clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/17/23

Aaron Judge “missed” a few personal goals last season; Aaron Hicks explains one of his spring challenges; MLB details latest impending crackdown on sticky stuff; Jasson Domínguez assigned to minor league camp.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

New York Post | Jon Heyman: Coming off one of the great seasons in baseball history, Aaron Judge hinted at the fact that he actually “missed a couple marks” during his historic 2022 campaign. Scary to think about, the idea that Judge wanted to be even better than he was last year. Judge wouldn’t comment on what those missed personal goals were, though we can speculate from the outside; perhaps the revamped two-strike approach Judge has sported this spring hints at a desire to further cut down on strikeouts. | Max Goodman: Aaron Hicks has heard it from Yankees fans this spring, with the beleaguered outfielder running a .231/.259/.385 slash line in exhibition games this year. Hicks detailed one of the tougher parts of the spring slate for him: the fact that he has to gear up two swings in camp every season. He’s had just four right-handed at-bats this spring, with hitting coach Dillon Lawson stating that the team was giving Hicks’ left-handed swing more attention. With Hicks sounding hesitant about his swing from the right side, the Yankees might do well to shield him from lefties, at the very least, during the regular season.

New York Post | Mark W. Sanchez: Opening Day is less than two weeks away, but the Yankee lineup is more up in the air than anyone would probably like at the moment. A few things are certain; the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu will start somewhere. But exactly where is in question, what with the injury to Harrison Bader shaking up the outfield, and with the left side of the Yankee infield also unsettled. Jose Trevino also is battling a sprained wrist, putting a Kyle Higashioka start on the table, and Anthony Rizzo has had mild back issues in spring, though he’s seemingly put those behind him for now. What’s truly certain, it seems, is that 2023 will be another year in which the Yankee lineup is quite fluid on a day-to-day basis.

The Athletic | Jayson Stark: (subscription required) In important leaguewide news, The Athletic obtained a league memo distributed to all 30 teams regarding another crackdown on the use of “sticky stuff” by pitchers. The memo detailed the stricter measures the league would be following this season, including more frequent and more thorough (and more random) checks of pitchers by umpires in between innings. It remains to be seen if this latest crackdown will curtail spin rates across the game, rates which continued to rise last season after an initial dip back in mid-2021 when MLB first began checking pitchers for substances.

And after last night’s game, the Yankees announced that they had assigned Jasson Domínguez to minor league camp. The 20-year-old outfielder was never going to make the Opening Day roster, but Domínguez still impressed mightily in big league camp, smashing a quartet of homers over the course of 11 games, typically against competition many years older than him. If Domínguez keeps up this kind of play, he won’t be seeing himself sent back to the minors many more times.