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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/19/23

Injury updates, injury updates, and injury updates; Hal Steinbrenner has regular meetings with Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole; the best rivalries in MLB right now

New York Yankees Photo Day Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: Yesterday afternoon, the Yankees placed starting catcher Jose Trevino on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. To replace him on the active roster, they promoted catcher Ben Rortvedt. Originally acquired from the Yankees as part of the deal that sent Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez (who, coincidentally, was just added to the active roster by the New York Mets) to the Twins for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson, Rortvedt has yet to actually make an appearance for the Yankees: an oblique injury and knee surgery sidelined him at the start of the 2022 season, and an aneurysm in his shoulder required surgery in February. Or rather, these injuries would have kept him sidelined, if he actually existed, which as we know, he does not.

In real player news, the Yankees also announced that Tommy Kahnle will begin a rehab assignment with Low-A Tampa, as he looks to rejoin a bullpen that has been been battered by injuries to Jonathan Loáisiga, Lou Trivino, and Ian Hamilton. Additionally, Josh Donaldson suffered a setback in his rehab, as he sliced his hand while assembling something with his daughter in his house (we’re not playing Out of the Park Baseball, right?). | Max Goodman: In other injury-related news, major reinforcements are en route. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said that Giancarlo Stanton is “real close” to starting rehab games, possibly as soon as next week. While Carlos Rodón is further away, he does not seem to have had any negative effects from the cortisone injection he received, and is currently throwing at 90 feet as he ramps up his throwing program. And this is on top of Luis Severino, who is expected to make his season debut on Sunday. | Kevin Manahan: Visiting Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman’s podcast “The Show,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner revealed that he has regularly-scheduled meetings with “the leader of the position players [Aaron Judge] and a leader of the pitchers [Gerrit Cole]” to ensure that he and Brian Cashman remain up-to-date with what’s going on in the clubhouse. While Steinbrenner refused to say exactly what transpires in these meetings — he said that they had agreed that “whatever was spoken in that meeting was staying in that room” — the fact that the players have a direct line to ownership and the front office can be, in my eyes, only a good thing.

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: With the stupidity known as this week’s Yankees/Blue Jays series finally in the books, CBS Sports’ baseball writers debated the best rivalries in baseball that exist today. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Yankees pop up multiple times in the discussion; while The Rivalry gets a mention, they find the Yankees/Rays to be the biggest AL East rivalry at the moment, due to the recent history of bad blood between the organizations. Casey will have more on all this later today.