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

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Deivi shows poise despite missing spots; Giancarlo not bound for outfield play anytime soon; Boone happy with Judge’s spring; Chapman’s splitter drawing praise; Hicks slots into the No. 3 hole

Miami Marlins vs New York Yankees Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

NY Post | Greg Joyce: Deivi García got himself into an immediate jam in his most recent start, but showed an impressive escape act. García was just off on his location to begin, walking the bases loaded in the first inning before working his way out of the jam. The outing was atypical of García’s spring so far — he walked more batters on Friday than in his other three starts combined — but in a way, it was a significant showing. García has to keep the ball rolling to keep pace with Domingo Germán for the fifth starting spot.

MLB.com Bryan Hoch: Despite notions of possible outfield time early in spring training, Giancarlo Stanton has yet to appear in the field. That seems unlikely to change as the Opening Day creeps closer, though Stanton told the media that Aaron Boone’s 2021 plans will probably involve him taking the field at some point late in April or May.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Aaron Judge’s spring has been devoid of any long shots, but that doesn’t worry manager Aaron Boone. The Yankees’ skipper is happy that Judge was able to go through the offseason healthy and get in these reps now, something Judge missed during the first spring training phase from last season. For Boone, the most important thing is that Judge has been able to build himself up and is ready for nine full innings out of the gate.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The loss of Zack Britton for the first few months means that the back end of the bullpen will have less of a safety net. Getting strong performances out of the gate for some key relievers would make that less of a concern, and Aroldis Chapman has been working on a new weapon to get those results. Chapman has been relying more and more on a splitter — and according to scouts who have seen him throw it, it has all of the velocity of a Chapman fastball with some ridiculous break. Chapman has toyed with the pitch previously, but it appears like this could be his calling card in the near future.

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees’ philosophy of old was to have the best hitter in the lineup hit third, but the times are changing. Boone prefers leading off with his top hitters, and then in that third slot he can have Aaron Hicks provide a wealth of advantages. Hicks figures to be entrenched there as a power bat that draws plenty of walks, while also breaking up the handedness in the order.