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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/20/21

Mysterious light delays Yankees-Red Sox; Severino hits rehab milestone; Voit’s injuries may impede his ability to contribute to the lineup; Former Yanks Frazier and Robertson excited to compete for Team USA

WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier - Super Round Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Sporting News | Jordan Heck: Sunday night’s game between the Red Sox and Yankees was briefly delayed in the 7th inning after Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez alerted the home plate umpire to a flash of red light in the center field stands that was hindering his line of sight. Some fans, and even the broadcast, posed the possibility that the light was part of a ill-intentioned scheme, such as sign-stealing. It’s also possible that the light was merely a reflection of a phone screen, or someone’s watch. Both the Yankees and Red Sox appeared to be puzzled by the flashing light, which eventually went away.

Sports Illustrated | Gary Phillips: Luis Severino can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that is Tommy John surgery rehab. The Yankees’ right-hander reached a milestone in his rehab process on Sunday when he faced live hitters on the mound at Yankee Stadium. Severino threw 30 pitches and manager Aaron Boone said Severino’s pitches looked “crisp. After suffering a setback (groin strain) in his recovery during a rehab start with the Hudson Valley Renegades last month, Severino’s facing live hitters is a positive development. Per Boone, he will throw another simulated game in the next week or so.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: This mid-season evaluation of the Yankees focuses on the uncertainty surrounding Luke Voit and whether or not the Yankees can rely on him to be a regular contributor in the lineup. After tearing the medial meniscus in his left knee, he didn’t return until May 11 and played just 12 games before straining his oblique. Now, he’s gone on the IL again with a bone bruise on his left knee. That said, Voit ought to be able to anchor the lineup if he can manage to remain healthy for longer stretches of the season. Jaffe cites Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Kris Bryant as trade targets who match the Yankees’ needs right now.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: MLB veterans David Robertson and Todd Frazier played together with the White Sox, then the two were teammates with the Yankees in New York. Now they have a chance to reunite on Team USA when the Olympics begin in Tokyo next week. Robertson and Frazier are both hoping to use the momentum from participating in the competition as a chance to return to the major leagues. Robertson, Frazier and fellow players on Team USA start their Olympic gambit in a game against Israel on July 30.

Lastly, this has already been noted on Pinstripe Alley’s draft pick tracker, but if you missed the update, first-rounder Trey Sweeney signed his deal: