/spring training report time and then seeing where it takes him,” Cashman said. “He’s now one of many that will be competing for a spot on a roster, and what roster that turns out to be remains to be seen. But all those evaluations will take place when we have a collection of all the talent, including himself.

“We need to get his career going just like a number of the other prospects that we have.”

The Yankees’ GM also talked about Gleyber Torres

Cashman recently said that Yankees’ shortstop Gleyber Torres had reported to last year summer camp out of shape. However, that is not the case this time around.

“He’s in good shape,” Cashman said. “I believe everyone’s reported in top shape and ready to get after it, so that’s a really encouraging circumstance — that’s the way you want it out of the starting gate. It sounds like everybody here for 2021 spring training showed up ready to go.”

Torres just homered in Friday’s spring training game and looks poised for a huge bounceback season.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: News and notes from the Yankee’s spring training

New York Yankees, Domingo German

Domingo German has a supporter

Several players are not that happy that the New York Yankees have taken Domingo German back with the team after his suspension for domestic violence. Most notably, relief pitcher Zack Britton said, “you can’t choose who your teammates are; I don’t agree with what [German] did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field or at all.” Further details of German’s infraction have been revealed, and several team members are not happy about it. However, there is at least one Yankee that has come out in support of German. Luis Severino.

Severino continues to progress. He threw from 90 feet on flat ground today and will throw from 120 feet tomorrow. He also said he is confident in the Yankee rotation and that he’s 100 percent confident he’ll be his old self when he returns. In support of German, he said yesterday:

“Every time I talk to Domingo, it’s about baseball,” Severino said Monday. “[It’s] about getting better. Every time we have a conversation, it’s about us or him getting better. That’s the only thing I have in mind. Helping the team get to the World Series.”

Clarke Schmidt first injury of spring training

It hasn’t taken too long for the injury bug to hit the Yankees. Clarke Schmidt had an elbow injury and is expected to be out for three or four weeks. He has what manager Aaron Boone described as a common extensor strain in his right elbow, which means he will be out for the remainder of spring training at the earliest. He will then have to ramp back up, which means the Yankees will likely not be able to use him in live games until some time in late April or early May. The good news is that an MRI shows that his UCL is fine and there is no permanent damage.

Final Yankees report and take physicals

Several New York Yankees reported for duty today in Tampa. In addition several players were already at Steinbrenner Field, among them Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres, to name a few. Those taking their physicals today and taking their first workouts were Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Andujar, among others. Brett Gardner is taking his physical and ironing out the final details of his contract. He will be joining the team shortly.

Adam Warren hoping for a comeback

During the offseason, the New York Yankees reunited with an old friend, Adam Warren. Although he was signed to a minor league contract, the Yankees hope he can shore up the early relief coming out of the bullpen and ease the strain on Luis Cessa. Warren is hoping for a comeback year with the Yankees. This is his third stint with the Yankees.

Pitchers throw live batting practice

Several pitchers took to the mound at Steinbrenner Field. Gerrit Cole took bullpen today. Cole lacked his normal command, but manager Aaron Boone said that that is natural for his first bullpen. Other pitchers the took to the mound were Kyle Barraclough, Nestor Cortes Jr., who came back to the Yankees in the offseason; Brooks Kriske, Lucas Luetge, Tyler Lyons, another add on, Jordan Montgomery, and Nick Nelson.

First exhibition game on Sunday

With everyone at camp and working out, the New York Yankees will have their first exhibition game on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will face the Toronto Blue Jays in a 1:05 pm game. The Yankees have been preparing for this throughout the offseason. There are major changes in the team from last season. Gone is Masahiro Tanaka, who is now pitching in Japan, James Paxton, with his old team, the Seattle Mariners, and J.A. Happ is working out with the Minnesota Twins.

This year the Yankees have Corey Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner and traded from the Pirates; he will be followed in the rotation by Jameson Taillon. The Yankees made a major add-on for the bullpen by adding one of the best relievers in 2020 in Darren O’ Day. The Yankees lineup will look pretty much the same, but with one difference, both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are both healthy going into spring training.

