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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/16/22

Castro likely to IL; Andújar, Donaldson, injury updates; The changes that unlocked a new tier of performance for Luis Castillo; Trevino’s journey to becoming a first-time All-Star; Jeter opens up on future plans

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Tampa Bay Rays v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Athletic | Ken Rosenthal (subscription required): “He looks the best I’ve ever seen him. I hope he’s in pinstripes soon.”

“When you’ve got 100 (mph) and you’re painting the corners, it’s going to be a tough day.”

Such was the praise that Matt Carpenter and Aaron Judge showered on Reds ace Luis Castillo after he pitched seven sparkling innings of one-run, two-hit, eight-strikeout ball in his unofficial pre-deadline Yankee Stadium audition. (Some of the same quotes can be found in an SI article by Madison Williams for those without an Athletic subscription.)

Rosenthal goes on to share the mechanical changes Castillo made that have allowed him to reach this new level of consistent effectiveness. He tweaked his hand positioning on the four-seamer — a pitch that bedeviled the Bombers Thursday night — leading to a straighter pitch with more carry, creating much-needed separation off the movement profiles of his sinker and changeup (not unlike how Michael King improved his four-seamer). Castillo figures to be the most sought after player at the deadline, with the Yankees and Dodgers rumored as the most likely landing spots, and for what it’s worth, he indicated he’d begrudgingly cut off his awesome dreadlocks if it facilitated a move to the Bronx (or the Yankees could, ya know, ditch the archaic custom).

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: Finally, we have some injury updates to bring you. Miguel Andújar was scratched from the RailRiders’ Friday night lineup with neck soreness. Miguel Castro had an MRI performed on his shoulder, which had been “barking” for a couple days Aaron Boone said that he expects Castro to go on the IL..

More optimistically, it looks like Josh Donaldson escaped a bullet after being hit on the hand by a 95 mph fastball during the Yankees’ 7-6 loss Thursday. He is wearing a splint, but it appears a split right index fingernail was the worst of the damage, with Aaron Boone assuring that he easily could’ve played yesterday.

Not included in this particular article but still worthy of relaying: Aaron Hicks is progressing well after leaving Tuesday’s game when he fouled a ball off his right shin. Meredith Marakovits relayed that Hicks took batting practice Friday and was available off the bench after missing the previous two contests. We will update you with further news on all four players as it becomes available.

Yankees Magazine | Alfred Santasiere III: Yankees Mag sat down for an interview with Jose Trevino and you won’t want to miss their discussion. Covering topics from his Yankees fandom growing up, his path through the Rangers system and eventually to the Yankees, and the magical walk-off on his late father’s birthday, it almost seemed fated that Trevino would end up at this point — making his first All-Star team in his first season with his dream club.

ESPN | Hannah Storm, Alden Gonzalez: Derek Jeter’s tenure as the Marlins CEO came to an end this past winter, and he sat down with Hannah Storm to discuss stepping down from the club among other topics in advance of the release of the seven-part docuseries titled “The Captain.” He cited disagreement with the direction of the franchise as a motivating factor in his departure. Jeter also leaves the door open for a return to baseball in the future.