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

Yankees fans get their first shot at Houston, post-banging scheme; Team explains Jasson Dominguez’s lack of an assignment; Estevan Florial not yet to Triple-A; Luke Voit starts his rehab with Scranton; Odor heads for MRI

Houston Astros v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Yahoo Sports | Jack Baer: If you haven’t heard, the Astros are in town. In the first meeting between the Yankees and Houston since the latter’s banging scheme was exposed, the Astros were treated to raucous boos from the Bronx faithful. Some fans got creative with taunting signs, a few trash can props were confiscated, and jeers rained down particularly hard on Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve. For one night at least, some found catharsis in berating the one team in the league fans now love to hate as much or more than the Yankees themselves.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Yankees senior director of player development Kevin Reese commented on why top prospect Jasson Dominguez wouldn’t start the MiLB season on a minor league roster. The team wants the 18-year-old prospect to get some more reps in at extended spring training, given that he’s had essentially zero pro reps in his life and lost out on a minor league season in 2020. With further development under the watchful eyes of team brass, Dominguez may still debut with Low-A Tampa later this year. | Randy Miller: Another Yankees’ outfield prospect, Estevan Florial, was also the subject of the some debate when it came to tender minor league assignments. Some in the organization wanted the 23-year-old former top prospect elevated to Triple-A, though Florial ultimately ended up with Double-A Somerset (where he homered in his first at-bat). Florial still flashes top tools, but has long had too much swing and miss in his game, and injuries have hampered his chances to improve on that weakness.

New York Daily News| Kristie Ackert: Luke Voit’s return is accelerating, with the first baseman having commenced a rehab assignment at Triple-A Scranton. Voit was initially slated to rehab with Double-A Somerset, but ultimately ended up with SWB. There might not be much to read into there, though it’s plausible that sending Voit a long ride away from NYC indicates the Yankees are content to take their time with this rehab run. Somerset writer Mike Ashmore also noted that Triple-A players are under identical COVID protocols as MLB, unlike the rest of the minors. In any event, Voit’s bat should be back in the lineup sooner rather than later, likely sometime next week.

And in worse injury news, the Yankees announced on Twitter last night that Rougned Odor suffered a left knee injury after colliding with catcher Martin Maldonado. Odor was slated to undergo an MRI and testing at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.