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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/2/23

Austin Wells injury update; two large Yankees athletes meet for the first time; Aaron Hicks on the scrutiny he has received; Torres tunes out the noise on his immediate future

MLB: FEB 25 Spring Training - Yankees at Phillies Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New York Post | Greg Joyce: Austin Wells has been waiting to participate in the spring training festivities due to sustaining a bruised rib. He was going to return to the field but felt something extra and got an MRI on Tuesday, February 28. The MRI revealed that he had a fracture in his 12th rib that could keep him out of spring training entirely. Probably the most peculiar thing about this injury is that Wells has said he doesn't know what caused it. It kept getting better and then worsening over time, so he decided to get the MRI, which revealed the fracture.

This is a disappointing time for Wells to sustain an injury, as Kyle Higashioka is playing in the World Baseball Classic, which means he would get more reps than usual during spring training. | Randy Wells: While this story may not be totally newsworthy, it's a feel-good tale regarding the Yankees' 6-foot-7 center field prospect Spencer Jones, who lit up Single-A after being drafted in the first round 25th overall in the 2022 MLB Entry Draft, and Aaron Judge, the Yankees superstar outfielder who is also 6-foot-7. We've heard comparisons to Judge surrounding Jones since he was drafted out of Vanderbilt University. While he knows that there's "only one Aaron Judge," Jones thinks it's cool to be compared to one of the best players in today's game and even this generation.

Jones could certainly move his way up the Yankees prospect depth chart fast, and according to general manager Brian Cashman, he's doing it more quickly than they anticipated. He's a slugger first and foremost, and he'll be fun as he works his way up the ranks. | Mike Rosenstein: Aaron Hicks was the subject of fan backlash last season and is perfectly aware of why it happened. He knows his performance hasn't been good, and when he was booed on his way up to the plate for his first time in a spring training game, he says in the article that he was used to it. All he knows is that he will try and do his best to help the Yankees win, and hopefully, for all of our sakes, he can turn things around even slightly. However, that would require Hicks to make the lineup out of the gate. With Judge suited to take some reps in left field, Giancarlo Stanton wanting to continue playing in right field, and Harrison Bader being the clear option in center field, there isn't much maneuverability in the outfield this upcoming season. | Mike Rosenstein: With young stars such as Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, and Anthony Volpe coming up and competing for roster spots, particularly in the infield, that leaves players like Gleyber Torres to deal with the myriad of rumors that surround his position and time left with the Yankees. He has been adamant that he wants to stay with the organization. He talks in the article about wanting to sign a "big extension" with the team, even though he has not spoken with Cashman or Aaron Boone. This business is tricky, and Torres will have to make a big statement in the upcoming regular season, but everyone knows he's talented. It's just a matter of where management believes the reins are best placed for the club's future. However, as of now, Torres is tuning out the noise.