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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/27/18

Aaron Judge fractures wrist, out at least three weeks; Sonny Gray takes comebacker off right thumb, exits game; J.A. Happ joins Yankees rotation; Zach Britton: eight things to know; Gleyber Torres goes from trade chip to All-Star in two years; Yankees dingers lost to history.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is hit by a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 2018.
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is hit by a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 2018.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images | Mandy Bell: Aaron Judge took a Jakob Junis 93-mph fastball off his right wrist during the first inning of New York’s 7-2 victory over the Royals Thursday night. He initially remained in the game, scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s sacrifice fly, and singled in his next at-bat in the third. He was then examined by the team doctor, removed from the game, and subsequently sent to New York-Presbyterian for an MRI. Unfortunately, the news was bad. Judge sustained a chip fracture in his wrist. Although it won’t require surgery, he is expected to miss at least three weeks. | Mandy Bell: Sonny Gray took a comebacker off the thumb on his pitching hand in the fifth inning. The righty remained in the game, pitching to four more batters to complete the frame. He did not return to the mound for the sixth because of the injury, despite having thrown only 75 pitches. Gray is to undergo a precautionary X-ray, but is hopeful to make his next start.

Gray had been cruising along, hurling a two-hit shutout, in what was easily his best outing of the year. It was a fabulous start for Gray, and a great win for the Yankees. It was a really, really bad day as far as injuries, though. Domingo German was removed from his Triple-A start yesterday after a drop in his fastball velocity resulted in a trainer visit to the mound. Hopefully, neither Gray nor German misses a start and Judge returns ASAP. | Deesha Thosar: Coveted southpaw J.A. Happ has joined the Yankees rotation, coming over from division rival Toronto in exchange for Brandon Drury and the club’s number 20 (per MLB pipeline) prospect Billy McKinney. Kirk Meyer of the New York Daily News provides additional analysis, while Jake Nisse of the New York Post reminds us how to pronounce Happ’s first name. J.A. is pronounced jay.

Cut 4 | Jake Mintz: Zach Britton donned the Yankee pinstripes for the first time last night, sporting his familiar number 53. He pitched the eighth inning, recording three quick outs on 10 pitches, while hitting 97 mph with his sinker. Cespedes BBQ tells us eight things we need to know about the elite left-handed reliever.

Cut 4 | Matt Monagan: Shed a tear. The Red Sox took a 5-0 lead on Wednesday night in Baltimore before rain fell hard. The game was cancelled, and the stats erased. Monagan writes about other famous homers lost to history, including blasts by legendary Yankees. Babe Ruth lost at least two career home runs due to weather, while Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris both lost dingers in the same rained-out game — in Baltimore, naturally. Maris hits 62 in ‘61? Ruth finishes his career with a record 716? It could have been.

Cut 4 | Andrew Mearns: Finally, Pinstripe Alley alum Andrew Mearns chronicles the meteoric rise of Gleyber Torres, from trade chip to All-Star in just two years.

This is my first “Around the Empire” since word of the staff cuts at the New York Daily News broke earlier this week. I was deeply saddened to hear that so many people throughout the organization had lost their jobs, with cuts to the sports department being particularly tough to swallow.

I have been a reader of the News for decades. Throughout my life, the paper has always been a great way to follow the Yankees. The beat writers always made me feels closer to the team with their excellent reporting, opinions, and analysis.

Since I began writing for Pinstripe Alley, I have come to appreciate their efforts even more. These writers are not merely a valuable source of information, but also an endless fount of inspiration. I want to thank each one of them for their contributions, and wish them the best of luck as they embark on new adventures.