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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/3/21

Luis Severino to begin rehab assignment today; Corey Kluber could return by September 1st; Gerrit Cole tests positive for COVID; More on Domingo Germán’s injury; Yankees trade deadline evaluation

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees got bad news on the rotation front this weekend when Domingo Germán hit the IL, but reinforcements may be on the way. Aaron Boone indicated that both Luis Severino and Corey Kluber should be back in mid-to-late August, highlighting the period between “August 22nd and September 1st” as a good target for the right-handers. Kluber took a big step forward yesterday, facing live hitters for the first time and throwing 22 pitches. Severino is even closer to a return, as he’ll begin his rehab assignment tonight with Double-A Somerset.

Of course, as this is the 2021 Yankees, any good news must be offset. After last night’s game, Boone announced that Gerrit Cole had tested positive for COVID-19, and that Gio Urshela would need an IL stint due to his hamstring injury. The ace had been slated to start tonight against the Orioles but obviously will miss some time.

Yahoo Sports | Garrett Stepien: Boone also spoke more about Germán’s injury, noting that he just wasn’t sure what the timetable could be for the right-hander’s shoulder ailment. Germán is slated to undergo an MRI this week. At least based off of the manager’s initial comments, this doesn’t seem like the kind of injury that will keep Germán on the shelf for only the minimum 10-day stay, but we will see soon enough. (A later update from Boone revealed that Germán had a “low-grade rotator cuff strain” and he will be shut down for 7-10 days.) | Thomas Harrigan: MLB announced Walker Buehler and Jameson Taillon as the July Pitchers of the Month for their respective leagues. Taillon has shaken off a tough start to the season to become one of the Yankees’ most dependable starters, quietly helping propel them during their recent 16-7 run. The right-hander totaled 31 innings across five starts in July, maintaining a 1.16 ERA in the process.

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: The keeper of the ZiPS projections re-ran the numbers, and came to an unsurprising conclusion: the Yankees did the most to help themselves of any team at the trade deadline, at least in terms of playoff odds. ZiPS gives the Yankees just worse than coinflip odds of making the postseason, a near-10 point increase from prior to the deadline. If the Yankees take care of business against poor competition this week, those odds should move even higher.

Lastly, this is not official news or anything yet, but Yankees pitching prospect Luis Gil might be heading to the big leagues for the first time. There’s no confirmation from any reporters yet, but late last night, Gil shared several photos congratulating him on his Instagram story.

We’ll keep you posted.