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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/17/23

Yankees need a spark; Torres holds ignominous record; get ‘em on and get ‘em in; Babe’s bat sells high

New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves Photo by Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images | Max Goodman: Headed into play Wednesday night, the Yankees have just a three percent chance of making the playoffs per FanGraphs, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s a bit high. After a lifeless series with Atlanta, and both the manager and captain of the club admitting the team just isn’t good enough right now, the turnaround needs to start with this weekend’s series against Boston. The genesis of that “spark” has yet to be found though — Gerrit Cole would traditionally play that role, but he doesn’t pitch until Saturday and we saw how the Yankees came out in his last outing.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: As Suzyn Waldman would say, to have a record is lovely, but not {this} one. Gleyber Torres has hit into six double plays in his last six games, a new Yankee record for that timespan. The Yankee second baseman is now fourth in the game in most GIDPs, already an increase over last season even as Torres has significantly cut his strikeout rate down — and his overall offensive performance has remained stabled. As a perfect microcosm of the Yankee season, even when something is going right it’s not leading to improvement.

FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: It’s the ultimate old school argument — the best players can hone in when it matters, and move the runners over and in with less than two outs. Clemens goes deep on the topic, and while the Yankees have been among the best in baseball at getting runners in from third with less than two out, it’s something they’ve significantly struggled with this season.

Bleacher Report | Doric Sam: A little piece of Yankee history to close out this sad links roundup. A 1923 bat used in a charity game by Babe Ruth himself sold for $1.3 million in auction, the third-highest figure of all time. Unsurprisingly, the Bambino holds both spots above this most recent sale as well.