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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/12/17

Montgomery set to make debut; NYY MLB’s most valuable team again; Ellsbury honors his Native American heritage; Girardi will lean on Ellsgard again; NYY cautiously optimistic about Pineda

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Seth Walder: Jordan Montgomery officially won the Yankees fifth rotation spot. After a solid spring training, Montgomery is set to make his MLB debut today. Kyle Higashioka, called up because of Gary Sanchez’s injury, gave a scouting report on Montgomery. Higashioka says that Montgomery has four good pitches that all come out of the same slot so they can deceive hitters, praising his slider especially, and his overall consistency. Best of luck!

Forbes | Chris Smith: The Yankees ($3.7 billion) are once again MLB’s most valuable team, and the second-most valuable sports team behind the Dallas Cowboys. The Yankees have also moved up three spots to the sixth spot in Forbes SportsMoney Index. The SMI ranks the sports world's most powerful entities (teams, athletes, brands, and agencies) and accounts for financial wealth plus relationships with others throughout the sports business world. Basically the Yankees have a lot of money and a lot of brand partners AKA sponsors.

Yankees Magazine | Jon Schwartz: Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t from Arizona but spends a lot of time there honoring his Native American heritage. For the sixth consecutive year, Ellsbury ran a baseball came for Native American youth where kids from tribes all around the Southwest came and participated. The goal was not to just get them outside and exercising for a day, but also to give them a way to express their heritage in a new way.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: The Yankees began the season with a new-look lineup, having broken up Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury and having Gary Sanchez bat second in the lineup. Without Sanchez or Greg Bird in the lineup, Joe Girardi returned to his old Ellsgard formula and it worked for him. With both having good starts to the season, Ellsbury especially, Girardi will likely continue leaning on Ellsgard as much as he can until Sanchez returns.

New York Daily News | John Harper: In the Yankees’ home opener, Michael Pineda tossed an absolute gem, taking a perfect game into seventh inning. Even though they hope Pineda found it, the Yankees know better and are being cautiously optimistic that will finally find consistency. Not knocking Pineda’s performance, but the team has seen this before and is hoping he learns and can repeat. Girardi also said that Pineda had a legitimate shot at perfection and would have let him pitch had he kept it going.