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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/20/21

Luis Severino’s return imminent; Gerrit Cole booed off field; Yankees have toughest remaining schedule out of Wild Card teams; Jameson Taillon progressing well.

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees pitching is in shambles, and some desperately needed reinforcements are on their way. Luis Severino is scheduled to be activated in the coming days. He is slated to join the bullpen, although Aaron Boone admitted anything was possible regarding how Severino will be used. His return could not come at a better time, with Jonathan Loáisiga still injured, Chad Green floundering, and the rest of the relief corps overtaxed.

It has been over 700 days since the one-time ace of the Yankees staff has thrown a baseball at the big league level. He missed almost all of the 2019 season with a shoulder injury and all of 2020 and 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. When the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, they envisioned a one-two punch at the top of their rotation with Severino acting as ace 1-B, but unfortunately things didn’t shake out that way. In 99 games for the Yankees (88 starts), Severino is 42-26 with a 3.46 ERA, 3.35 FIP, and 589 strikeouts in 530 innings.

New York Post | Peter Botte: In case you were doing something more enjoyable with your weekend and missed it, the Yankees were just embarrassed in front of their home crowd. Cleveland outscored New York 22-4 over the last two games, with Gerrit Cole giving up seven earned runs in 5.2 innings. His outing culminated in the team being booed off the field, and for good reason. Both games were must-win scenarios, but the Yankees never had a chance in either thanks to a porous pitching staff, stagnant offense, sloppy defense, and a general breakdown in fundamentals.

SNY | Scott Thompson: The Yankees currently find themselves 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, and it only gets more challenging from here. Relative to the Red Sox and Blue Jays, the Yankees have a far more difficult schedule the rest of the way. The Yankees face the Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays to round out their regular season, while Boston and Toronto each have a series against the Orioles. So not only do the Yankees have to win out against tougher opponents, they have to hope the two other Wild Card contenders drop games against weak opposition.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: Jameson Taillon is making steady progress towards returning from the partial tear of an ankle tendon suffered at the beginning of the month. He recently threw off flat ground and completed a 15-pitch bullpen session, with another bullpen scheduled for this week. He reported that his ankle responded well and is optimistic he can return as early as next week. It has been an up-and-down year for Taillon in his first season pitching since 2019, as in 27 starts he is 8-6 with a 4.41 ERA, 4.49 FIP, and 136 strikeouts in 138.2 innings.