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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/10/18

Judge’s lingering pain blurs timetable; Sonny Gray to start against Twins; Dellin Betances can’t stop bleeding; Didi gradually working way back into lineup; Torres on a tear again; Yanks’ Wild Card lead shrinks to three, but did they just tip who will start that winner-take-all game?

Aaron Judge still feels pain in his broken wrist as he continues his rehab.
Aaron Judge still feels pain in his broken wrist as he continues his rehab.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: Aaron Judge’s report of lingering pain might blur the timetable for his return. Amid excitement that he could soon resume taking on-field batting practice, Judge offered a sobering but hopeful status following Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Mariners.

The pain is not gone. It’s still broken. I knew I was going to be back in some meaningful games here down the stretch. I’m just excited to get closer. I’m getting one step closer every day to that moment and getting back on the field. I’m just looking forward to that. — Aaron Judge

Newsday | Erik Boland: Sonny Gray will start against the Twins in Minnesota on Tuesday. The spot start is designed to give the other members of the rotation some extra time off, as the club prepares for the playoffs.

We just felt like it kind of buys everybody a little bit of rest. It’s a chance to get everybody just an extra day or two here or there that will hopefully show its effects at the end of the season and on into the postseason. — Aaron Boone | Brendan Kuty: Kuty explains why Dellin Betances can’t stop bleeding, while George A. King III of the New York Post points out that this is yet another injury that the Yankees have to worry about.

Newsday | Erik Boland: Didi Gregorius is gradually working his way back into the Yankees lineup. He started against the Mariners on Saturday night but wasn’t expected to play the full game. Didi then got one at-bat as a pinch hitter during the series finale on Sunday.

Any time you have a player the caliber of Didi, it’s hard to keep him out of there. We obviously missed him while he was gone and are excited to get him back, but we also want to be smart about how we bring him back and get him up to full speed. — Aaron Boone

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Gleyber Torres is on a tear again after enduring a rookie slump and fighting through it. In the 18 games after coming off the DL, Torres hit .152 with 20 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. Since Boone sat him for a game to give him a break, the Rookie of the Year Award candidate is hitting .351 with five homers and 16 RBI over 21 games. Torres went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Mariners, and was 1-for-4 on Sunday.

New York Post | George A. King III: Following a 3-3 West Coast swing, the Yankees saw their lead for the top Wild Card berth shrink to just three games. They do maintain a hefty 10-game lead over the Mariners to clinch a postseason berth, and their magic number stands at 10 with only 19 games left to play. Meanwhile, Kuty wonders if the Yankees just tipped their hand as to who will start the Wild Card Game.