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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/15/19

Bryce Harper wasn’t offended by the Yankees’ disinterest; An overlooked Yankees prospect that had a solid camp; Clint Frazier has had a tough spring, but he did pass one test; Dellin Betances throws simulated game.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: On Wednesday night, Bryce Harper, the $330-million man, faced off against the Yankees for the first time in his new Phillies uniform. While at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Harper discussed with Davidoff his free agency and the Yankees’ interest (or lack thereof) of procuring his services on the free market. Harper indicated he wasn’t offended, though he did note that he grew up a Yankees fan. | Brendan Kuty: A few Yankees farmhands have turned heads in camp this spring, but this week, manager Aaron Boone wanted to highlight one he felt had been overlooked: Thairo Estrada. Though Estrada was recently re-assigned to minor-league camp, Boone came away impressed with how Estrada has handled himself this year. Estrada is coming off a nightmare 2018 that was marred by an offseason in which he suffered a gunshot wound. It’s good to see him healthy, and hopefully, he makes good on Boone’s optimism with a positive 2019 campaign.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Clint Frazier has had a rough spring, recording just five hits in 30 at-bats, leaving his odds of making the Opening Day roster looking slim. He’s not discouraged, however, and has even found reason to feel optimistic. Frazier referenced Tuesday night’s game, in which he nearly hit an opposite field home run, and also collided with the left-field fence in an attempt to rob a home run. Frazier felt encouraged that he came away unscathed from his first encounter with the wall this season, after a collision ruined his 2018 campaign.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Dellin Betances’ poor performance last weekend was of concern to some, as the big right-hander’s normally outstanding velocity was missing. Typically popping the mitt in the mid-90’s, Betances sat around 90 mph with his fastball on Sunday. Yesterday, he threw two innings in a simulated game, reportedly throwing 28 pitches, 19 for strikes. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild indicated the backfield session was productive in terms of helping Betances with his mechanics and refining his leg kick to a position he was comfortable with.