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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/18/21

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Stanton hits the IL while Britton suffers slight setback; Who the Yankees can trade for; A strikeout investigation

MLB: New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: You’ve heard by now, but we wouldn’t be doing our job without reporting that Giancarlo Stanton was moved to the IL with a quad strain yesterday. This obviously opens up a huge hole in an offense that has been underpowered to start the season, and shifts more pressure to DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit and Aaron Judge at the top of the lineup. If there’s one saving grace, it’s that the team expects this to be a short IL stint, targeting May 25th as a return to play.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Even if Stanton is back in a week, Aaron Hicks probably won’t be, and who knows what misfortunate will fall the rest of the lineup. In that spirit, it may be time for the Yankees to look for outside outfield help, although that search is complicated by the dedication to remaining below the $210 million CBT threshold. There are a few players that could be help the team without significant financial hit, but the corresponding prospect cost is proportionally greater.

New York Post | Dan Martin: In other Yankees injury news, Zack Britton unfortunately suffered a slight setback in his recovery from elbow surgery. He experienced soreness after his simulated game in Scranton on Saturday and will now have his rehab stint in Somerset delayed. Britton had been set to appear for the Patriots on Wednesday. Ideally, it’s just pushed back a few days.

FanGraphs | Carmen Ciardiello: Why are there so many strikeouts these days? The defining question of the early goings of the season is re-examined through the context of the two-strike count. One of the common narratives around two strikes is that hitters go all-out on every pitch, but their contact and swing patterns don’t necessarily reflect that.

The Athletic | Lindsey Adler via Twitter: The Yankees announced that Albert Abreu, who threw three shutout innings during last night’s loss, was demoted to Triple-A Scranton. He had been recalled earlier that same day when Stanton went on the IL, but the Yankees had an unusual 14-man pitching staff for Monday. Since Rougned Odor is eligible to return from the IL today, the odds are good that the infielder will be activated to fill Abreu’s spot.