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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/21/2020

Torres, Paxton injured; Andujar demoted (for now); Mets postpone Subway Series; a chance to learn

New York Yankees v Washington Nationals
Yeah, he has to play now or something
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Not only did the Yankees get swept at home by the Rays — the first time the team has been swept in the Bronx since 2017 — but they look to be down star shortstop Gleyber Torres, who pulled up limp while running out a ground ball in the fourth inning. Torres was pulled with a tight hamstring, either the fourth or eighty-sixth Yankee to be nursing a bad hamstring in 2020.

ESPN: Torres will have some company in the Yankees’ likely-overworked MRI machine, as lefty James Paxton underwent the same scan to investigate forearm discomfort after he completely fell apart in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s loss. Pitcher injuries are at a historic high in the 2020 season, and Paxton could be the latest victim of that. He was in the middle of his best start of the year before completely falling off a cliff, and any serious injury would cast a long shadow on his upcoming free agency.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Miguel Andújar has struggled mightily in 2020, with the former Rookie of the Year finalist posting a -38 wRC+ across eight games. He was demoted to the Alternate Training Site Wednesday afternoon, but if Gleyber Torres sees IL time, could be recalled. MLB rules allow teams to navigate around the ten-day rule for options if the player is needed to fill an injury, and getting Andy some regular plate appearances in Torres’ absence could be just what he needs.

CBS | R.J. Anderson: Two positive COVID-19 tests have forced the Mets to postpone both Thursday’s game, and Friday’s Subway Series opener against the Yankees. MLB has continually struggled to isolate players in order to keep positive tests from affecting the schedule, and we may be looking at a weekend without Yankee baseball depending on the results of teamwide tests.

Outsports | Cyd Ziegler: We finish with an issue very close to my heart. By now, you’ve all heard about the Thom Brennaman and what he said on a Reds broadcast. The Reds have suspended the broadcaster, and Cyd makes a great case highlighting the need to turn this into a learning opportunity. Homophobia and transphobia are endemic in our culture, and baseball is no exception. If we want to change that, we have to be willing to try and educate the ignorant. Should they go from unknowingly to willfully ignorant, that is, unable to change their behavior, the consequences must be harsher, but for now, let’s see if Thom is willing to come out of this mess a better person.