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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/15/19

Still no timetable for Aaron Hicks; Good Guy Beltran tells James Paxton about pitch tipping problem; Luke Voit speaks his mind about Yankees’ current play; Yankees unable to hold leads

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Dan Martin: Boy, do the Yankees miss Aaron Hicks. The injured center fielder has reportedly been doing tee-and-toss hitting for two days, a small step towards returning to the field. While any form of progress is a welcome sight, there still seems to be no set timeframe for Hicks’ return, which is a major bummer. According to Aaron Boone, the plan is for Hicks to hit on a field sometime this week after which the Yankees will consider inserting him in rehab games. We can only hope it all goes swimmingly.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: I thought James Paxton’s poor start against the Astros was a result of poor fastball location. Turns out there was a more fundamental problem: pitch tipping. Reportedly, erstwhile Yankee Carlos Beltran approached Paxton after the game with video, showing him how Astros hitters were clearly anticipating Paxton’s offerings. According to the big lefty himself, the problem was his curveball grip, which the Astros’ baserunners could see from second base. Kudos to Beltran for letting Paxton know after the game, but rude of him to not warn him beforehand. And REALLY rude of him not to tell me before I wrote my Paxton piece.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees’ sluggish play has left many fans (including the present author) frustrated with the team. If it’s any consolation, the players feel it too. Asked about the general atmosphere in the clubhouse after the Bombers’ 5-2 loss against the White Sox yesterday, Voit, clearly a master at the art of understatement, replied, “I would say a little frustrated.” Voit went on to say that the Yankees need to get out of their own heads and go back to doing their thing. Credit to him to telling it like it is. Now let’s see if he can go on a 2018-esque tear and raise his wRC+ from its current humdrum 113 mark.

Depressing Stat of the Day

It’s easy to blame the inconsistent bullpen for this stat, but there’s really no one cause; lack of timely hitting, shaky starting pitching, subpar defense, and questionable in-game managing have all contributed to the Yankees’ inability to hold leads. Let’s hope they can pull their stuff together and tread water until their All-Star team-worthy injured list begins to empty.