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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/22/21

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Jameson Taillon cleared for heavier workload; Gio Urshela day-to-day; Neil Walker retires; CC Sabathia to appear on MLB Network

Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

WFAN | Ryan Chichester: The Yankees have handled Jameson Taillon with kid gloves so far this season – he’s yet to go deeper than five innings or throw more than 100 pitches in a start – but that appears to be changing. Aaron Boone says that Taillon is now stretched out to go 90-100 pitches, which is good news for a Yankees bullpen that has been overworked this season. Taillon’s start vs. Atlanta on Tuesday was also his best, and he commented on the effectiveness of his fastball and curveball after the start.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: Gio Urshela earned a bump up the batting order into the cleanup slot, a night after he smoked a home run to straightaway center. In a concerning development, he didn’t last a game in his new spot, exiting the game after seven innings with lower-back tightness. He’s currently day-to-day. The last thing the Yankees need is one of their few position players performing well hitting the shelf.

Also of note, the Yankees announced on Twitter that they had optioned right-hander Brooks Kriske to the alternate site following his brief appearance on Wednesday.

New York Post | Ted Holmlund: Just two days after Jay Bruce announced his retirement from the Yankees, another former Yankee hung up his spikes. Infielder Neil Walker, a member of the 2018 Yankees, officially retired from baseball on Tuesday after last playing in 2020 with the Phillies. Walker was a career .267 hitter who had some well-rounded seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before coming to New York first as a Met, and eventually a Yankee. Always regarded as a good teammate, Walker’s Yankees tenure wasn’t long, but it’s still strange to hear so many early-season retirements for brief Yankees.

WFAN | John Healy: If you are outside the New York market and get MLB Network, then tune in on Sunday to hear a different kind of broadcast for the Yankees-Cleveland game. MLB Network usually does game broadcasts under its “Showcase” moniker, but Sunday’s game will feature a special guest, CC Sabathia, who pitched for both organizations and is making his MLB Network debut. The “broadcast” will actually be more of a conversation between Stephen Nelson, Carlos Peña, John Smoltz and Sabathia, not dissimilar to the station’s familiar “MLB Tonight” formula. It’ll be worth checking out, especially to hear Sabathia’s take on the current Yankees.