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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/11/19

Didi Gregorius to start extended spring training games; J.A. Happ responds to Dee Gordon’s comments; DJ LeMahieu has been huge for this team; Yankees favorites to land Dallas Keuchel?

Divisional Round - Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images | Pete Caldera: Finally some good injury news! Didi Gregorius, who has been working his way back from offseason Tommy John surgery, is slated to start extended spring training games. May 20 is the big day. The shortstop said that his arm strength feels normal, and he isn’t experiencing any pain throwing. | Brendan Kuty: If you missed it, J.A. Happ hit Dee Gordon with a pitch during Thursday’s win over the Mariners. Gordon was “pissed” after the incident, saying it was the second time Happ threw up and in at him. He said “I have a family” and implied that Happ was throwing at his head. The southpaw responded yesterday saying that he thought Gordon’s comments were absurd. “It wasn’t even close to his head. It was a pitch at the letters and off the plate a little bit. He was trying to get to it. If I don’t go there, how am I supposed to get to the other side of the plate with strikes?”

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: The DJ LeMahieu signing was not a popular one, but he has been one of the Yankees’ best hitters. He has been particularly good at hitting with runners in scoring position (.517/.528/.552) and this team wouldn’t be where it is now—half a game back in the division—without him.

SNY: Jon Heyman thinks that the Yankees are one of the favorites to end up with Dallas still-a-free-agent Keuchel. They would probably wait until after the MLB Draft to sign him so that they don’t have to give up a draft pick, though. It is wild that Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still available at this point.