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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/1/17

Cashman isn’t even thinking about demoting Bird, Sanchez could return vs. Cubs; Why Mitchell played first base; Fowler hits walkoff homer to complete cycle; Rangers claim Kozma

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
No, Bryan Mitchell isn’t an option to replace Greg Bird.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: Bad news for Ji-Man Choi and Chris Carter fans, Greg Bird isn’t going anywhere. Brian Cashman gave Bird a vote of confidence and said that he’s not even thinking about demoting Bird to Triple-A, despite his struggles. Cashman said that they’re respecting his ability and that the team winning allows them to be patient with Bird. Cashman also said Gary Sanchez could return during the Cubs series next weekend if all goes well. | Randy Miller: Bryan Mitchell played first base in a regular season game for the Yankees in 2017. Adam Warren wasn’t available to pitch after a long outing Saturday, and Girardi wanted Chapman to pitch the 10th, so he had Chapman come in but instead of replace Mitchell, Chapman replaced Matt Holliday and Mitchell took over first base from Carter, so Mitchell could pitch the 11th inning onward. Personally, I don’t mind the move but I would’ve saved this witchcraft for a time when Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and/or Mark Trumbo were at-bat (surprise: they hit in the 11th). | Tyler Maun: Have yourself a game, Dustin Fowler. The Yankees’ #8 prospect (per MLB Pipeline) hit for the cycle in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 7-6 win over Indianapolis. What made his five-hit day even better, is that when he came up to bat in the 11th, he needed one hit to mark a career high, a home run to complete the cycle, and the team needed one run to win the game. All three accomplished on one swing from Fowler, who completed the RailRiders’ first cycle since Ramon Flores had one in 2015.

MLB Trade Rumors | Connor Byrne: Pete Kozma is officially no longer a Yankee. Take a minute to reflect. Back? Cool, let’s proceed. Kozma, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees to make room for Didi Gregorius, was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. The Rangers’ corresponding move was to option Jurickson Profar to Triple-A Round Rock. I guess one could say Jurickson was having a pretty rough season...Profar.