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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/21/23

Judge has a breakthrough with the healing of his injury; Brito is in line to start Wednesday for the Yankees; George Frazier passes away at 68

New York Yankees v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: Even though there’s still no specific timeline for Aaron Judge, there has been word that there has been a “breakthrough” after the outfielder received his second plasma shot in the area of the injury. Most of the swelling has apparently gone away, and he is slowly but surely improving. Brian Cashman says it’s too soon to provide a timetable for his return, and he believes that the Yankees can survive if it takes Judge until the All-Star break to return.

CBS Sports: After being spotted in the clubhouse, there were questions about whether Jhony Brito will be taking the mound for the Yankees. And per Aaron Boone, Brito is indeed on track to start for the Yankees today against the Mariners. The young pitcher hasn’t been excellent through his first few starts, but the hope is that he will be able to battle through the rough patch and come out better on the other side.

On Wednesday morning, the Yankees officially recalled Brito, who will take the roster spot previously occupied by long reliever Matt Krook. He was optioned following Tuesday night’s win.

New York Post | Christian Arnold: George Frazier, former relief pitcher for the Yankees, passed away at the age of 68 per an announcement from the Rockies after battling an undisclosed illness. He had 140 appearances with the Yankees, the most with any team over his 10-year career. Frazier was somewhat infamously charged with three of the four losses in the 1981 World Series against the Dodgers, though George Steinbrenner later told him, “It wasn’t your fault, kid.” After his career ended with a 1987 championship in Minnesota, Frazier eventually became an announcer, spending 18 years in the Colorado booth and forging a new legacy.

Lastly, a couple items that we covered in stories yesterday but are worth noting in case you missed it:

  • Judge is still the only Yankees player on track to advance to Phase 2 of MLB All-Star voting. He leads all outfielders but trails Shohei Ohtani for the overall AL lead.
  • Harrison Bader was activated from the IL and played last night in center field. Also, Carlos Rodón began a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset and pitched three innings yesterday.