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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/23/21

Wilson leaves with shoulder injury; Andújar out for Opening Day; Higashioka is healthy; Why the Yankees need both García and Germán

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

New York Post | Greg Joyce: Injuries aren’t good at any time, but particularly not right at the end of spring training. Southpaw reliever Justin Wilson left Monday’s game with left shoulder tightness, and is set for an MRI exam Tuesday morning. Wilson’s fastball velocity was slightly down, but that can vary game-to-game in spring training under normal circumstances. Boone said Wilson “had a hard time getting loose” and that “there’s a chance it might not be that big a deal.” Given that the Yankees are already missing Zack Britton, losing another high-leverage reliever could be a substantial challenge to overcome.

SNY | Scott Thompson: Opening Day is just nine days away, but it will be a longer wait for Miguel Andújar’s season debut. Andújar is dealing with a “nerve issue” in his right hand and wrist, and Aaron Boone confirmed that he will not be on the Opening Day roster. Andújar fielded grounders today, but did not throw or hit. This marks the third straight season marred by injury for Andújar, an unfortunate development for the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Andújar and Wilson may be battling injuries, but the Yankees dodged another injury bullet – Kyle Higashioka is OK after dealing with a sore side. He took a few days off “as a precaution,” especially after suffering an oblique strain last season. Higashioka will see time as the Yankees’ backup catcher, but will not open the season as Gerrit Cole’s personal backstop, a role he took over late last season and into the playoffs.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Although the Yankees may have to choose between Deivi García and Domingo Germán for their fifth starter’s spot, the team will need them both over the course of the season. Boone had previously suggested the team will be “creative” with its rotation structure. The key will be making sure that both of these players are starting roughly every fifth day, at some level. Depth will pay dividends, especially with the questions facing Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon.