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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/29/21

Field of Dream auction will benefit MercyOne Dubuque’s Cancer Center; Voit’s role as DH; Cole reaches 200 Ks to set franchise record; Torres begins Somerset rehab assignment.

MLB: New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports | Fernando Garcia-Franceschini: Major League Baseball will auction off gear worn by Yankees and White Sox players during the Field of Dreams game, which took place back on August 12th. The proceeds from the auction, which will include game-worn jerseys, cleats and batting helmets, will be donated in support of MercyOne Dubuque’s Cancer Center in Iowa. The money will go toward the facility’s endowment fund, which is used in a variety of ways: to help patients with travel and lodging expenses, to purchase cutting-edge equipment and to further educate medical staff. | Pete Caldera: After fighting tooth-and-nail to have a real chance in the big leagues, Luke Voit emerged over the last few seasons as an impact player for the Yankees. It’s hard to believe his spot in the lineup was said to be in jeopardy after the Yankees acquired Gold-Glove first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs while Voit was on the IL. A combination of factors has made it possible for Voit to find at-bats as a DH, and Voit’s been taking advantage of his opportunities to contribute offensively. Moreover, he is healthy and feels comfortable at the plate. Voit is batting .310/.385/.631 with five home runs and 18 RBI since returning from the IL in early August.

NY Daily News | Matthew Roberson: In addition to setting records within the Yankees organization by winning 13 games in a row and Aroldis Chapman picking up the 300th save of his career, Gerrit Cole struck out his 200th batter of the season on Friday evening. Having reached the milestone in his 24th start of 2021, he is the fastest pitcher to get there in Yankees history, passing David Cone, who fanned his 200th batter during his 25th start in 1997. Cole downplayed the achievement when it was brought to his attention during his postgame interview, though the ace acknowledged that setting any Yankee record is a feat. Gleyber Torres will begin a rehab assignment today with the Yankees’ Double-A squad in Somerset. Torres could potentially return to the big league club after the team returns from its west coast road trip, provided his recovery continues to go smoothly. The Yankee shortstop sprained his left thumb while stealing second base against the Mariners on August 8th. In Torres’ absence, Bronx native Andrew Velazsquez has both proven himself and worked his way into fans’ hearts. It’s unclear if and how Velazquez’s role on the team will change once Gleyber comes back. Torres last played in Double-A in 2017, when he was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 overall prospect, according to this tweet by Minor League Baseball. Additionally, right-hander Domingo Germán, who’s on the IL with right shoulder inflammation, is slated to begin a rehab start soon and is expected to rejoin the team in early September.

The Nation | Peter Dreier: This isn’t Yankees-related, but it’s worth reading. Curt Flood sits at the intersection of civil rights, baseball and American economic history, and his decision to sacrifice his own career and livelihood to fight for players’ rights and autonomy from team owners is still relevant today. This piece illuminates why Flood belongs in Cooperstown, as well as why MLB should celebrate Flood as the hero and pioneer of free agency he is.