New York Yankees: Injury update on all the Yankees players

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees are going into the 2021 season much more healthy than in the last two seasons, yet questions remain. Here is an update on all the player’s injuries, surgeries, and lingering problems from last season.

Luis Severino:

Luis Severino started to be a star pitcher for the Yankees and a possible ace after two years of a .700 or greater winning percentages. In 2018 he was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in record 32 starts. That all fell apart before spring training in 2019 when he required Tommy John surgery. It was thought that he might be back for 2020, but a setback prevented that. It was then expected that he would be back in August of 2021.

Now that spring training is going into the second week of workouts, Bryan Hoch, an MLB insider, has reported that Luis Severino was tossing at 120 feet. And manager Aaron Boone knows that first hand as the manager actually caught the former Yankees star recently. Boone said he was as strong as anybody in the bullpen and would likely throw from the mound in the next week or two. It now appears he could be back with the team as early as mid-June, although he will surely be on innings limitations.

Corey Kluber:

Corey Kluber, twice a Cy Young Award winner, has had some back luck the last two years. During 2019 he was hit by a ball the prematurely ended his season. In the offseason, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. He didn’t work out for the Rangers in the short 2020 season. In his first game, he developed a shoulder injury that only allowed him to pitch one inning. According to reports, he is back to form. The Yankees had an inside track to his recovery as he worked out with the Cressey organization that has ties to the Yankees.  He also impressed in a pitching demonstration before he was signed.

“I feel really good right now. No issues with [my shoulder] now or anywhere along the rehab process. That’s encouraging,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a normal spot for spring training. I don’t feel like I’m still working on improving the shoulder or anything like that. I think it’s in a spot where, obviously, any part of your body, it takes maintenance throughout the year, but I’m not putting any more emphasis on that than anything else on this point.”

Kluber says he feels great and is ready to go and expects to be on the mound for the New York Yankees in the first week of the regular season.

Jameson Taillon:

Taillon was coming off his second Tommy John surgery and did not pitch in 2020. During his rehab time, he has made big changes to his mechanics, shortening his arm path and working to generate more power from his legs — both of which can help him protect his elbow. Taillon is now nineteen months out from his last surgery and ready to go in spring training. Taillon and Gerrit Cole were pitching buddies while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2018 he was 14-10 with a low 3.20 ERA. He feels with the mechanical adjustments; he can now be an even better pitcher for the New York Yankees.

Gio Urshela:

Gio Urshela was another trooper playing through injury last season. On September 4th, he was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow. He went on the IL and returned eleven days later and played the rest of the season with the problem. It looked like the spur would not be a problem at the end of the season, but it flared up again while in Columbia, and surgery to remove it became necessary. Unfortunately, the coronavirus delayed that surgery. The surgery was finally done in December with a three-month recovery time. Manager Boone has said that Urshela is doing well, and although he may not be used in exhibition games due to an abundance of caution, he will be ready for the regular season.

Luke Voit:

Luke Voit was last year’s home run king for all of baseball, hitting 22 long balls, but it wasn’t always easy running the bases. During the last half of the season and in the postseason, he was dealing with foot issues. It was diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Voit could have gone on the IL, but the kind of player with his determination would not allow him to do so. He had a PRP shot and dealt with it like a trooper. It has been reported the foot problem is no longer an issue. Voit was a Thurmon Munson award winner this month.

Luckily for the first time since 2018, the New York Yankees have their two monster sluggers in good shape going into the new season. Both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are healthy going into spring training, which is great news for Yankees fans. If these two can stay healthy throughout the season, there may be no stopping the Yankees.

In other good news, Gleyber Torres, who was caught off guard last season with his conditioning due to the split spring training, is in good shape and ready for the season, according to manager Aaron Boone. The Yankees also have the return of Domingo German, who was not injured last season but suspended. Although all fans and even some players aren’t thrilled he is back because of his off-field entanglements, he could be a big help in the starting rotation and eventually show the man he can be.

