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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/10/21

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Zack Britton undergoes elbow surgery; Jameson Taillon has partially-torn tendon in ankle; Documenting how Yanks have fallen back to the pack; Tempering expectations for Luis Gil; A Gerrit Cole update

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: The Yankees received some unfortunate news yesterday afternoon, as it was revealed that Zack Britton had undergone UCL reconstruction surgery. It is essentially Tommy John surgery, and puts his 2022 season in doubt. This came as quite a surprise, as it was initially reported that Britton needed surgery only to remove additional bone chips in the elbow.

It’s been a lost season for the lefty reliever, whose club option for 2022 was picked up by the Yankees early last offseason. He began the season on the IL after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his throwing elbow. He appeared in only 22 games this season, pitching to a 5.89 ERA in 18.1 innings before going down with this latest ailment. Given the usual recovery timetable for Tommy John surgery, Britton could very well have pitched his last game in pinstripes.

NorthJersey.com | Sean Farrell: The hits to the pitching staff didn’t stop there. Right around the time news broke of Britton’s surgery, we learned that Jameson Taillon suffered a partial tear of a tendon in his ankle during his last start. He received a platelet-rich-plasma injection and was seen walking around the stadium in a boot. Manager Aaron Boone is hopeful this is just a short-term issue, and even suggested that Taillon would only miss one start.

The Yankees can ill-afford to lose another starting pitcher from the already-depleted rotation. Taillon has pitched admirably in his first full season since 2018, with a 4.41 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 138.2 innings. That said, he has hit a bit of a wall in recent starts, carrying a 7.01 ERA over his last five, leading one to question if fatigue is settling in for a pitcher who missed so much time.

USA Today | Gabe Lacques: It’s no secret that the Yankees have been in free-fall since their 13-game winning streak came to an end in late August. They are 2-10 over their last 12 games, including a brutal four-game sweep in the Bronx at the hands of the Blue Jays. That slide has dropped them to the second AL Wild Card spot and reduced their FanGraphs playoff percentage by more than 30 points. Over the losing stretch, three major concerns have cropped up. First and foremost, the bats have gone cold. Second, the bullpen is depleted and without a reliable closer. Finally, the teams around them have picked up their play, putting the Yankees’ playoff chances in serious jeopardy.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Luis Gil’s last outing did not go nearly as smooth as his first three big league starts. He gave up his first runs (three to be exact) in the majors, walking seven in only 3.1 innings. This was always inevitable for the young pitcher given his relative inexperience and inability to repeat his delivery. Still, there’s plenty to be hopeful for as the Gil continues his development. He’s only 23 and has undeniable raw stuff. Given the Yankees’ current pitching shortage, Gil may get another opportunity sooner rather than later.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Finally, a bit of good news to end an otherwise-dreary news day. Aaron Boone provided an update on Gerrit Cole’s hamstring injury, and both the Yankees manager and ace feel encouraged about his progress. Cole left his last start in the fourth with discomfort in his left hamstring, and it was easy to feel like the sky was falling. Therefore, it is reassuring to hear that he did not require an MRI and even got in some work on the treadmill Wednesday. The Yankees are hopeful that at worst he will miss only one start.