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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 9/9/19

Gio returns from the IL; How Urshela became a prolific hitter; Encarnacion has been hot since his return; How Happ’s recent success changes his postseason outlook.

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports | Pete Caldera: Good news on the injury front, as Gio Urshela was activated off the IL on Sunday. Urshela had been battling a groin injury that landed him on the 10-day IL, and was available off the bench on Sunday night. Thairo Estrada is also back, returning from his rehab assignment, while Kyle Higashioka and Breyvic Valera were called up now that Scranton’s season has come to an end.

ESPN | Marly Rivera: Speaking of Urshela, his absence was noticeable because of how valuable he’s been to the team this season. But how did he reach that level of production? Rivera looks back on Urshela’s journey to unexpected prominence, from remaking his swing and stance with Triple-A hitting coach Phil Plantier and eventually Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames. It’s been a drastic shift in potential for Urshela, and hopefully it continues in that direction now that he’s back.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Urshela hopes his return from the IL goes like it has for teammate Edwin Encarnacion, who hasn’t missed a beat since coming back from a fractured wrist. The parrot went for a walk on Saturday, and the slugger banged a double later on in the game to continue a hot streak that has been going on since he got back from the IL. With the recovery times of Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton still unclear, Encarnacion will be a big factor for the Yankee offense come October. | Randy Miller: So, it’s been an interesting turn of events for J.A. Happ. Seemingly useless through the first four months of the season, the lefty has settled in and shut down two potent offenses in his last two outings, including 6.1 shutout innings against Boston on Saturday. Does this change his outlook for the postseason? We’ll have to see, but if he pitches like this through the end of the regular season, it will be hard to leave him out of the playoff rotation.