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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/8/22

Anthony Rizzo injury update; Frankie Montas shelled in debut; Another miserable umpiring display; Oswald Peraza forced from game with apparent hand injury

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: Anthony Rizzo has missed the last three games and he recently addressed the concerns over his absence. He is dealing with the same back spasm issues that have cropped up sporadically throughout his career and cost him four games in early July this season. He noted that his back “grabbed oddly” prior to Friday’s game, and while he has felt a bit better in consecutive days, he was doubtful he’d be available at all for the series against St. Louis. He also believes it was better to be cautious now than risk missing a longer period of time by trying to play through it.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Frankie Montas made his Yankees debut yesterday and it was an outing that we’d all like to forget. He gave up six runs on five hits and three walks against just two strikeouts, with the big blow coming in the form of a Nolan Arenado three-run blast in the second. He lasted only three innings, throwing 64 pitches, and I’m sure this outcome wasn’t what Aaron Boone had in mind when he mentioned a pitch limit of around 70 as Montas works his way back from a shoulder injury that cost him almost three weeks in July. Montas also just returned from bereavement leave after a death in the family, which in addition to his recovery and his unfamiliarity with his new teammates makes it easier to understand his struggles in his first start with the Bombers.

North Jersey | Pete Caldera: The Yankees’ 12-9 loss to the Cardinals yesterday featured some of the worst home-plate umpiring you are ever likely to see. Ed Hickox, already ranked among the worst umpires in terms of strike zone accuracy, had an absolute shocker calling scores of balls and strikes incorrectly for both sides. Aaron Boone and Matt Blake could only take so much, voicing their protests in the fifth inning leading to the ejections of manager and pitching coach. Hickox is far from the sole reason for the Yankees’ sweep-completing loss Sunday, though frustrations that have boiled up during New York’s putrid stretch — 14-18 since the start of July and 0-5 since the trade deadline — sure made it feel worse.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: Finally we have some dismaying news out Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, as Oswald Peraza was forced to exit the game after being hit on the hand by a pitch. He was taken for X-rays, which thankfully revealed no broken bones, and it is encouraging to hear that he wasn’t in much pain. This comes as a bit of a setback for fans who were hoping to see the star shortstop prospect earn a promotion to perhaps provide a jolt to the major league squad during this sluggish stretch. Peraza is batting .259/.328/.450 with 15 home runs, 42 RBI, 26 stolen bases, and a 106 wRC+ across 81 games and 354 plate appearances at Triple-A.