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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/18/22

Four Yankees crack MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects; Germán will start 2022 on 60-day IL; Rizzo declines to answer vaccine question; Gleyber working to regain 2018-19 swing; Ridings details his injury

Surprise Saguaros v Glendale Desert Dogs
Austin Wells made his first Top-100 list
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

MLB Pipeline | Jonathan Mayo: MLB.com’s list of the top 100 prospects in baseball is finally here! Every major publication had released theirs, so now the party is complete with MLB Pipeline entering the fray. Four Yankees made it this time: Shortstops Anthony Volpe (an impressive No. 8 ranking) and Oswald Peraza (No. 60), outfielder Jasson Dominguez (No. 61) and catcher Austin Wells (No. 96). Unlike the first three names, Wells is a newcomer to these lists, as his impressive bat was clearly noticed by Mayo and company.

SI.com | Max Goodman: The Yankees placed starting pitcher Domingo Germán on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder problem. Manager Aaron Boone said on Monday that the right-hander’s shoulder actually flared up in January, and he is currently behind the rest of the pitchers having just started his throwing program. It will take Germán weeks to ramp up and stretch out to a full starter’s workload, so the Yanks will let him do that in a low-stress environment. The move made room on the 40-man roster for Anthony Rizzo.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: Rizzo, who was re-signed by the Yankees on Tuesday night, had his first encounter with the press at the team’s training camp. With the current uncertainty surrounding New York and its stance that professional athletes who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine can’t play home games, reporters asked the first baseman if he had the vaccine. Predictably, he declined to answer.

“With that type of stuff,” Rizzo said in a press conference on Thursday, “especially with all the backlash of the very kind people online last year, came with last year, I’ll just keep that private.”

New York Post | Dan Martin and Greg Joyce: Gleyber Torres has been one of the Yankees’ most disappointing performers in the last two seasons. He is, however, eager to turn his career around with the help of new hitting coach Dillon Lawson.

Per the Post, the priority is getting his swing back to where it was in 2018-2019. After the Yankees’ wild-card loss against the Red Sox, Torres took a couple of weeks off, then worked with Lawson in Tampa. They worked on Gleyber’s mechanics, which he altered in 2020 and 2021.

“I didn’t hit too many balls in the air, just too many groundballs,’’ Torres said. The Yankees’ second baseman in 2022 had a 2021 to forget, slashing .259/.331/.366 with just nine home runs in 516 plate appearances.

SI.com | Max Goodman: Finally, some details about Stephen Ridings injury’ emerged, as told by the pitcher himself. The righty flamethrower impressed in a short 2021 cameo, but injuries kept him away from the active roster, and he suffered another injury during the offseason.

“I slipped a disk during a lift back in January or February. With the lockout, it’s been tough to get on the right path,” Ridings told Inside The Pinstripes in the clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday. “We thought it was getting better, picked up a ball again and something in my shoulder didn’t quite feel right. That’s really all I know right now.”

Ridings won’t be ready in time to pitch in Grapefruit League games. “Even if I came in today, and I was like, ‘hey everything feels great,’ with the amount of time I missed before getting here due to the lockout and navigating the injury, I have to go through my full buildup,” he said. He played catch on Wednesday, so that’s a step in the right direction.