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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/9/21

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Cole faces questions as MLB pushes for doctored baseball cutdown; Boone will maintain his demeanor in the dugout; Age the main factor for Volpe being passed for promotion; Injury updates for Voit and Wilson.

New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

NY Post | Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff: MLB is aggressively pursuing an end to the recent controversy of a long-time known fact about the game — pitchers like to use substances to get better grips on the baseball. It’s been around for a long time, and clubs have avoided calling out all but the most egregious examples because they all have pitchers using these methods, but recent advancements and the struggles of hitters to catch up to modern pitching has prompted MLB to finally step in.

This could be a problem for Gerrit Cole, who has been one of the marquee pitchers named as a user of these substances. Cole faced the media for the first time since this most recent round of rumors about his involvement in this problem sprang up, and his press conference was ... awkward, to say the least. Cole struggled to say much of anything, both in terms of what he actually offered as a retort and how difficult it was for him to seemingly get his mind together on the topic.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Aaron Boone has been under a fair bit of fire this season, as the Yankees have gotten out to a poor start and there are questions to be had for a significant portion of the roster. Through all of the mayhem that the first 60 games has brought, Boone has continued to provide a positive outlook into his postgame press conferences and dugout demeanor, and that too has been critiqued. The manager plans to stay the course here, however, opting against panic while noting that things do need to turn around fast.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Two of the Yankees’ top prospects both got a promotion recently, with shortstop Oswald Peraza jumping up from High-A Hudson Valley to Double-A Somerset, while Josh Smith takes Peraza’s former spot moving up from Low-A Tampa. There was another option to fill in Peraza’s place in Hudson Valley, as Anthony Volpe has been tearing things up down in Tampa as well as Smith, but the Yankees opted to allow the 20-year-old Volpe to ease into pro play with a continued stay in Low-A competition for now.

MLB.com: Boone provided the latest round of injury updates for some key Yankees ahead of the team’s series opener against Minnesota. Luke Voit continues to work his way back from a strained oblique and has started swinging a bat — he could also be looking at a rehab assignment as early as next week. That would put him on pace for a return prior to July, which would be notably faster than his initial reported prognosis. Justin Wilson is also rehabbing well with a hamstring strain, and could return this month.