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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/24/21

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Yankees’ hitting coach talks about early-season offensive struggles; Cole and Bieber face off again; Taillon to start on Sunday and Deivi García is an option for Monday; Bombers scouting Aníbal Sánchez

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: Before Friday’s game, the Yankees’ offense was among the worst in the league in several categories, including runs (27th), hits (26th), batting average, (28th) and OPS (29th). Yet, hitting coach Marcus Thames believes the team hitters, as a whole, may be trying too hard, so much that they could be forcing things. “I think they’re trying to hit a three-run homer with nobody on base at times,” he said. It’s much easier said than done, though, but the Bombers’ batters should be, according to their coach, swinging at strikes and hunting pitches in their preferred areas of the strike zone. He offered some thoughts about Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, among others.

Newsday | Erik Boland: A rematch of the first game of the 2020 American League Wild Card series will take place today, as Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber will toe the rubber for New York and Cleveland, respectively. They are, quite likely, the two best pitchers in the American League: the former has a 1.82 ERA and a 14.23 K/9, while the latter is running a 2.45 ERA and a 14.73 K/9. That specific game last year resulted in a 12-3 Yankees’ victory. “I wouldn’t mind it unfolding like that again,” Boone said. “We see Gerrit all the time and know how special he is. Bieber is similar. I know there’s going to be two studs on the bump that day, for sure.”

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Boone announced that Jameson Taillon will be starting tomorrow’s finale against Cleveland. He also said he hasn’t decided yet on Monday’s starter, but did explain that Deivi Garcia is an option. He could also go with an opener.

New York Post | Dan Martin: A team can never have enough pitching, especially a contender. That’s why the Yankees were among the multiple teams scouting veteran right-hander Aníbal Sánchez, who won a World Series ring with the Washington Nationals in 2019. The hurler has a great reputation around the bigs as an experienced arm, but wasn’t particularly good last year, with a career-worst 6.62 ERA in 11 starts. According to reports, he sat around 90 miles per hour and touched 92 in an open throwing session.