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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/30/21

Luis Gil’s role; a tale of two bullpens; do you believe in these Yankees?

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees - Game Two Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Luis Gil made an appearance out of the bullpen down at Triple-A on Sunday, a possible harbinger of what’s in store for the Yankees’ top pitching prospect. The 23-year old has dazzled in three starts with the MLB club this season, yet to allow a run in 15.2 innings. However, with a rotation set to be full with Corey Kluber returning, the way for Gil to make an impact with the 2021 team might be in a relief role, allowing his 100 mph fastball to play up in a playoff push.

New York Daily News | Bill Madden: Speaking of bullpens, the Yankees and Rays have been largely defined by their relief corps over the past couple years, albeit in different ways. The Yankees still stick to individual “lanes”, preferring a set closer role, 8th inning guy, and so on. The Rays of course are very different, moving players in and out of spots as necessary. How each team optimizes relief work is going to play a major role in the season’s final month.

ESPN | Joon Lee and David Schoenfield: The Yankees just won 13 games in a row, sit comfortably in the Wild Card position, and are still within striking distance of the AL East, even if Tampa’s lead is considerable. Key additions to the team’s depth and returning players make the Yankees more prepared for the playoffs than they’ve been at any other point this season, but do you think this team is a legitimate contender?