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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/9/20

Tanaka’s strong spring rolls on; Sanchez not expected to play until Friday; Prospects impress in Grapefruit League games

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Newsday | Erik Boland: One of the cliches of spring training is to say a player appears in midseason form. For Masahiro Tanaka, he looks in postseason form. The right-hander logged 3.2 scoreless innings on Sunday afternoon, striking out four. Aaron Boone praised the quality of Tanaka’s stuff, namely his new cutter and trademark splitter. The Yankees will need Tanaka to pitch at this level to absorb the blow of Luis Severino and James Paxton, so this certainly feels encouraging.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Did you hear that? That was the sound of me slamming my laptop closed in frustration as more injury news leaks out of the Yankees’ clubhouse. Gary Sanchez, who has been nursing a sore back apparently all spring, won’t appear in a game until Friday at the earliest. The catcher downplayed the seriousness of it, but given the club’s track record with handling injuries, it’s tough to give them the benefit of the doubt these days. | Randy Miller: For my money, the best part of spring training involves watching prospects perform on TV. Boone told Miller that the efforts of Brandon Lockridge and Anthony Volpe impressed him. He also cited Everson Pereira, Oswald Peraza, and Ezequiel Duran as standouts. Let me tell you, after covering all these players in the Baby Bomber Recaps, it’s exciting to see them have success.