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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/21/22

Sources confirm all Yankees players have received vaccine; Joey Gallo takes benching well; Clarke Schmidt could be a weapon for the Yankees; the nastiest slider of the season was just thrown by a Hudson Valley reliever.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin and Jon Heyman: When manager Aaron Boone said the other day that he was confident that the Yankees would have everybody ready to go when they head up to Toronto in early May, many fans were of the “I’ll believe it when I see it” mentality. After all, Boone regularly deflects questions with non-answers, as does the player most suspected of being unvaccinated, Aaron Judge. Well, according to sources, the players who were unvaccinated have since told the team that they have gotten vaccinated, and thus will be eligible to play in Toronto. | Brendan Kuty: Struggling Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo was benched for the second time in three games last night, courtesy of his recent struggles at the plate. Despite some positive signs — hitting coach Dillon Lawson pointed to his career high in contact rate on pitches in the strike zone — Boone said that he thought Gallo is “pressing” and hopes that time off can clear his head. For his part, Gallo took the benching well, saying that “I’m not playing well enough right now to be in the starting lineup everyday.”

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: Once upon a time, Clarke Schmidt was the No. 1 pitching prospect in the Yankees’ organization. Now, early in his age-26 season and after battling a myriad of injuries, Schmidt has finally begun to show why the Yankees took a chance on him in the 2017 draft. In 7.1 innings across three outings, he has allowed just one earned run and has struck out seven, all the while allowing fewer than a baserunner per inning. His continued development, either as a multi-inning reliever or a starter, would give the team a major weapon at the back of the pitching staff. | Tyler Maun: It’s not often that a player who has never pitched above High-A gets an article on when he’s not a top prospect, but Hudson Valley hurler Wellington Diaz earned that distinction yesterday. In the midst of throwing two perfect innings against the Brooklyn Cyclones, Diaz let loose a slider that moved like a wiffle ball in a hurricane. Trust me when I say that it’s worth the watch.