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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/16/17

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Bird could return next week; Girardi won’t commit to Bird being starter; Sabathia could return Saturday; Green is a big weapon; Martinez hoping to get back on track

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies
I’m comin’ home. I’m comin’ home. Tell the world, I’m comin’ home.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: GREG BIRD! As reported earlier in the week, Greg Bird will begin a rehab assignment today. He will join Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and play five innings at first base today. In addition, he also added that there’s a chance he could be back as early as next week. He needs to show it in games, but in batting practice and on the field he’s looked very good so far.

New York Post | Dan Martin: With Bird on the verge of returning, the question that has come up often has been how with the lineup look. Currently Todd Frazier and Chase Headley are manning third and first base respectively. While Joe Girardi was non-committal to Bird being the starter, if he’s healthy and hitting, there’s almost no way he’s not. At that point, Headley and Frazier would likely end up platooning at third.

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: In addition to Bird and Starlin Castro (who will begin a rehab assignment Friday) the Yankees could also be getting CC Sabathia back as early as Saturday, which is the first day he’s eligible to come off the disabled list. He threw a bullpen session and felt no pain and plans on doing so again soon. A final decision will be made after that. With his replacement, Luis Cessa, getting hurt and being placed on the disabled list, a quick return for Sabathia would be good news.

New York Post | Fred Kerber: Sometimes, it’s easy being Green. Chad Green, that is. Green has not only embraced his role in the Yankee bullpen, but he’s thrived in his first year as a full-time reliever. Green says that he’s been asking questions to Dellin Betances and David Robertson about succeeding in the bullpen, but especially Adam Warren. He sees him and Warren in almost similar roles in the bullpen, and that they’re both converted starters.

Baseball America | Josh Norris: In the third-round of the 2016 MLB Draft, the Yankees took Nolan Martinez, a pitcher who was just finishing high school at the time. Since being drafted, Martinez has only thrown 11.2 innings over his two seasons and only made two appearances this year. He’s hoping to overcome his injury woes and just take the mound every fifth day as he now feels 100%.

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