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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/23/18

Jacoby Ellsbury thinks he will play baseball this year; Masahiro Tanaka’s rehab is progressing; Several minor leaguers released yesterday.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Tanaka and Severino’s reaction to Ellsbury saying he’ll play baseball this year.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Jacoby Ellsbury spoke with reporters in Tampa yesterday. The Yankees outfielder has suffered from a multitude of injuries since spring training, the latest of which being an issue with the sacroiliac joint in his lower back. Though he has yet to resume baseball activities, Ellsbury mentioned that he has been doing exercises and getting treatment. He is hopeful that he will play baseball in 2018.

New York Post | Dan Martin: There has been plenty of talk that the Yankees are too reliant on home runs, but don’t bring that up to Aaron Boone. The Yankees manager is annoyed by the argument that the offense is home run or bust. “If a great pitcher shuts us down, it’s because a great pitcher shuts us down. He can shut down a team that doesn’t hit home runs, too.” After last night’s game, the Yankees are now 7-7 in games where they haven’t hit a home run.

YES Network | Lou DiPietro: The Yankees released a couple of minor leaguers yesterday — RHP Chad Martin, outfielder Timmy Robinson, and first baseman Matt Snyder. Robinson was drafted in 2016 out of USC, and hit .240 during his time in the system. Snyder, 28, has been hanging around since he was drafted in 2012, but hasn’t had much luck due to injuries. Martin had a 0.84 ERA over 21 and one-third innings in Charleston this season. | Brendan Kuty: Good news: Masahiro Tanaka’s rehab is progressing smoothly. He ramped up his throwing program to long toss, and the Yankees expect him to throw a bullpen session off the mound on Sunday. If that goes well, he could be in a sim game next week. It sounds like he is on track to join the team before the All-Star break.