Girardi: Yankees a team of the present — and future

CLEVELAND — Whether he is back or not, Joe Girardi is impressed by the Yankees’ future.

“I think it’s really bright. When you look at the youth and the talent of the youth that is here now, the youth that is really close and the youth that might be a year or two away, I think it’s extremely bright,’’ Girardi said before his club closed out an ALDS comeback with a 5-2 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

Gary Sanchez (24), Aaron Judge (25) and Luis Severino (23) were All-Stars this season. Infielder Gleyber Torres, who turns 21 in December, is considered by some as a can’t-miss prospect even after having Tommy John surgery. The Yankees are wild about Estevan Florial, who played for Single-A Tampa this season at 19.

A pedestrian season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for Clint Frazier hasn’t dimmed the Yankees’ opinion of the 24-year-old outfielder. Right-handed pitcher Chance Adams, 24, went 11-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts for SWB. Miguel Andujar, 23, batted .317 for SWB in 59 games and could replace free agent Todd Frazier at third.

“I think the Yankees are set up for a really good run and there are a lot of things that have to go into that. Health has to play an important role, but you look at the impact players that are youthful that we already have, that’s big,’’ Girardi said. “You are not talking about seven, eight and nine hitters. You are talking about middle-of-the-order hitters that are big and can be extremely productive. I think the future is very bright.’’

Edwin Encarnacion returned to the Indians lineup after missing Games 3 and 4 with an ankle injury suffered in Game 2, but Girardi didn’t plan on pitching the right-handed hitting DH differently.

“We are going to approach him the same way we did in Game 1 and Game 2 — carefully,’’ said Girardi before Encarnacion went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, including the first out of the ninth inning against closer Aroldis Chapman.

Girardi managed against John Farrell the past five years inside of baseball’s most intense rivalry, but that didn’t stop him from sending Farrell a message Wednesday when the Red Sox fired him.

“I feel for him, I have been there,’’ said Girardi, who was axed after the 2006 season while managing the Marlins. “My heart goes out to him because I know how much he puts into the job.’’

Indians manager Terry Francona, who had Farrell on his Red Sox staff as the pitching coach, said Farrell eventually will bounce back.

“Knowing John the way I do, he will land on his feet and he will be in a better position than he was before,’’ Francona said.

New York Yankees
Didi Gregorius celebrates with Gary Sanchez after hitting a solo home run in the first inning.

Charles Wenzelberg

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five
Corey Kluber gave up three earned runs before being pulled in the fourth inning.

Cleveland Indians vs New York Yankees Game Five of the ALDS in Cleveland Ohio
Didi Gregorius rounds the bases after hitting his second home run of the game to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the third.

Anthony J. Causi

New York Yankees
CC Sabathia walks off the mound after striking out Edwin Encarnacion to end the 4th inning.

Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five
Roberto Perez stands on first after hitting an RBI single to cut the Yankees lead to 3-1 in the fifth.

CC Sabathia, Gary Sanchez
Sanchez meets with Sabathia on the mound after the Indians get on the board in the fifth.


Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five
David Robertson shuts out the Indians over 2 2/3 innings to preserve the Yankees’ 3-2 lead.

Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman works a scoreless eighth inning to send the Yankees into the ninth with the lead.


Todd Frazier, Aaron Hicks
Todd Frazier (right) celebrates with Aaron Hicks after scoring on Brett Gardner’s single in the ninth.


Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five
The Yankees mob Aroldis Chapman after he gets the final out.

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five
Gardner and Starlin Castro congratulate each other on the Yankees’ Game 5 win.

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five
Frazier (right) embraces a smiling Chapman on the mound.

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