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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/18/21

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Scouts weigh in on trading Gleyber; MLB plans to launch a streaming service; Owners agree to provide housing to “certain” minor league players; Instagram helped Boston notice Garrett Whitlock’s pitching talent

Wild Card Round - New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images

SNY | Anthony McCarron: Scouts weigh in and give their take on whether the Yankees should move on from Gleyber Torres, or continue investing in his development as a second baseman. On one hand, Torres is still young at 25 years old. On the other hand, some of the numbers underlying his hitting struggles, such as a steadily-decreasing exit velocity and launch angle, suggest his growth at the plate is inexplicably stunted.

NY Post | Josh Kosman: MLB has announced its plan to launch a new streaming service that will allow fans to watch their team’s home games without a cable subscription. The price is expected to vary based on the subscriber’s location. It is welcome news for millions of passionate baseball fans for whom it is impossible to watch games. The web-based service could launch “as early as 2023,” so while this is good news, it is not happening anytime soon. The change will ideally address MLB’s antiquated policies that prevent fans in a number of markets from viewing games. In many places across America, fans cannot watch their home team play with Sling, Hulu+, YouTubeTV, or even an MLB subscription.

ESPN | Jeff Passan: Starting in the 2022 season, MLB will reportedly require all 30 teams to provide housing for their minor league players. The move is at once a game-changing positive development and long overdue. In recent years, advocates and social media have drawn attention to the inhumane living conditions and poor quality of life that minor leaguers endure. Facing mounting pressure to improve the way they treat minor league players within their organizations, owners appear to have finally relented and will do the right thing.

The details of MLB’s plan are still being finalized, and MLB’s statement only mentioned “providing housing to certain Minor League players,” so much remains in the air, though Passan said that at least six teams are planning on housing for each of their four full-season affiliates. It’s also unclear whether teams will pay players housing stipends, or provide the lodging accommodations directly.

New York Times | Gary Phillips: So far this season (and postseason), Garrett Whitlock has been a tremendously effective reliever for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox picked up Whitlock from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft last December, and before this year, Whitlock hadn’t pitched above Double-A. Moreover, Whitlock spent the cancelled 2020 minor-league season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. However, thanks to power of social media, Boston’s pitching coach took notice of Whitlock’s recovery, as the right-hander used Instagram to document his workouts and bullpen sessions (during which he wore Yankees apparel). Whitlock’s poise on the mound in high-leverage games begs the question: Why did the Yankees let him go?