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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/25/21

Jumbo Package has been major part of Yankees’ hot stretch; Urshela to return Thursday; why Gil was skipped; Stanton more comfortable at plate when playing outfield

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Last night, the New York Yankees employed, for the fifth time of the season, what has been variously named The Jumbo Package, the Goal Line Package, and the Death Star Lineup, as Aaron Boone employed an outfield trio of Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. The largest outfield in baseball history, both by height and weight, has been a major reason for the Yankees’ recent hot streak that has propelled them into the first Wild Card spot and into striking distance of the AL East crown.

In addition to providing immense offensive firepower, both on their own and in the fact that this arrangement frees up the DH spot for AL Player of the Week Luke Voit, the trio has played above-average defense across the board. It’s a small sample size, but so far, the Jumbo Package is firing on all cylinders in all aspects of the game.

CBS Sports | Rotowire Staff: Gio Urshela is coming back. After a couple rehab appearances in Double-A Somerset, the third baseman told reporters that he will rejoin the team tomorrow in Oakland and that he should be activated on Thursday. Boone had said that Urshela was indeed probable, the YES Network seemed to confirm it during the game last night, and the Yankees also demoted outfielder Jonathan Davis to open a roster spot after securing the win. Urshela has been out since July 31st with a left hamstring strain. | Randy Miller: Were you disappointed to learn that the Yankees were skipping Luis Gil’s spot in the rotation, opting to have him make his regularly-scheduled start for the Scranton RailRiders on Tuesday night instead? After all, what more could you ask than 15.2 scoreless innings in his first three starts, an MLB record? Blame Sunday’s rainout, which allowed the Yankees to keep their rotation without needing an additional starter. Despite this setback, however expect to see him making more starts down the stretch as the Yankees need additional arms — because he has certainly earned it.

Yahoo Sports | Coby Green: If you have watched Giancarlo Stanton play the last few weeks and thought to yourself, “He has looked a lot more comfortable at the plate since he started playing the field the last few weeks,” well, congratulations and welcome to the club that is headed by the slugger himself.

Speaking to reporters about playing the field more often in recent weeks, Stanton said that needing to spend time on defense helps him because he’s not “just focusing on hitting.” It seems to be working, as the outfielder has posted a batting average over .300 since the start of the Yankees’ win streak and has been driving the ball with authority (homering on back-to-back nights in Atlanta, too).

Lastly, here’s a smattering of Yankees injury updates, as offered by Boone to the beat reporters and gathered by Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. The bad news: Zack Britton might be staring down elbow surgery. The good news: Corey Kluber, Gleyber Torres, and Michael King were all in Double-A Somerset last night working toward returns (Kluber in a rehab start, Torres and King in pregame workouts). Domingo Germán could be back soon as well.