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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/30/17

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Tanaka pitches a gem for what could be his last start as a Yankee; Sanchez will start over Romine because of course he will; Judge has had a remarkable season; Estevan Florial and Chance Adams were honored as the Yankees’ top prospects this season; Bernie Williams talks about his father

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Around the Empire | Bryan Hoch: It has been an odd season for Masahiro Tanaka. We have all been witnesses to the good times and the bad. Yesterday was good. Very good. It was one of the best games he’s pitched all year. Tanaka struck out fifteen batters. That’s a record for him. Three hits, no walks, and fifteen strikeouts. Fifteen. Unless the Yankees make it to the ALDS, that might be the last time Tanaka pitches in pinstripes. If it is the last hurrah, it has been a fun ride. I will miss the J-Pop warm-up music. I will miss “dat splitter.” You know the one. The Yankees should try and get him a ring though. It’d be nice. | Bryan Hoch: In today’s installment of “Why Are We Even Having This Stupid Discussion,” Joe Girardi stated that Gary Sanchez would be the starting catcher for the Wild Card game on Tuesday. The boldest of strategies, I know. That had to be said due to certain beat writers suggesting that Austin Romine should start due to his defense and Gary’s high passed ball rate. I’m not going to get into all the metrics of why that idea is dumb, and boy is it dumb. If you think removing Sanchez’s bat and Sanchez’s arm to play actual Austin Romine is a good strategy, I don’t know what to tell you. I mean, I do know what to tell you, but this is a family website.

ESPN: Aaron Judge is the AL Rookie of the Year. Judge hasn’t officially won the award yet, but it’s coming. MLBN is probably going to try and build suspense with commercials and dressing up Jon Heyman as Locutus of Borg before they award it to him. There’s zero suspense for this one. Click that link. Look at the stats. You’ve seen what he’s done. We all have. Judge is being talked about for the AL MVP more than the AL ROTY award. It’s obvious why. One of those awards requires an actual, fun discussion about who should win it. The other is such a foregone conclusion that any offering to the contrary should be laughed at and mocked for its absurdity. | Michael Leboff: Estevan Florial had an incredible year in the minors. Chance Adams had an incredible year in the minors. Both of them were honored as the Yankees’ top prospects of the season. Florial is one of the reasons the Yankees didn’t seem to have much of a problem parting with Blake Rutherford during the trade season. It’s becoming clearly why. Florial will be headed to the Arizona Fall League. Meanwhile, Chance Adams has been successful at both Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of him next year.

The Player’s Tribune | Bernie Williams: Finally, a touching post from former Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams regarding his father. Bernie is raising awareness for IBF, the terrible disease which sadly took the life of his father. That’s all I want to mention here. The rest you should read yourself. It’s worth it.

Didi Victory Tweet

Oh, the Red Sox lost to the Astros yesterday. There is still a chance for a game 163.