NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: After the Yankees’ 4-1 win over the Blue Jays last night behind a dominant Corey Kluber, the team provided an update on skipper Aaron Boone. His surgery to install a pacemaker “went as expected” and as planned, he will rest at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa overnight. Bench coach Carlos Mendoza took over as interim manager on Wednesday and will continue to do so as Boone recovers. Assuming all goes well, he will return to his post in a few days.
FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: The creator of ZiPS listed Gary Sánchez as one of his top breakout candidates for 2021. Szymborski is well-aware that Sánchez has already experienced a traditional breakout season, so consider this more of Gary properly re-introducing himself to the American League. As Szymborski notes, “no hitter in the majors is a .159 BABIP ‘true talent’ hitter,” and he avoided swinging at most bad pitches in 2020, so a rebound should be in store. Even Gary’s 40th-percentile projection suggests that he’ll hit 28 homers with league-average production.
New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Miguel Andújar has found himself in a very awkward position. He likely needs regular playing time to get his groove back, but given the crowded state of the Yankees’ roster, he faces serious road blocks to everyday play and even a bench spot. For now, Andújar is simply trying to focus on himself and improving both his versatility in the field and his bat enough to make it hard for the Yankees to demote him. For what it’s worth, Mendoza says that the team has not forgotten about him and is trying to keep him fresh for when he’s called into duty.
WFAN | Ryan Chichester: You know those famous Westminster chimes that play at Yankee Stadium after the Yankees score? According to CC Sabathia on the latest “R2C2” podcast, the team almost discontinued the tradition after moving to the new stadium in 2009. During the Yankees’ two exhibition games against the Cubs just before the start of the season, Yankee Stadium only played the chimes on homers, not regular runs. However, Sabathia insisted that they should keep the chimes for all scoring, as he admitted that they got into his head whenever he visited New York during his time in Cleveland. I love this tradition, so I’m glad that CC kept it alive.
MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: Don’t expect any last-minute changes to add a universal DH or expanded playoffs before Opening Day. There’s always an outside chance, but the sense among insiders is that there will not be similar desperation to change the rules just before baseball begins in 2021. The circumstances have changed and these are currently characterized as “dead issues” until the next CBA negotiation.
Twitter | Lindsey Adler (The Athletic): Lindsey passed along some news that she heard about the upcoming minor league season, taxi squads, and the alternate sites. It’s sure to be complicated, as there might be a transition from the alternate sites in April to a more normal MiLB season from May onward, but so much is still unclear. These tweets at least shed a little more light on the situation:
Expected minor league roster sizes by affiliate level:— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) March 4, 2021
Expanded sizes aim to decrease player travel.
Expected that clubs will be allowed to hold exhibition games at alternate sites in April, against other clubs' alternate sites. They can schedule these on their own. Likely to be against teams within driving distance/with players driving themselves, etc. MLB handles umpiring.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) March 4, 2021
Taxi squad is expected to be five players (expanded from three in 2020). One has to be a catcher. At the end of a road trip, taxi squad players will have to return to alt site — except the catcher, who can be a bullpen catcher for home games (!).— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) March 4, 2021