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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/21/23

Rizzo on managing his back; Baseball America updates Top 30; O’Neill back in the YES booth; Rortvedt hurt again

MLB: MAR 28 Spring Training - Yankees at Tigers Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Newday | Erik Boland: Veteran Anthony Rizzo acknowledged his age shortly after reporting to the Yankees, noting that while his back feels fine right now, it’s been enough of a problem throughout his All-Star career that something with it will probably crop up at some point in 2023. He put a priority this offseason on managing his various recoveries on an everyday basis. The Yankees need his lefty 30-homer pop in the lineup as much as possible alongside Aaron Judge in 2023; No. 99 can’t do it all himself.

Baseball America: Now that the offseason has essentially passed and the company’s Prospect Handbook is out, BA has updated its annual Top 30 Prospects list for each team! If you’re a subscriber, definitely check it out, and if not, then you should make room in your budget to become a subscriber. I will reveal that the top three should not surprise anyone, Rookie league starter Luis Serna was anointed with the best changeup in the system (70-grade), and that top IFA signing Brando Mayea debuted at No. 14 (alongside fellow 2023 signee Jerson Alejardro, a righty pitcher, at No. 23).

New York Post | Justin Terranova: YES Network has confirmed that Paul O’Neill will be back in the booth for 2023 rather than video conferencing in from his Ohio home. The network has relaxed its vaccine requirements so while they did not reveal the reason for the change, take your best guess. It seems like the Yankees’ booth will be pretty similar to what it was in 2019 with O’Neill fully back in the fold, just sadly still without the retired Ken Singleton.

As previously reported, YES unfortunately elected not to bring back 2022 newcomer Cameron Maybin and fellow newbie Carlos Beltrán took a job in the Mets organization, so barring some surprise Derek Jeter cameos in the broadcast booth, expect to see a lot of O’Neill, John Flaherty, and Jeff Nelson with Michael Kay (particularly when ESPN duties draw David Cone away).

Also, catcher Ben Rortvedt is hurt again. I feel bad for the snakebitten dude, but all I can say is: lol of course he is