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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/28/21

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Luke Voit to open season on the shelf; Jay Bruce makes roster, Robinson Chirinos & Derek Dietrich are released; Yankees optimistic about pitching; Cole speaks about MLB’s crackdown on foreign substances

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

ESPN | Associated Press: In case you missed it, the Yankees will be opening the season without star first baseman Luke Voit, as it was announced yesterday that he will undergo surgery to repair a partially-torn meniscus in his knee. Jay Bruce, whom the Yankees had to add to the roster or risk losing after he executed an opt-out in his contract on Thursday, will open the season as the team’s primary first baseman.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: In addition to announcing Voit’s injury and adding Bruce to the roster, the Yankees made a flurry of other moves. Robinson Chirinos, who began the spring as the team’s third catcher but will be sidelined for a few months with a broken wrist, and Derek Dietrich were granted their release. Additionally, in order to clear space on the 40-man roster for Bruce, Clarke Schmidt was placed to the 60-day injured list.

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Breaking down a few observations from throughout spring training, Hoch notes that the Yankees’ optimism going into this season is fueled by the team’s lineup, which Aaron Judge described as giving “no rest” to opposing pitchers. On top of that, the team’s rotation should be interesting thanks in large part to strong spring performances from Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon, and the bullpen remains deep despite injuries to Zack Britton and Justin Wilson.

Most significantly, none of Kluber, Taillon, and Domingo Germán, a trio that combined for only one inning last season, showed any signs of rust throughout the spring. Other stories include Lucas Luetge’s performance and the friendship between Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Yankees ace Gerrit Cole talked to the media yesterday about MLB’s decision to crack down on pitchers using foreign substances on the mound — or, to be more specific, explicitly refused to. “Probably not a whole lot of good is going to come from diving into that. So, should just leave it alone,” Cole said, adding “I have no thoughts on that,” although he did say that he does not expect it to affect him. Cole, if you do not recall, was implicated in what is allegedly a league-wide market for sticky substances for pitchers, according to a defamation lawsuit by Brian “Bubba” Hawkins against the Los Angeles Angels that was dismissed in January.

Yahoo! Sports | Sam Evers: Over the years, the Yankees have had many players on their Opening Day rosters that you would not associate with the Yankees, and whom you might not remember were in pinstripes. Evers collects eleven of what he considers to be the more memorable ones here, dating back to Kenny Lofton’s stint with the team in 2004 and going through the 2019 season. How many do you think you’ll remember?