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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/25/22

Joely Rodríguez’s velocity down in latest outing; Aroldis Chapman may be used in the eighth occasionally; Rachel Balkovec resting after line drive hit her face; Don Mattingly featured in new MLB Network documentary

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

NY Post | Brian Wacker: The Yankees had a bit of a miserable experience on Thursday, dealing with the rain in a seven-inning loss to the Tigers. It got worse when Joely Rodríguez took the mound after a delay and got battered around in two-thirds of an inning while only hitting 90 mph on the radar gun. Aaron Boone said after the game that Rodríguez had been throwing his normal mid-90s velocity in camp, and that this outing caught his attention. He also added that the problem may have been due to Rodríguez getting warmed up and then having to sit through the delay, and that they checked on him mid-game where Rodríguez said that he was fine. Still, it’s something to watch out for now.

NY Post | Joel Sherman: Aroldis Chapman has typically been deployed like a traditional closer by the Yankees, meaning he only comes in when there’s a save in the ninth and rarely otherwise. This leads to Chapman occasionally going through extended periods without much action, and in turn either Chapman has to enter a blowout just to shake the rust off or go through some wild inaccuracy the next time he’s on the mound. Boone wants to get ahead of this by pitching the idea of Chapman coming on in close games in the eighth inning sometimes, both to maximize the utilization of his $18 million closer and to conserve the workload on some of the other key bullpen pitchers like Chad Green and Jonathan Loáisiga.

CBS Sports | Matt Snyder: Rachel Balkovec is set to be the first woman to manage a pro baseball game when she hands in the Opening Day lineup card for Low-A Tampa in a few weeks, but she’ll be missing out on her first time managing an exhibition game. Balkovec was hit in the face with a batted ball when players were taking batting practice indoors in the cages, and although she avoided a concussion she’ll be dealing with some swelling for the next few days.

Awful Announcing | Joe Lucia: Former captain Don Mattingly will be getting some time in the spotlight, thanks to an MLB Network documentary titled Donnie Baseball, which is set to release on April 3rd. The doc will detail Mattingly’s journey from gangly prospect to AL MVP, and features a host of familiar faces being interviewed, including former Yankees Bernie Williams, Buck Showalter, Ron Guidry, and Wade Boggs.