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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/27/19

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Pitching in Yankee Stadium may make Adam Ottavino even better; Ottavino backtracks on his Babe Ruth comments; the Yankees projected 2019 lineup is scary

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: A couple weeks back, Adam Ottavino exposed an argument he had with a hitting coach and the public took it about as well as you’d expect. His stance was that if Babe Ruth were to play today, he would bat .140 with eight home runs and Ottavino would strike him out every time. Now that Number 0 is officially a Yankee, he had to backtrack a bit, claiming that the quote was taken out of context and that as a baseball historian, he has a lot of respect for the Babe. How dare he (also, if you think Babe Ruth is hitting Ottavino’s slider, how dare you).

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Speaking of Adam Ottavino and things that probably weren’t even considered in 1920, a switch to a home ballpark in a different altitude may do wonders for the star reliever in 2019. Pitching in the Mile High City of Denver, Ottavino’s two-seamer and cutter showed much less movement at home than on road. His famous slider also whipped a little less in his home stadium. As Ottavino puts it:

My slider moved pretty good at Coors and obviously it moved a lot on the road, and I’m kind of used to that. But I’m more excited for the consistency of the movement on my two-seam fastball and on my cutter. I just think it should be a little easier for me to stay consistent that I don’t have to constantly adjust being at sea level.

Coming out of the clouds and into New York should make his arsenal that much more fearsome to the dismay of American League hitters... and Gary Sanchez.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Though we’re in the midst of what appears to be a splash-less offseason for the Yankees, Brian Cashman still made a few moves to help solidify their squad. That being said, the absence of a Manny Machado or Bryce Harper signing, a couple bad 2018 campaigns, some suspect defense, and a big-time injury have put a cloud of doubt over a championship-caliber team. This projected starting lineup and rotation should help put any worrying to bed. The 2019 Yankees are scary.