Bird, Starlin, Holliday all on rehab assignments

Injured players working to get back to Yankees for postseason push

Bird, Starlin, Holliday all on rehab assignments

BOSTON -- The Yankees could soon add a trio of formidable reinforcements to their lineup for the postseason push, as Greg Bird, Starlin Castro and Matt Holliday all have Minor League rehabilitation assignments underway.

Coming off right ankle surgery, Bird has gone 2-for-6 with a run scored and an RBI in two games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Castro (right hamstring strain) joined the RailRiders for Friday's game against Durham, while Holliday (left lumbar strain) has reported to Class A Advanced Tampa.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Players Weekend nearly put Gray in a 'Pickles'

Yankees right-hander got nickname from a few Oakland teammates

Players Weekend nearly put Gray in a 'Pickles'

NEW YORK -- When the Yankees' roster of Players Weekend nicknames started to circulate in their clubhouse, most of them seemed to make sense pretty quickly. Aaron "All Rise" Judge, Clint "Red Thunder" Frazier and Aroldis "The Missile" Chapman were among the more inspired choices that fit the players' personas.

Then there is the mystery of Sonny "Pickles" Gray -- a delicious grocery store staple, to be sure, but not a word that you might expect to be attached to a standout right-handed pitcher. So what's the dill, Sonny?

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Rebuilt Yankees 'pen is game's scariest unit

New York's relief corps' 2.41 ERA past 30 days is best in Majors

Rebuilt Yankees 'pen is game's scariest unit

A month ago today, the Yankees made the trade everyone expected, upgrading their third-base situation by acquiring Todd Frazier from the White Sox. As the biggest name in the deal, and with third base being New York's biggest trouble spot, it was "the Todd Frazier trade." Even here, we understandably relegated the other pieces headed to the Bronx to the "New York also receives …" section.

A month later, it's not the Frazier trade any longer, if it even was in the first place. It's the "Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson trade," and it's one of a few reasons that the Yankees have turned a bullpen group that was in disarray in June into what may be baseball's most dominating unit down the stretch. We learned last year that bullpens are what matter in October, even more than starters. If the Yanks can hold onto their current 3 1/2-game American League Wild Card lead and make it to October, this is going to matter, a lot.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez authoring another torrid August

Yanks catcher's current hot streak reminiscent of last year's historic tear

Sanchez authoring another torrid August

NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez strapped the Yankees onto his back last August, when the power-hitting catcher enjoyed a historic surge that kept the team in the postseason race into the season's final weeks. His teammates may be wondering if a repeat performance is already underway.

One night after Aaron Judge awed the dugout with a stunning moonshot to the third deck, it was Sanchez's turn to flex some muscle, belting his 22nd home run as part of a five-RBI performance in Thursday's 7-5 victory over the Mets at Citi Field.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks sweep, in driver's seat atop WC hunt

Yanks sweep, in driver's seat atop WC hunt

NEW YORK -- Luis Severino bounced back from the worst start of his career while Gary Sanchez flexed his muscle by driving in five runs, helping the Yankees complete a four-game sweep of this year's Subway Series with a 7-5 victory over the Mets on Thursday evening at Citi Field.

One outing after being rocked for a career-high 10 runs (eight earned) by the Red Sox, Severino recaptured the form that has elevated him into the Yanks' ace this season, holding the Mets to an unearned run and four hits over 6 1/3 innings to pick up his fifth victory in six starts.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Severino's first career hit elated teammates

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Severino's first career hit elated teammates

Luis Severino was in terrific form on Thursday night against the Mets. He shut them out over the first six innings as the Yankees ran the score up to 7-0 by the end of the fourth.

A surprising contributor to the Yankees' offense was Severino himself. He entered the game hitless in four career at-bats, but he caught a break in the top of the fourth.

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Yanks recall 1B Austin, place Cooper on DL

Yanks recall 1B Austin, place Cooper on DL

NEW YORK -- One year ago this week, Tyler Austin made history when he and Aaron Judge homered back-to-back in their first Major League at-bats, becoming the first pair of teammates to do so.

His 2017 campaign has not been quite as memorable, as Austin has endured stints on the disabled list for a fractured left ankle and a right hamstring strain, but the 25-year-old celebrated his return to The Show on Thursday for the finale of this year's Subway Series.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge hits 117-mph rocket into 3rd deck at Citi

Yanks slugger joins Cespedes as only players to reach that level in a game

Judge hits 117-mph rocket into 3rd deck at Citi

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge would prefer not to talk about his own homers, and when pressed on the issue, he swears that all of them feel pretty much the same. While that's probably true, anyone who witnessed his most recent blast is not likely to forget it.

