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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/14/19

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Yankees can still field a World Series rotation; Loaisiga as the team’s secret weapon; Torre defends umpire’s decision to eject Gardner; Kay to return to YES booth soon

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

ESPN | David Schoenfield: If the 2019 Yankees have a glaring weakness, it would have to be the rotation. The team has met expectations or over-performed in every category except for starting pitching. Prior to Tuesday night’s game, the staff had posted a 101 ERA-, a slightly below-average mark. Among 30 teams, that ranks 17th. A middling rotation shouldn’t dash World Series aspirations, however, as the staff has serious upside. Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and Domingo German all could prove formidable opponents come October.

New York Post | Howie Kussoy: The Yankees picked up pitching reinforcements on Tuesday afternoon by activating Jonathan Loaisiga and promoting Adonis Rosa. Loaisiga, in particular, expects to play a critical role for the team down the stretch. Aaron Boone called the right-hander a “real weapon” and sees him as a multi-inning, high-leverage reliever. Johnny Lasagna has the stuff to thrive in that role. It will be exciting to watch him pitch.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: The saga of Brett Gardner’s mysterious ejection keeps getting weirder. Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer, was in attendance at Yankee Stadium yesterday. He addressed the controversy, taking the side of home-plate umpire Chris Segal. Torre noted that Gardner’s action merited an ejection, even if it was Cameron Maybin who spoke up in the dugout. Okay then.

New York Post | Andrew Marchand: After undergoing vocal chord surgery earlier this summer, doctors have cleared Michael Kay to return to the YES booth. No firm date has been given, but expect it to be soon. Ryan Ruocco has exceeded all expectations filling in for both Kay and John Sterling this summer. So it’s worth welcoming back Kay and applauding Ruocco for all his work.