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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/5/20

Schmidt arrives; Boone expects Judge back this season; Kratz gets emotional discussing mentorship of younger players; Yanks still confident in Chapman

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MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic | Lindsey Adler (subscription required): How did the Yankees decide to call up Clarke Schmidt, the Yankees’ top pitching prospect last night in Baltimore? It all started when the team added him to the taxi squad, as Lindsey Adler first reported. With Deivi García already up, this is quite exciting news for a team desperate for energy.

SNY | Alex Smith: After Aaron Judge returned from the injured list, he played only five innings before once again going back on the shelf. The premature return likely extended his recovery schedule by as much as twice the time it took for him to come back in the first place. Nevertheless, Yankees manager Aaron Boone believes he will pencil the right fielder into the lineup before season’s end. “I am confident,” he told reporters, “Based on the injury and based on how he’s tracking now, I am confident that he’ll be back before the postseason.” Here’s hoping Boone’s right, because the Yankees’ offense is dramatically weaker without Judge in it.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Aroldis Chapman experience in 2020 has been even more chaotic than usual. The Yankees’ closer has battled effectiveness and control, resulting in some big home runs. When he does record a save, controversy (and suspensions) ensue. The team has Chapman’s back, though, believing he will come around with more repetitions. The 32-year-old missed the start of the season after testing positive for COVID-19. | Mark Feinsand: Erik Kratz, the 40-year-old journeyman catcher, has become the feel-good story of the year for the Yankees. I’ve discussed his relationship with rookie pitcher Deivi García before, but the backstop opened up about why the mentorship role is so important to him. “Some people forget that they want it just as badly, and there’s people at home that want it just as badly for them,” Kratz said of young, Latinx players. “They’re not around them; they’re not around their family, they’re not around the people there. Being older, hopefully I can be somebody that can step in and help that relationship and not everyone sees it.” This is your reminder that few people in baseball are better than Erik Kratz.