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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/16/21

Cole back on the mound; injury updates; September schedule looks promising

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: The Yankees’ ace is expected to be activated off the COVID injured list today, with Aaron Boone announcing yesterday that Gerrit Cole will get the start in today’s makeup against the Angels. Cole’s one of the real frontrunners for the AL Cy Young Award, and re-adding him to the rotation is a huge boost to the Yankees’ playoff aspirations. Care might be taken with how deep he’s allowed into games, as he self-described his own symptoms as everything but vomiting. We might not see a complete game from him tonight, but any time you start Cole, you have a good chance of winning. | Randy Miller: Speaking of the IL, the Yankees should slowly start to see players come off it, rather than add to it, over the next week or so. Jordan Montgomery should start one of the Yankees’ doubleheader matchups on Tuesday and Gary Sánchez appeared in a rehab game with Somerset yesterday. Aroldis Chapman and Domingo Germán’s rehabs are progressing well, and the team expects to also see Clay Holmes activated off the COVID IL in the next “three or four days.” Anthony Rizzo, meanwhile, will undergo a cardiac exam, and should the results be normal, could be activated by the end of the week.

New York Daily News | Bill Madden: The Yankees certainly haven’t played up to the caliber of the Rays so far this season, but after taking two out of three against the White Sox this weekend, they find themselves just two and a half games out of the Wild Card. After this week’s series with the Red Sox, the Yankees will have series against the Twins and Rangers, as well as two against the Orioles, to close some of that gap in the standings.