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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/15/19

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Rare good news on Severino and Betances; a deep dive into James Paxton’s up-and-down season; Boone explains why Hicks, Sanchez, Encarnacion all sat yesterday; Trade target Stroman solid in start in the Bronx.

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: After months of setbacks and bad news, Dellin Betances and Luis Severino might finally, at long last, be headed towards returns. Both are scheduled to begin throwing programs this week. That, of course, doesn’t preclude either from running into more setbacks in the coming weeks, and Aaron Boone wouldn’t pencil in timelines for them. Still, this is the best news we’ve heard regarding Betances and Severino in a while.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Boone sat Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, and Edwin Encarnacion yesterday, in just the third game since the All-Star break. The manager offered explanations for the tri-fold absences, which left the lineup a little weak in the rubber match with the Blue Jays. Encarnacion was a little sore after being hit by a pitch this weekend, and both Hicks and Sanchez generally could just use some rest, towards the beginning of a 17-games-in-17-days stretch.

FanGraphs | Jake Mailhot: James Paxton has mostly been effective during his time with the Yankees, but he hasn’t entirely met the expectations that were set when he came over from Seattle. Mailhot digs into Paxton’s 2019 campaign and details some of the finer changes that Paxton’s game has undergone since last year, including an increase in cutter usage and a slight erosion of command.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Miller spoke to Marcus Stroman, the subject of many a trade rumor, after the latter’s start in the Bronx. Stroman downplayed the extent to which his start this weekend was an audition. He was sitting about a tick higher on his fastball than usual when he faced the Yankees, but Stroman attributed the extra velocity to the fact that he gains velocity throughout the year, not because he was trying to impress the Yankees front office. Regardless, it’s good to hear that one of New York’s prime trade targets is feeling strong physically.