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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/6/21

Yankees recall Chris Gittens; Corey Kluber throws at Yankee Stadium; Dermis Garcia shows power for Somerset; MLB to more strictly enforce ban on pitchers’ use of foreign substances

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: Desperate for offensive production at the first base position, the Yankees selected the contract of Chris Gittens and added him to the 40-man roster prior to last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Gittens, a twelfth-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, has posted a .283/.486/.585 slash line in 74 plate appearances. To make room for him on the roster, the Yankees demoted Nick Nelson and transferred Corey Kluber to the 60-day injured list.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: Speaking of Kluber, the injured right-hander has received a green light from doctors to begin a throwing program, having a catch at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon only a week after hitting the injured list. Despite this positive sign, however, don’t expect an expedited timeline: due to Kluber’s recent history of shoulder problems, the team is being cautious, and he remains on track to be out for eight weeks, as evidenced by his move to the 60-day IL. | Ryan Novozinsky: Down on the farm, Yankees’ first base prospect Dermis Garcia has flashed immense power, leading the Double-A Somerset Patriots with nine home runs, the second most in the Northeast League. Whenever he gets the bat on the ball, he’s a threat to drive in runs even with the bases empty. The 23-year-old, however, has continued to struggle with that: so far this season, he has struck out 40 times in 93 at bats, a 43 K%.

ESPN | Buster Olney: In league-wide news, following last week’s owners’ meetings, Major League Baseball has announced that they will be instructing umpires to rigorously enforce the ban on foreign substances for pitchers due to the rising strikeout totals and decline in offense this season. Although the details for enforcement have yet to be finalized, proposals on the table include random checks by umpires, ten-day suspensions for offending players, and issuing warnings to position players who have foreign substances on them which could be used to help the pitcher.