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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/5/23

Gleyber reaches 100 home runs amid questions about his future; Volpe’s ultra-effective approach to steal bases; Rizzo’s cool gift to his teammates; updates on injured Yankees; Bombers’ players imitate Nasty Nestor

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

Newsday | Anthony Rieber: It seems like yesterday that Yankees fans used to say “he is just 22!” about Gleyber Torres, who was dominating the league homer after homer. He hit 62 of those between 2018 and 2019. A couple of rough years in 2020 and 2021 and a good, but not great one in 2022 have somewhat changed the perception fans have towards him, though.

He is seen as a solid player and fans like him, yet there is a feeling a trade involving him is looming. It has been like that for months. In the meantime, the second baseman reached 100 career home runs on Monday while we all wonder about his future.

“It means a lot,” Torres told Newsday on Tuesday. “Special moment for myself, especially here with the Yankees, playing here at Yankee Stadium. I hope to get 200, 300 more homers and be a Yankee.”

He is still just 26, and his best days might be ahead of him. Will he spend the rest of his career in the Bronx? Or will the Yanks flip him for pitching?

New York Post | Mark W. Sánchez: Anthony Volpe had, before Tuesday’s game, three stolen bases in the young season. In the minors, he stole 50 last season and 33 in 2021. He has done that without top-notch speed, although he clearly can run. How does he do it?

“It’s one of the things he’s excellent at. He’s an elite base runner,” manager Aaron Boone said recently. “He’s not a burner — he’s got good speed — but he’s just a special baserunner. Does his homework, stays under control, and then does run well.

Per the Post, Volpe stays close to the bag instead of taking a huge lead. He stays there until he believes the pitcher will throw home. At that moment, he takes a large slide-step toward the next base and uses the momentum to launch into a full sprint as the pitcher delivers the pitch. He thinks this approach works better than suddenly taking off to second without having momentum.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: First baseman Anthony Rizzo has a reputation for being a great teammate. He proved that with gifts he made to every member of the team for Opening Day.

Per The Athletic, Rizzo gave his teammates two bottles of wine each, valued at $130 and $470. He also wrote a personal note for them.

“You go through spring training, and everyone is on their own different journey of how they got here,” Rizzo told The Athletic. “Whether it’s a lot of Opening Days in a row or your first or somewhere in between. Just a little exciting thing for an exciting day. A fresh slate. Fresh opportunities. A lot of high hopes and dreams.”

A cool gift from a cool dude.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: Harrison Bader (left oblique strain) took 25 dry swings on Monday and is still expected to return in mid-to-late April provided there are no setbacks. Carlos Rodón (left forearm strain) is expected to have hitters stand in the batter’s box during his next bullpen session this weekend. After that, he will go to a rehab assignment and remains in play for late-April or early-May.

Luis Severino (low grade right lat strain) threw on back-to-back days over the weekend. Like Rodón, he could make it back this month but May is also a possibility.

Tommy Kahnle (right biceps tendinitis) will play catch in the next few days and fellow reliever Lou Trivino (right elbow strain) threw off the mound a few days ago. | Bryan Hoch: Yankees players were asked to do their best Nestor Cortes impersonations, and there were some hilarious ones. Rizzo couldn’t do a good job, but Gerrit Cole’s was very much on point.

Harrison Bader, Kyle Higashioka, Wandy Peralta, Gleyber Torres, and others participated in the fun challenge.