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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/19/2020

The push for home-field; Yankees begin bubble; top Sox prospect on tap; exploring Clint Frazier’s discipline

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Joel Sherman: The Yankees sit one game back of the Twins for the fourth seed in the AL playoff race entering their series with Boston this week. That seed will host all three games in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, and the Yankees boast the second-best home record in baseball. They also have by far the biggest split in offense in MLB, with a 148 wRC+ at home and 84 on the road. Home-field advantage might mean less with no fans, but it can still mean a whole lot for an offense built for Yankee Stadium.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Yankees have been among the best in baseball at minimizing COVID-19 risk among the team and employees. As they ramp up for the postseason, the team is moving into a hotel for the final home series of the year, creating a pseudo-bubble to lower risk even further. A coronavirus outbreak would threaten the entire playoffs, and the Yankees are taking the steps necessary to try and head that off. | Mike Rosenstein: Part of this weekend series with the Red Sox will be the Yankees’ first look at Tanner Houck, one of Boston’s top pitching prospects. Houck made his MLB debut Tuesday, striking out seven Marlins in five shutout innings.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Clint Frazier has been one of the best stories to come out of 2020, as the talented but often mercurial outfielder has blossomed into one of the best players on the team. Central to his breakout has been a far more disciplined approach at the plate - Frazier, once a free swinger, is now one of the most patient hitters in the game.