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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/14/21

Luis Severino looking sharp in rehab; Corey Kluber on shaky outing; Luke Voit considers the shift; A-Rod & J.Lo still together after all

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2021 New York Yankees Photo Day Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Last week, Luis Severino threw off the mound for the first time since his Tommy John surgery, and he made an impression on Mike Harkey. The Yankees’ bullpen coach noted that he seemed “comfortable” and “aggressive,” and that he’d never seen a pitcher look so comfortable on the mound so soon after undergoing the procedure. Whenever Severino returns, Harkey feels that he will be truly healthy and prepared.

ESPN: Corey Kluber wasn’t at his best during Saturday afternoon’s win over the Pirates, allowing a homer and plunking two batters while also uncorking a wild pitch during a shaky four-inning effort. In the postgame, Kluber admitted that he still has some “fine-tuning” to do to get his repertoire into regular season form, though he feels like he is in good physical shape. For his part, DJ LeMahieu thinks that Kluber looks like himself and is getting close, as the ball’s “moving all over the place” on his pitches.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: MLB is considering changes to the game that might involve banning the more exaggerated infield shifts, as the Double-A rules this year dictate that teams must “have a minimum of four players on the infield, each of whom must have both feet completely in front of the outer boundary of the infield dirt.” Luke Voit doesn’t think that the shift needs to be banned in the pros, instead saying that players just have to adapt to not let the shift beat them.

USA Today | Charles Trepany & Cydney Henderson: Lastly, rumors of the complete demise of Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s relationship may have been exaggerated. I know you were all worried. The couple put out a statement on Saturday denying Friday’s report that they broke up, saying, “All the reports are inaccurate. We are working through some things.”

To that statement, I can only say this: Who among us is not working through some things in the year 2021?