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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/20/18

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Didi bruises heel, could land on DL; Judge could miss six weeks; Sanchez heads to rehab assignment; Romine cleared to play; Stanton planning to play field vs. Miami; ‘98 Yanks have message for Red Sox; Bird takes ‘huge’ next step; Happ remains perfect in pinstripes.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

MLB.com | Joe Trezza: Didi Gregorius injured his heel on a collision at first base during yesterday’s 10-2 victory over the Blue Jays. An initial MRI came back clean, before Gregorius was sent to a local hospital for further testing. Yankees manager Aaron Boone described the bruise as “pretty bad,” and said that it may require a disabled-list stint. If that happens, Boone said Gleyber Torres “would move over and get the bulk of the work at shortstop.”

MLB.com | Joe Trezza: Judge is still not hitting, despite being hopeful that he would have been able to take some dry swings at some point this past weekend. He cited “a little bit of pain” that’s prohibited him from doing so.

”It’s still fractured,” Judge said of his wrist. “It usually takes four to six weeks for that kind of thing to heal, so we’re waiting for that six weeks.”

Trezza does report some good news on the injury front. Gary Sanchez is heading down to Tampa on his rehab assignment. Austin Romine has been cleared to play, and said he could have played yesterday if needed. Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media writes about how the Yankees avoided a catching catastrophe, while Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports that Giancarlo Stanton hopes to play the outfield during the upcoming two-game series in Miami that begins on Tuesday.

Newsday | David Lennon: The ‘98 Yanks have a message for the Red Sox: You must win it all. Jorge Posada said he is rooting against them, but others were happy to deliver some friendly advice to their rivals. Mariano Rivera also reminded us how the Mariners won 116 regular season games three years later, “but they didn’t win a championship, so their season was erased.”

“I don’t even look at 114 wins. I look at 125,” Posada said. “Because at the end of the day if you don’t win it all nobody remembers. You have to be able to finish those 11 (playoff games). Those are the ones I remember most.”

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that Andy Pettitte insists that Luis Severino will be fine, but the ‘98 World Series champs are a reminder of how much better the Yankee rotation needs to be.

“It’s gonna happen. He’s got great stuff. He’s a No. 1,” Pettitte said.

New York Post | Fred Kerber: The Yankees just saw Greg Bird take the ‘huge’ next step. The slumping first baseman homered in back-to-back games this weekend, including a grand slam on Sunday.

“I feel like I was doing a better job of using my legs today. That’s a good thing,” said Bird.

In another piece, Kerber wrote that it took a “strange” day for J.A. Happ to remain perfect as a Yankee. Happ went to 4-0 in four starts on Sunday since coming over from Toronto.