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

Tyler Wade proves his value; Clint deals with neck stiffness; the outfield depth is stretched thin; Kluber gushes about Higgy’s catching; late bloomers lead the league in WAR.

MLB: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Dan Martin: Tyler Wade demonstrated his value and utility as a member of the Yankees bench during Wednesday’s game against the Rangers. Wade entered the game unexpectedly after right fielder Ryan LaMarre pulled his hamstring in the third inning while running to first base. Wade proved to be more than competent manning an outfield position he doesn’t usually play. In addition to scoring both of the Yankees’ runs, Wade made several tough catches to keep Kluber’s no-no alive. Wade will likely get more playing time in the outfield in the coming days, due to several of the team’s starting outfielders being sidelined due to injury.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Clint Frazier has remained on the bench for the last three games as he reportedly deals with stiffness in his neck. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters that Clint Frazier will visit the team’s doctor to have his neck further evaluated once the team returns to New York from their road trip.

NJ Advanced Media | Randy Miller: The injury bug is plaguing the Yankees again and this time it’s in the outfield. Center fielder Aaron Hicks is currently on the IL for an indefinite amount of time, Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with calf issues and Clint Frazier is out of commission with a stiff neck. That leaves Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner as the only full-time outfielders remaining on the active roster (and Gardner as the sole center fielder). Miguel Andújar and Tyler Wade have shown they are both capable of playing out there as well, but neither has played outfield everyday — or even on a consistent basis.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Yankees have talked to the Rangers about Delino DeShields Jr., so perhaps the depth concerns will be dealt with shortly. | Bryan Hoch: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber had extremely flattering things to say about catcher Kyle Higashioka while being interviewed after his no-hitter the other night. Kluber said Higashioka called a great game and “was unreal back there.” For his part, Higashioka admitted he felt extremely nervous in the later innings of the game and said the night was the highlight of his career. As batterymates, the two are now forever linked in Yankees history.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: So far this season, there have been a number of older rookies who are experiencing breakout performances in their late twenties. Oakland outfielder Seth Brown (29), Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia (28) and White Sox designated hitter Yermín Mercedes (28) are among the top performers in the league.