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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/18/19

Gardy addresses the team after big win over Sox; Gary could be returning quickly from IL; Severino knew about lat pain during initial injury; LeMahieu a strong contender to leadoff more

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Brett Gardner took the time to point out the capabilities of this Yankees team after their 8-0 win over Boston on Tuesday. Then, he hit a grand slam to win Wednesday’s game
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: Brett Gardner is the longest tenured active Yankee, and his impact on the clubhouse is apparent. Leadership and motiving the players is often something fans don’t get to see or hear much about, but this came into play after Tuesday night’s 8-0 victory over the Red Sox. Gardner made a speech to the team emphasizing the level of success they could still reach despite the amount of players out currently. In particular Gardner highlighted the performances of guys like Mike Tauchman, who hit his first career home run, and James Paxton, who got his first big performance as a Yankee.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The injuries remain ever present on this team of course, but there may finally be some reinforcements returning. Gary Sanchez says that he believes he will be fully ready to return to action after his stint on the 10-day injured list this Sunday. Aaron Boone downplayed this return date a little, saying Sanchez will still have to be checked through by the medical staff, but the note of confidence from Sanchez is a rare positive swing in the injury department.

ESPN | Coley Harvey: Not every injury update is encouraging, however. Luis Severino was shut down again, this time with a lat strain. This was weird because it wasn’t the type of injury Severino originally was diagnosed with, but he said that he felt this injury originally back in spring training. The MRI diagnosis then came up with rotator cuff inflammation, but after sidelining him for three weeks and being unable to resume throwing the team gave it a second look. It’s particularly unfortunate that this happened to the team’s ace, but at least the medical staff knows what Severino is dealing with now.

NY Post | Ken Davidoff: DJ LeMahieu has made an instant impression in the Yankees lineup. The multi-faceted infielder played around the diamond before sticking in the second base slot due to injuries, but his bat has remained a constant this season. LeMahieu’s high-contact approach and low amount of strikeouts would make him an ideal candidate to hit leadoff for the team, but so far Boone has preferred to play the matchup in deciding between LeMahieu or Gardner in the top spot.