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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/15/18

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Drury activated, optioned to Triple-A; Bird, McKinney rehab moved to Double-A; Judge has improved vs. breaking balls; Team is reaching its potential

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images | Deesha Thosar: Yesterday, the Yankees announced that they had officially activated Brandon Drury off the disabled list, but assigned him to Triple-A. Drury’s rehab did have hiccups as the Yankees had to move Drury’s rehab down to Double-A Trenton so Drury could be closer to his doctor. Still though, that the team activated him instead of shutting him down must mean good news from the doctor and Drury. It’s also a vote of confidence in Miguel Andujar despite him having cooled off. Jason Cohen will have more on that later. | Sean Miller: In other injury-related good news, CA-CAW! Greg Bird and Billy McKinney are on the move. After starting their rehab assignments together with the Tampa Tarpons in High-A, both are moving up to Double-A Trenton together. Bird said he’s getting used to playing every day again and focused on just playing every day and being productive. McKinney said he’s just focusing on playing and helping the team. | David Adler: Aaron Judge is good at baseball. That’s it. That’s the news. Okay that’s not it, but it’s a big part of it. Judge has followed up his Rookie of the Year season with perhaps an even more impressive one. One big improvement he’s made since last year is that he’s significantly improved against breaking balls. Now he’s one of the league’s best hitters against them. Last year he hit just .205 and slugged .425, but now is hitting .364 and slugging .659 against them. Go Judge!

Washington Post | Dave Sheinin: After falling to 9-9 on the season, the Yankees went on a 19-3 run. They’ve inevitably drawn comparisons to the 1998 team, but Brian Cashman was quick to say it might be too soon for those. He admits this team is good and talented, but until they “finish,” he’s not going to start thinking like that. It’s not just this year, either. Thanks to Cashman, the Yankees are going to be good for a very long time.