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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/21/23

Donaldson heads to the 60-day IL and other injury updates; Carlos Rodón’s kiss gesture has interesting parallel; and there’s still hope for the Yankees (even though it may not feel like it).

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: The Yankees are making some big roster moves due to the status of player injuries. First, they selected the contract of Matt Bowman (who had exercised an opt-out) and optioned him to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. In order to get him on the roster, and the most important part of all of this, the Yankees moved Josh Donaldson to the 60-day injured list after suffering an injury in his calf that was somewhere between a Grade 2+ and 3. At best, he will be back in the middle of September, but there is a high likelihood that his time as a Yankee is over. It would conclude one of the least-fondly received Yankees careers in recent memory.

Additionally, Willie Calhoun and Jake Bauers will be starting their rehab assignments. Calhoun is at Double-Somerset and Bauers is at Triple-A Scranton.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Carlos Rodón, during his start against the Los Angeles Angels, was hearing it from the Yankees fans in attendance and decided to blow kisses as a retort. (He later expressed remorse.) There is another pitcher in Yankees history, Jack McDowell, who did a similar response to the crowd gesture back in 1995 that Joel Sherman details. A middle-finger salute is a stronger retort than the one Rodón gave, but perhaps that late-season surge will be more closely mirrored instead. | Mike Lupica: Although there isn’t much confidence in Yankees-land among the fans (for good reason considering how the offense is performing and how the pitching is performing in conjunction), there is still some reason to have hope. Nestor Cortes and Aaron Judge will be coming back from injury sooner rather than later, which is big both for the lineup and starting rotation. And all the Yankees need is a spot in the playoffs. The likelihood at this point that they overcome the division deficit is low, and they need to prove they can be a resilient team, but we haven’t even hit the trade deadline yet, and loads of things can happen with the 65 games remaining in the 2023 season.