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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 8/14/20

Chapman’s return is imminent; Matt Blake thinks Paxton’s velocity will return; a look at life at the alternate site.

New York Yankees Summer Workouts Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Newsday | Erik Boland: The Yankees lost a crucial bullpen piece when Tommy Kahnle went down and needed Tommy John surgery, but they should be getting another pivotal piece back any day now. Aroldis Chapman recently faced live hitters at the team’s alternate site, and according to pitching coach Matt Blake, Chapman is very close to making his 2020 debut, and will slide into the closer’s role when that happens.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: James Paxton was effective in his last start, but the velocity on his fastball was still noticeably lower than normal. But Blake doesn’t think it should be a concern, and that once Paxton gets his arm strength back, he will be touching 99 on the radar gun once again, which would be huge for the Yanks.

Newsday | Anthony Rieber: We’ve been hearing about the alternate site since this strange 2020 season began, but what’s life actually like there in Scranton? Catcher Erik Kratz, who was recently called up to back up Gary Sanchez, details daily life for players who are potentially waiting to be called up while having no minor league games to play.