Playing in his first career game at Citi Field, Judge reached a seating area that few players have, crushing his American League-leading 37th homer into the left-field third deck in the Yankees' 5-3 Subway Series victory over the Mets.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clutch Didi, mighty Judge lift Yanks over Mets

Clutch Didi, mighty Judge lift Yanks over Mets

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge awed his teammates with one of the most impressive home runs in Citi Field history and Didi Gregorius delivered a tiebreaking hit to lead the Yankees past the Mets, 5-3, in Subway Series action on Wednesday evening.

The rookie phenom immediately put his head down and began running the bases after his American League-leading 37th homer, a titanic fourth-inning blast off Robert Gsellman. Playing his first career game in Queens, Judge joined Yoenis Cespedes as the only players to reach the third deck in left field.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman to remain closer, hopes to avoid DL

Girardi gives struggling left-hander vote of confidence after 3 rough outings

Chapman to remain closer, hopes to avoid DL

NEW YORK -- The Yankees offered two votes of confidence for Aroldis Chapman on Wednesday afternoon, with manager Joe Girardi stating that "he will continue to be my closer" and that he believes the left-hander will be able to avoid a stint on the disabled list.

Chapman reported that his right hamstring tightened in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Mets, in which Chapman appeared despondent after surrendering a two-run homer to rookie Amed Rosario. Girardi said that no MRI has been scheduled for Chapman, though he was unavailable to pitch Wednesday.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Steinbrenner: Yanks have sights on postseason

Managing general partner emphasizes club's annual mindset

Steinbrenner: Yanks have sights on postseason

CHICAGO -- To Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, the criteria are pretty clear cut.

"If we don't make the playoffs," Steinbrenner said Wednesday at the MLB Owners Meetings, "it's a failure. Any year, any year. That's just the mindset for us."

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

WWE stars award Judge with championship belt

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WWE stars award Judge with championship belt

Aaron Judge has racked up quite a few accolades during his remarkable 2017 season, from an All-Star selection to a Home Run Derby crown to his very own fan section. But despite that barrage of dingers, he was still missing out on one particular prize: his very own championship belt.

Luckily, Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman and Big Cass of the WWE stopped by Yankee Stadium prior Tuesday's Mets-Yankees game to fix that.

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Gray handcuffs Mets for 1st win with Yanks

Gray handcuffs Mets for 1st win with Yanks

NEW YORK -- Sonny Gray hurled six-plus solid innings and outpitched Jacob deGrom to pick up his first win in pinstripes, and Aroldis Chapman survived a bumpy ninth inning as the Yankees defeated the Mets, 5-4, on Tuesday evening, concluding the Yankee Stadium portion of the Subway Series.

Backed by homers from Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez, Gray made his first home start since being acquired by the Yanks and held the Mets scoreless until Dominic Smith's first big league homer in the seventh. Working in front of a sellout crowd of 46,474, the right-hander scattered five hits in a 104-pitch effort, walking two and striking out five.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman closes it out, but struggles continue

Yanks lefty allows at least one run for third straight outing, another homer

Chapman closes it out, but struggles continue

NEW YORK -- Aroldis Chapman crouched at the front of the mound while Amed Rosario circled the bases around him, remaining motionless until catcher Gary Sanchez finally patted the struggling closer on the back with his glove.

That visual, along with the telling grimace as Chapman sprinted to cover first base for the final out of a 5-4 victory over the Mets, spoke volumes about the Yankees' ninth-inning situation. Chapman said that his tight hamstring -- he didn't specify which one -- is "nothing to worry about," but his performance has been.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez on a tear since lunch with A-Rod, J-Lo

Sanchez on a tear since lunch with A-Rod, J-Lo

NEW YORK -- Are Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez partially to thank for Gary Sanchez's offensive surge?

The catcher homered for the fourth time in seven games on Tuesday, helping the Yankees to a 5-4 win over the Mets, and said that a recent power lunch in midtown Manhattan with the superstar couple helped to clear his mind.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

With Yanks' rotation depth tested, Gray delivers

With Yanks' rotation depth tested, Gray delivers

NEW YORK -- It was only a couple weeks ago that the Yankees traded for Sonny Gray, adding what they believed to be a front-line starter to their rotation.

The need for such a pitcher was obvious for a team with October aspirations, but Gray's arrival led some to wonder something else: What the heck were the Yankees going to do with Jaime Garcia, the lefty they had acquired only one day earlier in a trade with the Twins?

