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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/15/20

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Cody Bellinger takes the Yankees’ side; J.A. Happ fixes his mechanics; Cashman and Boone weigh in on the Astros

MLB: NLDS-Workouts Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports | Mike Rosenstein: Cody Bellinger may not be a Yankee, but he’s taking the Yankees’ side against the Houston Astros. Bellinger said that Jose Altuve stole the 2017 MVP award from Judge, and did not believe Altuve’s story that he didn’t know what pitch was coming from Aroldis Chapman in 2019. If Bellinger’s opinions match those around the league, the Astros might be in for a long year.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Although it might be surprising he’s still with the Yankees, J.A. Happ is ready to turn his Yankees’ fortunes around. Happ spent the offseason working on his breaking balls and mechanics in an effort to lower his home run rate back to normal. After finishing the season strong and with James Paxton’s injury keeping him out for the next few months, Happ will play a larger role in the Yankees’ rotation than expected.

SNY | Coby Green: Brian Cashman spoke to the media at the opening of spring training, and unsurprisingly, most of the questions centered around the Houston Astros. Cashman was adamant that the Astros’ cheating negatively impacted the Yankees (despite what Houston will have you believe). Other than that, he didn’t condemn the Astros, and even offered a good review of the Carlos Beltran that “he knew,” saying that he didn’t do anything wrong with the Yankees last season as a special advisor.

SNY also posted the top comments from Aaron Boone’s opening presser, including his thoughts on Deivi Garcia, here.