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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/12/21

Robinson Chirinos has fractured wrist; Luis Severino’s rehab progresses to throwing off mound; minor leagues prepare for rule changes; Suzyn Waldman calls out Rangers

Luis Severino, the Yankees right-hander warms up his arm at spring training in 2020 Photo by J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday via Getty Images | Randy Miller: Yankees non-roster invitee Robinson Chirinos was diagnosed with a fractured right wrist on Wednesday after getting hit by a 98-mph fastball thrown by Pirates right-hander Blake Cederlind. There is no timeline for the catcher’s return as of yet, and the Yankees will consult hand specialists in the next few days to determine what Chirinos’ next steps will be. The Yankees signed the veteran to a minor-league contract in February, and, while his absence affects the team’s catching depth, the Yankees will be fine so long as Gary Sánchez and Kyle Higashioka stay healthy.

NY Post | Dan Martin: For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Luis Severino threw off the mound in a bullpen session. Severino threw only fastballs, and while it was just a glimpse of the start of his rehab process, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters that he was pleased with how Sevy looked during the Tuesday throwing session.

ESPN | Jeff Passan: On Thursday, Major League Baseball released a list of experimental rule changes that will be tested out at different minor league levels during the 2021 season. The beta-version rules include limiting the number of pickoff moves a pitcher can make, enlarging the size of the bases, banning some forms of defensive shifts, more games governed by an electronic strike zone, and a 15-second pitch clock. The rules will be studied for potential adoption in the major leagues.

NY Daily News | Dennis Young: During the game against the Pirates on Wednesday evening, Yankees radio announcer John Sterling made a remark about the Texas Rangers’ plan to fill Globe Life Stadium to capacity for the team’s home opener. Now that the state of Texas has eschewed all mandated coronavirus-related restrictions, the Rangers will not limit the number of fans who can attend games this season. Sterling’s broadcast partner Suzyn Waldman didn’t hold back in offering her opinion of the decision, which she called “stupid.”

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: The Yankees are known for their strong bullpen, but they will not be able to begin the season with it running on all cylinders. Yankees reliever Zack Britton faces a three-to-four month rehab period after he undergoes surgery to remove bone chips in his left elbow, which means the team needs to make do without Britton until at least July. The Yankees will also begin the season without closer Aroldis Chapman on Opening Day, as Chapman will be out serving a suspension carried over from last year.