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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/17/22

Bombers not worried about offensive woes; Reviewing call that led to Orioles walk-off; Boone untroubled by slumping Donaldson; Yankees have more questions than answers through first week

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: If Friday night’s 2-1 loss in extras to the Orioles felt familiar, it’s because it was emblematic of far too many performances from the disappointing 2021 season. The Yankees offense has stumbled out of the starting gate, scoring only 25 runs through the first eight games. Despite this, veterans including DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo are not worried. They view the early offensive struggles as just a blip rather than a trend, and maintain it is far too early to start panicking.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Speaking of that series opener in Baltimore, the Yankees lost that contest on Aroldis Chapman’s close ball four call to walk in the winning run. Addressing his ejection from the game, Aaron Boone admits that the final pitch of the game was probably high, and that his reaction was more to protect catcher Jose Trevino from ejection as well as protesting an early ball call on a Clarke Schmidt pitch that was clearly in the zone. The bigger issue is Chapman’s seeming lack of confidence in his fastball. He walked the bases loaded the prior night and went to the slider in the 3-2 count after completely losing the ability to throw his heater in the zone.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Josh Donaldson was the Yankees’ marquee offseason addition, and it’s fair to say his Yankees career has not gotten off to the start that he nor the team envisioned. He sports an ugly .454 OPS through the first eight games and leads the team with 13 strikeouts — both of which are magnified given the Yankees’ puzzling determination to bat the 36 year old leadoff. Ever the optimist, Boone is not worried in the slightest, asserting that Donaldson is “on the verge” of a breakout. | Pete Caldera: A little over a week into the 2022 season and the Yankees have more questions than answers. They entered the offseason with question marks at shortstop, catcher, and centerfield among other positions and suffice to say those question marks remain. If anything, the first two series have exposed additional concerns with the team, including a rehashing of last season’s RISP woes and an ever-changing lineup. In spite of all this, Boone contends that this year’s squad is “a better team right now than we were at any point last year.”