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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/18/19

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Updates on injured players; Austin Romine’s importance with returning pitchers; AL East is a lock but best record in baseball is the real goal; Encarnacion says he’ll be back for September baseball.

New York Yankees v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

New York Times | James Wagner: We couldn’t be happier to the see Luis Severino back on the mound for the Yankees, but there are still several other injured Yankees who could help the team. Giancarlo Stanton should be coming back in a day or two, while timetables for Gary Sanchez and Edwin Encarnacion have not been announced. J.A. Happ recently received a cortisone shot and could join the rotation on Thursday.

New York Post | Kevin Kernan: Many pitchers have returned from injury over the last few days and with Gary Sanchez out with an injury it is up to Austin Romine to get them on track. His role on the team has become pivotal as ace Severino and others look to ramp up before the playoffs. Sanchez could be back before the season ends but until then the Yankees will be hoping for more of Romine’s outstanding offensive performance over the last two months.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: After losing a series to the Toronto Blue Jays this past weekend, the Yankees and Houston Astros are neck and neck. The AL East is a lock but having the best record in MLB should be the main goal. For the remainder of the season the Yankees and Astros have light competition, so it could come down the final game.

New York Post | George A. King III: The Yankees haven’t provided an update on Encarnacion, but the slugger took it into his own hands to relay some news. While attending Sabathia’s PitCChin Foundation, Encarnacion said he feels 80% and more importantly that he should be back before the season ends. The news might be comforting but Encarnacion has yet to start swinging a bat which will really shed some light on his potential return.