For the New York Yankees and all the MLB teams, this will be a year of caution in how they deal with pitchers and position players as they adjust to a season nearly three times the length of last season.  The Yankees, with their depth, may have an edge on some of the other teams but will be careful in limited innings pitched and dole out days off to keep players fresh for a postseason run.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Catcher Austin Wells, pitcher Luis Severino and more

New York Yankees, Austin Wells

The New York Yankees catching prospect Austin Wells has already gained the attention of the Yankees front office and manager Aaron Boone.  Of the Yankees system, Austin Wells has really performed well, and scouts have noticed. As Gary Sanchez, Kyle Higashioka, and the other experienced catchers in Yankees camp this spring get their work in; a new left-handed bat has stood out before appearing in a single professional game.

Catcher Austin Wells, the Yankees’ first-round pick last summer, has shown off some considerable power during batting practice. “He can hit,’’ Aaron Boone said Saturday after pitchers and catchers worked out at the team’s minor league complex. It’s not a surprise since Wells’ bat is what made the Yankees take him with the 28th-overall pick out of the University of Arizona two years after they selected him in the 35th round out of high school.

“I really like his swing,’’ Boone said. “One of the things that stands out to me, that I didn’t necessarily know, is how strong he is. He’s as strong as anyone in camp, especially when you test him.” The Yankees will be watching as spring training progresses. however it is very unlikely that Wells will may his debut this season.

Wells good hitting reports bodes well for the Yankees as home run hitter Gary Sanchez has had his contact hitting challenges in the last few years. Sanchez’s backup in Kyle Higashioka has been considerably better but he is also not the greatest hitter although his 2020 performance was the best of his career. The recent acquisition of Robinson Chirinos also doesn’t improve the hitting at backstop.

Luis Seveino progressing better than thought

Yankee Pitcher Luis Severino was expected back from his Tommy John surgery in late August, but now that seems concseverative. Severino had Tommy John surgery before the 2019 season February and a setback made it impossible for the pitching star to pitch at all in the remainder of 2019 and at all during the New York Yankees 2020 season.

Now that spring training is going into it second week or workouts Bryan Hoch MLB insider has reported that Luis Severino was tossing at 120 feet. And manager Aaron Boone knows that first hand as the manager actually caught the former Yankees star recently. Boone said he was as strong as anybody in the bullpen and would likely throw from the mound in the next week or two.

Domingo German was expected to take his spot in the rotation at least until after the All-Star break. The good news out of spring training is that Severino could now back in the rotation as early mid or late June, possibly even earlier. This is exceptional news for the Yankees as they try to control the inning thrown by all their starting pitchers in a year that will see 102 more games than any of them have thrown in 2020. The most innings thrown by any Yankees pitcher last season was Gerrit Cole’s 91 innings. Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon only threw one inning between the two.

Gio Urshela will be ready on opening day

It’s not secret that the New York Yankees have had severe injury problems during the last two seasons with multiple players on the IL on multiple occasions. Last season during spring training several players were not expected to be ready for the opening day. They included Luis Severino coming back from Tommy John surgery, James Paxton coming back from back surgery, Aaron Boone from a fractured rib and Gary Sanchez with back ailments. This year is a lot better at this point.

Luis Severino is not expected to come back to the team earlier than expected, Luke Vioits foot problem seems to be in the rear view mirror and Gio Urshela bone spur surgically removed will reportedly be ready for opening day. Urshela had bone spir problem late last season but thought it was under control. But after it flarled back up in Columbia in the offseason the surgery was delayed until December by the coronavirus.

Urshela is now at the spring training complex in Tampa Florida and reports are that he is doing well. Although that being the case the Yankees will take it easy with Urshela and may not play him in some of the first Yankee exhibition games, but he will be ready for opening day at Yankee Stadium.

“He’s doing well,” Boone said of Urshela. He’s getting real close. I think you guys saw him throwing across the diamond today. He’s been doing that about a week now. I think backed up a little bit so the throws got a little bit longer. He’s doing really well. Feel like he’s close. Whether we start him in the early games here in spring remains to be seen.”

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow him on Twitter @parleewilliam.