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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/24/17

Fifth starter decision may not come until April; NYY upset with Didi’s usage in WBC; What Greg Bird can be; NYY to help fund funeral for slain EMT

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: The have found themselves in a bit of a pickle with their starting rotation. They have plenty of options to take the fourth and fifth stops, but unfortunately they’ve been largely underwhelming so far this spring. The main candidates were so disappointing, that the Yankees added Jordan Montgomery to the mix. Though Joe Girardi might try and buy some time. The way the beginning of the season works out, the team may not need a fifth starter until half way through April, so they may choose to wait.

FanRag Sports | Jon Heyman: When news of Didi Gregorius’ injury came out, Gregorius came out and said the injury could’ve happened anywhere. Brian Cashman also said that injuries are “part of baseball.” But it seems that some within the Yankee organization are upset at how Gregorius was used in the World Baseball Classic. While no one has come out and officially said anything, apparently some within the organization are wondering if the injury occurred because he mostly DH’d at the tournament before playing a game at second base. Joe Girardi said he’s “OK with it” and the team will “deal with it.”

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: Greg Bird has come back this spring and put away any doubts that he deserves the first base job. After spending a year away from the game, Bird looks like he hasn’t missed a step. Based on how he hit in 2015, as long as he stays healthy, he profiles to be at worst a younger version of Lucas Duda. But if he continues to get better, his ceiling is through the roof. Apparently his shoulder was bothering him even in 2015 when he debuted, so if it’s actually better now, there’s a chance we haven’t seen the best of Greg Bird just yet. The Word is exciting.

New York Daily News | Christian Red & Larry McShane: Last week, EMT Yadira Arroyo was tragically killed by a schizophrenic career criminal who tried to steal her ambulance and ran her down with the vehicle. Roughly 10,000 are expected for Arroyo’s funeral on Saturday, so the Yankees will cover the costs of opening and staffing their parking lots, as well as offer a post-funeral meal with refreshments and food served in the Great Hall. It’s a truly awful story, but a nice gesture by the team.