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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/21/23

What went wrong for Donaldson; Montas to begin throwing program; Duncan named Triple-A manager; farewell, Sweeny

Josh Donaldson Strikes Out against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2022 ALCS Photo by J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

New York Daily News | Matthew Roberson: 2022 was a season of disappointment for Josh Donaldson. He struggled to make any impact offensively and the well-advertised “edge” to his game ended up being more of a distraction than an asset. The biggest step back he took at the plate was a lack of discipline, swinging at pitches outside the zone at the highest rate of his career. Whether that’s a loss of bat speed forcing him to cheat or another problem with his swing, correcting that loss of the strike zone is the biggest part of a potential bounceback in 2023.

Sports Illustrated | Gary Phillips: We know at this point that Frankie Montas will miss about a month of the season with shoulder inflammation. Hopefully, that’s the extent of the problem, as manager Aaron Boone detailed the right-hander will begin a throwing program next week in hopes of building up strength for his return. The Yankees have a deep pitching staff but an extended absence from Montas would test that, so having a shoulder that’s 100 percent is crucial.

Yahoo! Sports: We had a solid dose of nostalgia Friday morning, as the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders announced Shelley Duncan would take over as manager of the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. Duncan was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2001, appeared in pinstripes for parts of two seasons, before stints Cleveland and Tampa. He has coaching experience with the Blue Jays and White Sox, the latter in an analytics coordinator role.

Last but not least, our best wishes to Sweeny Murti, who announced he’s leaving WFAN. Murti has been covering the Yankees in some role or another for almost 30 years, and whatever his next adventure is, we at PSA can’t wait to see what he accomplishes.