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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/15/21

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Luis Severino returning to New York — not to pitch, but to receive an MRI; an injury report from the manager; Zack Britton demotes himself from closer’s role; Sal Romano is back!

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: After he was scratched from his rehab start with the Scranton Railriders on Friday night, the Yankees announced yesterday that starter Luis Severino has tightness in his throwing shoulder and will have an MRI in New York on Monday. Although the Yankees express hope that the tests will reveal that this setback is “something minor,” it is nonetheless frustrating both for the team, who currently have five starting pitchers on the IL, and for Severino, who has missed almost all of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons and who may have been ready to return to the Bronx.

In good news, both Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery threw bullpen sessions Friday and will likely be activated from the COVID IL sometime this week.

Yahoo! Sports | Garrett Stepien: Here’s something that we’ve seen a lot of over the last few years: injury updates! Aaron Boone provided a lot of updates yesterday. While there’s unfortunately too many to recap here, a few highlights:

  • Corey Kluber will make another rehab start on Tuesday for Triple-A Scranton
  • Aroldis Chapman did a long toss on Saturday but is not scheduled to throw in the bullpen yet
  • Gary Sánchez and Domingo Germán are working out in Somerset with the Double-A team
  • Anthony Rizzo could return to the team once he gets the necessary negative tests
  • The team is still taking it very cautious with Clint Frazier, and there is no timetable for him to return to the big league club

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: With Aroldis Chapman on the injured list, two-time All-Star Zack Britton has stepped into the closer’s role. In limited action this year, however, he has been absolutely terrible, posting a 6.32 ERA and 1.00 K/BB. After his most recent blow-up — surrendering a walk-off two-run home run in the Field of Dreams game — the veteran lefty approached Boone and requested that he no longer receive save opportunities for the time being, telling reporters, “I told him that I don’t deserve to be out there in the ninth inning, and other guys deserve it.” Later, Boone told reporters that the ninth inning will be handled on a day-by-day basis until Chapman returns, saying that while Britton is still “going to play a huge role ... down the stretch here, we’ve got to get him back to that point all the way.”

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: The Yankees signed reliever Sal Romano to a minor league contract less than three weeks after he was designated for assignment by the club to make room for Andrew Heaney. Romano, who had been claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers, only made one appearance with his new ballclub before entering DFA limbo again; after going unclaimed, he opted for free agency before returning to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.