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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/26/18

Torres scratched with hip tightness; home field advantage doesn’t exist in the Wild Card Game; Andujar and Torres are ready for October; Hicks is an underrated star; no one is rooting for the Yankees

MLB: New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Dan Martin: Gleyber Torres was scratched from the lineup Tuesday with tightness in his “hip, groin area.” Aaron Boone was already planning on giving Torres a day off from the turf at the Trop during the series in Tampa, but with the injury that sidelined the rookie for three weeks in July resurfacing, he decided Tuesday was the night to do it. On a positive note, Torres says he felt good enough to play and was an option off the bench Tuesday night. Hopefully this is strictly precautionary and he won’t miss any time during the remainder of the season. Also, the Trop is the worst.

MLB | David Adler: Don’t worry about protecting that lead, Yankees. Apparently, home field advantage in the Wild Card Game doesn’t exist. In the Wild Card Games played since 2012, the away team has won 7 of 12. The Yankees have seen both outcomes, beating the Twins at home in last year’s Wild Card Game and losing to the Astros at home in 2015. But, based on their undefeated playoff record at home last year, the Yankees should still definitely protect that lead.

ESPN | Coley Harvey: Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar have been invaluable for the Yankees this season. Aaron Boone doesn’t see that slowing down at all in October. Torres says it all comes back to Didi Gregorius’ advice to him on his first day in the majors: “Play your game. Never change.” Both rookies have stayed true to that mantra and proved they’re ready for the big moments. In late-and-close game situations, Torres is batting .313 with a .864 OPS while Andujar is batting .284 with a .792 OPS. Never change, you two.

FiveThirtyEight | Travis Sawchik: Aaron Hicks is an underrated star. The Yankees’ center fielder blends an incredible arm with some of the best plate discipline in the league. Over his last 600 plate appearances going back to 2017, Hicks ranks 11th in baseball in WAR for position players. Luckily, it seems as though Hicks’ recent hamstring tightness is only a minor concern. It’s clear that the Yankees will want him in the lineup come October.

New York Post | Mike Vaccaro: Once again, it’s easy for the rest of the baseball world to hate the Yankees. The Bombers beat the Rays on Monday night, so the A’s clinched the second American League Wild Card spot. Oakland started the season with a $66 million payroll, the lowest in baseball. That makes them an easy team to root for in a one-game playoff on a national stage. This is not unfamiliar territory for the Yankees. In other words, whatta-ya-gonna-do?