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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/29/21

Yankees’ surge a credit to rally turtle; Jameson Taillon’s return may be brief; Secrets to Gerrit Cole’s curve; The decline of framing benefits

New York Yankees Hope Week Event
Masahiro Tanaka as a turtle? Masahiro Tanaka as a turtle.
Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: I would like to preface this by saying 1) I am just about the furthest thing from a doctor, and 2) Even if I was, I would not be in much of a position to judge without access to the Yankees’ medical records. However ...

... remember when Jameson Taillon suddenly turned up on the injured list on September 9th with a partial tear of an ankle tendon? And remember how it seemed weird that the Yankees thought that it didn’t seem to be much of a big deal? They even said that he might only miss a single start! All this after being in a walking boot (albeit briefly) and tearing a tendon in his ankle, which is kind of important in pitching!

Yeah, so Taillon’s return last night — just three weeks after his last appearance — was brief. He departed seven outs into the ballgame after aggravating the ankle injury. This is all truly stunning. (At least the Yankees won the game with their rested bullpen anyway.) Manager Aaron Boone said that the team would assess how he feels tomorrow, but to me, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point in rolling the dice on him again in 2021. They might need his roster spot anyway to activate Jonathan Loáisiga, if that’s coming today.

ESPN | Sam Borden: The time has come to discuss how the Yankees resumed their winning ways after a shoddy beginning to September that sunk them out of a Wild Card spot. Was it the team getting healthy again? Possibly. Was it Giancarlo Stanton deciding to start playing out of his mind? Could be. Was it all because of a humble turtle named “Bronxie,” who was adopted by the team from a local pet store?


Okay fine, it does perhaps go deeper than good ol’ Bronxie and Borden’s story dives into that, but let’s be real, you’re going to click that story because it involves Néstor Cortes Jr., DJ LeMahieu, and a rally turtle. What else do you need?

FanGraphs | David Laurila: Gerrit Cole took Laurila behind the scenes on his wicked curve. The feature is actually a winding quote from the ace, detailing its origins in Pittsburgh at the urging of former Yankee A.J. Burnett and how Cole has evolved with the pitch over the past decade. This is not a long piece at all and definitely worthy of a look. Cole obviously has a talented arm, but the mind behind it is that of a master on the mound.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur: Although this piece is behind a paywall, it has a fascinating nugget. As the calls for robot umps steadily grow louder, the benefits of catcher framing happen to be dropping. Since so many catchers around the game can at least do a passable job of it, the best are only gaining an extra win or so over the course of a season. Obviously, it’s important to capably frame so that your team isn’t stumbling below average, but the days of, say, Jonathan Lucroy posting absurd numbers via framing may be over.