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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/17/21

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Clint Frazier may not play again; Yanks silent on Severino results, getting a second opinion; Gallo heating up as he lives out his dream; Booth-Rod gets some criticism from fellow ex-Yankee; Playoff race league-wide getting intense.

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

ESPN | AP: Clint Frazier was returned to the IL from his rehab assignment on Monday, and manager Aaron Boone didn’t have much to reassure people with regarding his situation. Frazier began a rehab assignment last week after sitting out a month with issues relating to his vision, but recently felt his condition worsen and informed the team that he may not be ready to go just yet. This is a difficult road back for Frazier, and it may even be one that he can’t complete the comeback from. That would truly be a shame for Frazier, especially after finally putting things together last season and showcasing starting-caliber talent.

Yahoo! Sports | Scott Thompson: Luis Severino has also apparently hit a setback in his rehab assignment, and went back to New York for an MRI. Boone didn’t have an update on Severino before the Yankees’ game against the Angels, however, opting to prefer to wait until Severino could see the team’s doctor. Apparently that’s not where this saga will end though, since Jon Heyman is reporting that Severino is seeking a second opinion.

NY Post | Mike Vaccaro: In more positive news, Joey Gallo’s bat is starting to heat up. Gallo launched another home run in Monday night’s game, his 29th of the year and fourth since donning pinstripes, and he’s embracing the enthusiasm of the home crowd that he dreamed of playing for as a kid. Gallo’s also gotten a kick out of the Italian memes that have been flowing around the team since they acquired him and Anthony Rizzo, even getting his own piece of the action with an “Italian Stallions” T-shirt featuring the pair’s faces.

NJ.com | Brian Fonseca: Alex Rodriguez has had a rough go in the Sunday Night Baseball booth, facing some flak for not providing enough to the broadcast — and worse, making it unlistenable to some. The latest critique comes from a former pro who played in the Bronx briefly, Brandon McCarthy, who said that he “just can’t listen to these games anymore,” and that “baseball has to do better than this” in a Tweet during last Sunday’s game. A-Rod has had some appeal in his studio analysis during FOX broadcasts, but in-game casting just hasn’t gone his way.

CBS Sports | Matt Snyder: The Yankees’ rise in the standings has made the AL East picture more interesting, but the wider lens of the playoff race has gotten incredibly close outside of the two Central divisions. A perfect storm of the Red Sox faltering while the Yanks, A’s, and Blue Jays have been red hot has created a chaotic AL picture, which could get even crazier if the A’s can overtake the Astros. Meanwhile, the NL Wild Card is no longer automatically assumed to go to the second and third-place NL West teams, with the Reds and Cardinals clawing their way back in. The West itself is going to be a contest that goes down to the wire, and the NL East is full of pandemonium as well.