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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/2/23

The Martian lands in Houston; the story of Wells and Volpe’s friendship; Aaron Judge becomes fastest to 250; Torres’ back locks up

New York Yankees v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: Jasson Domínguez has been in the spotlight since signing with the Yankees as an international amateur free agent back in 2019. At long last, The Martian has landed — rather poetically, at Minute Maid Park, just a half-hour drive from the Johnson Space Center. His arrival has been the source of so much hype that Hoch broke down everything you might need to know about Domínguez’s arrival, including how the Yankees plan to use him (as the starting center fielder) and a pair of fun facts. He is the youngest Yankee position player since 1984, and last night’s lineup included four players under the age of 23 for the first time since we first landed on the Moon. | Bryan Hoch: Now, how did said debut go? Chances are that if you follow the Yankees even a little bit, you already know. But just in case you don’t and missed Kevin’s post last night, Hoch’s got you covered there, too. Facing Justin Verlander, Domínguez went yard in his first career at-bat, joining Aaron Judge and five other Yankees to ever turn that trick — and none were as young as The Martian. | Randy Miller: Since their days with the Somerset Patriots in Double-A, Anthony Volpe and Austin Wells have been best buds (you’d sure hope so, since both lived in Volpe’s childhood home during that time!). Even as they were at different levels in the farm, they continued to talk regularly and meet up when off-days permitted — for example, see the well-discussed chicken parm dinner. Now, at long last, they are back on the same team, bringing their friendship to the Bronx.

And what was Wells most concerned about? The clothes that he needed on the flight back from Houston! Fortunately, Volpe was able to help there: apparently, they wear team-issued tracksuits on the plane. (Wells didn’t join Domínguez in going deep, but he did lace a single in his first at-bat.)

Sports Illustrated | Patrick McAvoy: Speaking of Volpe, although the rookie shortstop has had an up-and-down performance this season, he has shown more than enough to suggest he can be an important piece of the Yanees going forward. His 3.6 bWAR ranks second only to Gerrit Cole (he’s fourth in fWAR, behind Cole, Judge, and Gleyber Torres), and he recently became the first Yankee rookie to post a 20/20 season. On top of all that, he’s shown a resilience at the plate, and has been able to bounce back from rough stretches and miscues. In a season filled with disappointments, that’s one reason for optimism going forward.

Associated Press | Kristie Rieken: Of course, yesterday wasn’t just about the kids. Captain Aaron Judge put his name in the history books with a monster home run off Verlander to become the fastest player in baseball history to reach 250 home runs. Accomplishing the feat in his 810th game, No. 99 didn’t just break the record, he shattered it: Judge passed previous record-holder Ryan Howard by a full 45 games.

Additionally, that home run put Judge at 30 on the season despite playing just 81 games. The fence in Los Angeles really robbed us of another record chase.

CBS Sports: Unfortunately, the baseball gods cannot give us a completely positive news dump. Gleyber Torres was originally scheduled to be in yesterday’s lineup, batting third and playing second. However, lower back tightness caused him to be scratched from the lineup; Oswald Peraza shifted over from third to the keystone, while Isiah Kiner-Falefa manned the hot corner in his absence.