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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/27/21

Corey Kluber, Luke Voit headed to IL, Stanton to return this week; Clint Frazier could see time in center field; an argument for Kyle Higashioka to be the full-time starter; David Ortiz comes from a family of Yankees fans

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

New York Times | James Wagner: Well, we knew it was coming — after ravaging the rest of Major League Baseball, the injury bug has finally returned to its home in the Bronx with a vengeance. The Yankees officially announced yesterday that both Corey Kluber and Luke Voit were headed to the injured list after an MRI revealed that Kluber, who was pulled out of the game Tuesday night, has a a strained subscapularis muscle in his right shoulder. With four weeks of rest and four weeks of rehab starts likely in his future, Yankees fans should not expect to see him on the mound again until August, so cue the “Corey Kluber and Luis Severino are our trade deadline acquisitions” comments from Brian Cashman. Voit, meanwhile, is dealing with a Grade 2 oblique strain.

In more encouraging news, it seems that Giancarlo Stanton should be back by the end of the week, possibly as early as Saturday. | Pat Ragazzo: Brett Gardner is the only natural center fielder currently on the Yankees roster, so the team has begun looking at players who could potentially man the position to give Gardner a day off. While Tyler Wade has garnered the most attention as an alternative, manager Aaron Boone has mentioned that Clint Frazier will get a day or two out there, for which the young outfielder is “excited.” Could he man the position? Based on the strides he made in the outfield last year, I discussed the possibility back in the winter, but the 2020 Gold Glove finalist has regressed a bit in the first quarter of this season.

Yahoo! Sports | Scott Thompson: Since we’re at the quarter mark of the season, we can finally start making concrete seasons about the early goings of the season. So, naturally, Scott Thompson uses Tuesday night’s game to argue the conclusion that the Yankees should name Kyle Higashioka the starting catcher over Gary Sánchez, as the former provided the Yankees’ offense and the latter went 0-for-4.

Alright, I’m being slightly hyperbolic here, but although the case can be made that Higashioka should play more than Sánchez, Thompson’s argument — that Higashioka is both better behind the plate and at the dish — is flawed, as Higashioka’s offensive took a nosedive once the calendar flipped to May and he began to receive more regular playing time (.258/.378/.710 slash line in April, .147/.237/.294 in May).

Insider | Jackson Thompson: David Ortiz may have terrorized the Yankees for more than a decade, but Yankees fans can take some solace in the fact that he grew up in a family of devoted Yankees fans. In a video on Alex Rodriguez’s YouTube channel, Ortiz discussed the prominence of the Yankees in the Dominican Republic, and even noted that his first piece of baseball memorabilia was a bat signed by Don Mattingly that his father gave him.