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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/14/23

Bader getting close to returning; Judge and Ohtani still competing; trio of Yankees linked by same injuries

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images | Max Goodman: Harrison Bader hasn’t played a game yet in 2023, but the presumptive Yankee centerfielder is close to returning. Bader did a full workout in center yesterday, and Aaron Boone announced that his rehab assignment would be “right around the corner”. Harrison himself expressed his excitement at how good everything felt, indicating that one of the game’s best defensive players is confident he’ll be back in center before long.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani spent most of 2022 competing over the AL MVP award, and early into 2023 the two are still linked by long on-base streaks. Judge has reached in 45 straight contests entering play Thursday, while Ohtani’s streak stands at 34. Although Judge’s was snapped last night, what’s more telling is its certainly possible both players can actually hit better as the season goes on, with both not quite replicating the hard hit and barrel rates we’ve come to expect from each. Should those levels come closer to what each did last year, we have another two-horse race for MVP.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: The jaw guard has become ubiquitous among MLB players, and members of the Yankees are big reasons why. Giancarlo Stanton and Willie Calhoun have both taken pitches to the face in their careers, requiring surgery, while relief pitcher Ian Hamilton has also fractured facial bones after being hit by a comebacker while at Triple-A. The shared trauma has been a bonding factor among the trio, two of which are new to the roster this season.