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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/21/18

Brian Cashman willing to roll with rookies at second and third base; Todd Frazier meets the thumbs down guy, Gary Dunaier; Kyle Higashioka makes a trip back to the MLB Youth Academy; Ichiro Suzuki has a species of wasp named after him

Trenton Thunder v Akron Rubber Ducks

Newsday | Erik Boland: We’re getting closer and closer to pitchers and catchers reporting to Florida. Brian Cashman still wants to acquire either another starter or an infielder to play either second or third base. If he doesn’t, he’s still all good in the neighborhood, as the kids say. He’ll have the same rotation as last year and he’s prepared to roll with the rookies at second and third base. Both Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar could make the opening day roster. Make no mistake, they’ll face some fierce competition during spring training. That needs to hurry along.

New York Daily News | John Healy: Todd Frazier took some time away from Tom’s River, NJ to visit the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, NY. While signing autographs, he got to meet Gary Dunaier, the man who inspired Frazier’s thumbs down celebration after the Rays vs. Yankees game at Citi Field in August. The two of them had a nice chat about Frazier’s photo with Derek Jeter. I think. Actually, they probably didn’t talk about that at all. | Chad Thornburg: Kyle Higashioka will be headed to spring training to win the backup catcher’s job. Before that, he’s headed back to the MLB Youth Academy in Compton. Higgy was one of the first participants in the program and he’s hoping to give back to it in some way, shape, or form. His teammate, Aaron Hicks, is another alum of the program.

Cut4 | MEARNS!!!: Finally, MEARNS! Apparently former Yankee legend Ichiro Suzuki just had a new species of wasp named after him by a scientist from the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes. Jose Fernandez-Triana, the scientist behind the naming, said that Ichiro was his favorite player. Okay okay, I’ll just say it - Beechiro.