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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/20/23

Judge’s teammates talk about the new captain; LeMahieu pleased with his health entering camp; García’s last stand for a roster spot; Wells day-to-day with a rib injury.

MLB: New York Yankees-Aaron Judge press conference Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees’ newest captain is officially in the building, though he’s been around camp for weeks already. Aaron Judge has taken his place in the Yankees spring camp, and his teammates have been reacting to the superstar’s designation that truly didn’t change a whole lot. His teammates already viewed him as the captain of the team, whether it be a fellow superstar like Gerrit Cole being hopeful his ties to the team would bring him back in free agency or guys like Michael King who felt elevated by Judge’s words of encouragement when they made it to the big league roster.

NY Post | Greg Joyce: DJ LeMahieu opted against surgery this offseason after a lengthy injury derailed the end of his 2022 season, and as he gets settled into camp he feels like he made the right decision. A healthy campaign is imperative for both LeMahieu and the Yankees — when he was right LeMahieu was one of the top three bats on the team, and his versatile defense allows the team to plug and play him every day. LeMahieu is pacing himself in the opening drills now, making sure that he’s going to be in it for the long haul. | Randy Miller: Deivi García is facing a crossroads this spring — he’s out of minor league options and is facing some stiff competition to even break it as a reliever with the team, and that’s without considering his own personal performance struggles. García has fallen off of a cliff the last two years, plummeting from one of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects with major league upside in hand to a guy who likely faces a DFA or trade situation in a month’s time. The stuff is still there, but wild control issues have plagued him from seizing it, and there’s only going to be so many opportunities to show the top brass that he’s trending in the right direction. | Randy Miller: Austin Wells hasn’t been participating in activities the last couple of days due to some bruised ribs, but the team and player don’t seem overly concerned. Wells is hopeful that he could be back on the field as early as today, and Aaron Boone indicated that the team is monitoring the situation.