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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/8/23

Smoke puts a hold on Yankees-White Sox; Cortes receives injection, hits injured list; Frazier reflects on his tenure in the Bronx; Yankees officially IL Judge, call up McKinney

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: As you likely know by now, the Yankees and White Sox didn’t take the field last night due to dangerously poor air quality. The teams are now scheduled to play a single-admission doubleheader today starting at 4 p.m. EST. Should poor conditions delay or postpone play again, we’ll have you updated. | Max Goodman: When Nestor Cortes went down with a shoulder injury this week, the left-hander went into testing expecting the worst. That he’s come out with a diagnosis of a mild shoulder strain and two weeks of rest seems to have been relatively good news, even as he heads to the IL. Cortes said that he’s been feeling some lingering soreness in his shoulder for a few weeks now; with luck, some time to recover will have Cortes looking much more like the All-Star he was in 2022. This year, Cortes owns a 5.16 ERA and 4.60 FIP in 59.1 innings. Randy Vásquez will be called up as the “27th man” in the doubleheader today to take Cortes’ start, though Jhony Brito could also get a look the next time around.

New York Post | Bridget Reilly: Much better news on the injury front: Carlos Rodón successfully faced hitters amidst the haze early on Wednesday. The lefty reportedly threw “everything”, mixing in different types of pitches over the course of a 20-pitch session, sitting between 92-94 mph on his fastball. That Rodón is finally throwing to hitters and mixing in breaking balls, with decent velo to boot, has to feel like a pretty good sign.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: In his first trip to the Bronx since being DFA’d by the Yankees in November 2021, Clint Frazier spoke at length regarding his Yankee tenure. While Frazier admitted that there were downsides to playing in New York, and seemed to acknowledge that he’s fit in better in Chicago, the outfielder mostly had positive things to say about his time in pinstripes. He even reserved praise for the man who cut him, Brian Cashman, saying “I’m gonna chop it up with him at some point. He was always fair to me and always told me exactly how it was, and that’s all you can ask for”. | Bridget Hyland: We haven’t quite hit trade season, but there’s already a prominent former Yankee on the market: Aroldis Chapman. The lefty reliever has restored his value this year by turning back the clock and sitting 102 mph on his fastball again, and the moribund Royals are likely to move him this summer. KC has reportedly told teams that they actually would move Chapman as early as now for a substantial prospect package, or, they’d consider moving him along with another veteran in order to slash payroll. Chapman should be a sought-after player at the deadline, though with how his tenure in New York ended, it’s unlikely the Yankees will pursue another reunion.

And another ICYMI: the Yankees officially placed Aaron Judge on the 10-day IL, and transferred pitcher Ryan Weber to the 60-day IL. The latter move clears a spot on the 40-man roster, which the Yankees utilized by signing outfielder Billy McKinney to a major league contract.