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Mark Feinsand, executive reporter for MLB.com, has covered the Yankees and MLB since 2001 for the New York Daily News and MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solak has big game for Trenton

Solak has big game for Trenton

The hits just keep coming for Jahmai Jones.

The Angels' No. 2 prospect extended his hitting streak to 18 games on Tuesday with a leadoff double in Class A Advanced Inland Empire's 2-0 win over Lake Elsinore. He also hit a single and walked once in the contest, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judging by results, slugger turning corner

Judging by results, slugger turning corner

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge has been spending many of his afternoons in the batting cage and in the video room, searching for solutions to the mechanical flaws that are believed to be responsible for a midseason swoon. He may be about to solve this puzzle in front of the entire city.

Judge hit his American League-leading 36th homer on Monday evening as the Yankees defeated the Mets, 4-2, in the annual renewal of acquaintances between the crosstown rivals. For Judge, his second homer in all of August highlighted his introduction to the Subway Series.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks down Mets on late HR, gain in AL East

Yanks down Mets on late HR, gain in AL East

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez all connected for the 40th home runs of their Major League careers on Monday evening, powering the Yankees to a much-needed 4-2 victory over the Mets in the opening game of this year's Subway Series.

Judge tied the game in the sixth, launching his American League-leading 36th homer off Rafael Montero, and Hicks tattooed a Hansel Robles heater to give the Yanks the lead in the eighth.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frazier rooting on Little Leaguers from Jersey

Frazier rooting on Little Leaguers from Jersey

NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier lights up whenever he talks about the Little League World Series, which his team from Toms River, N.J., won in 1998.

"It's fun for all ages," Frazier said. "It's just an atmosphere, young or old, you sit there and you're like, 'This is pretty cool.'"

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Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McGwire keeping tabs on Judge, Bellinger

Rookie HR record holder impressed by pair of young sluggers

McGwire keeping tabs on Judge, Bellinger

LOS ANGELES -- Mark McGwire arrived in Oakland in 1987, a bright-eyed rookie with a powerful swing. Before he had time to fully comprehend his status as a big leaguer, he says, he was already threatening Major League Baseball's 31-year-old rookie homer record -- held at the time by Frank Robinson and Wally Berger.

With 49 dingers that year, McGwire shattered the previous mark of 38. Thirty summers later, he's on the opposite end of the chase.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Heller makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Heller makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

Many scouts believed Nick Senzel was the best pure hitter available in the 2016 Draft, which is a major reason why the Reds selected him second overall and signed him for $6.2 million. He has lived up to that reputation, batting .317/.390/.519 with 89 extra-base hits in his first 177 pro games.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman shoulders blame for loss to Sox

Chapman shoulders blame for loss to Sox

NEW YORK -- The third pitch of Aroldis Chapman's ninth-inning showdown with Rafael Devers zipped toward home plate at 102.1 mph, and the Red Sox rookie barely made contact, tipping it foul. The next fastball came in just a little bit hotter, and it never made it to catcher Gary Sanchez's glove.

Chapman jerked his neck and watched that heater rocket into the visiting bullpen, the fastest pitch cracked for a home run since MLB began officially tracking velocity in 2008. It was the fourth blown save in 19 chances for Chapman, who took the loss in the Yankees' 3-2, 10-inning setback vs. Boston on Sunday.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks drop series as Sox get to Chapman

Yanks drop series as Sox get to Chapman

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox enjoyed a glimpse of their bright future on Sunday evening as Rafael Devers cracked a dramatic, game-tying home run and Andrew Benintendi delivered the go-ahead hit, lifting Boston to a thrilling 3-2 victory in 10 innings over the Yankees that swelled their American League East lead to a season-high 5 1/2 games.

Devers tied the game in the ninth inning with the fourth homer of his young career, catching up with a 102.8-mph Aroldis Chapman fastball and driving it over into the visiting bullpen in left-center field. It marked New York's 20th blown save of the season, and just the second homer that Chapman has ever allowed to a left-handed hitter.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What a Rise! Judge debuted 1 year ago

Yanks rookie slugger discusses anniversary of first game

What a Rise! Judge debuted 1 year ago

NEW YORK -- One year ago Sunday, Aaron Judge had an exciting Major League debut, going 2-for-4 with a home run. It was followed by a lackluster late-season stint that left him fighting for a starting job in Spring Training.

Now Judge is arguably the most recognizable player in MLB. What a difference a year makes.

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Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.