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Yankees Pre-Game(s) Notes: Feb. 28

02/28/2013 11:42 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks would be proud of the Yankees’ schedule today, as they’re set to split the squad and play two in the Sunshine State.

It is indeed a beautiful day in both Tampa and Kissimmee, and the Yankees have one squad at home to take on the Blue Jays and another just south of Orlando to take on the Astros. The Blue Jays game will be broadcast on YES at 1 p.m., and we will have coverage of both games here on YESNetwork.com.

Here are today’s Yankees lineups:

NYY vs. TOR
Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Juan Rivera LF
Chris Stewart C
Dan Johnson 3B
Jose Pirela 2B
Gil Velazquez SS

NYY at HOU
Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 2B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Matt Diaz LF
Melky Mesa CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Corban Joseph 3B
Luke Murton 1B
J.R. Murphy DH

In the Blue Jays game, David Phelps will make his second spring start, and said on Wednesday that he expects to pitch three innings today but wasn’t expressly told that. Behind him, the Yankees are set to throw David Aardsma, Clay Rapada, Branden Pinder, Juan Cedeno, Chase Whitley, and Jim Miller, with Rapada making his spring debut.

Against them will be a Blue Jays lineup that could look very similar to the one used on opening day. J.P. Arencibia is listed as the DH today with Henry Blanco catching, and the Jays will be without scheduled center fielder Colby Rasmus, who was scratched this morning with shoulder soreness, but the rest of the lineup is filled with Major Leaguers and RHP Brandon Morrow will be on the mound.

Catcher Bobby Wilson, centerfielder Slade Heathcott, and top prospect Gary Sanchez (slotted as a DH) are among the eight reserves listed to come into the game in Tampa, but no one is listed at second base; today is Robinson Cano’s last day off before he heads to the WBC (he will play Friday and Saturday), and though utility man Addison Maruszak is listed as the backup shortstop, either he or Gil Velazquez could move over to second if Jose Pirela needs to be relieved.

The team also has a couple of players up from Minor League camp as emergency fill-ins, with utility man Casey Stevenson (who played four positions at Class-A Charleston last year) on the bench and righty Craig Heyer in the bullpen.

Meanwhile, in Kissimmee, Tony Pena will be the skipper – with Joe Girardi quipping it was “practice” for the WBC – and will have Brett Marshall, who relieved Phelps in the spring opener, starting on the mound with Dellin Betances, Mikey O’Brien, Shane Greene, Kelvin Perez, Corey Black, and Zach Nuding in relief. Betances will be making his spring debut, and with only six listed behind Marshall, it’s possible he will throw three innings as well.

Several of the players who appeared in yesterday’s game are listed among the second string, including catcher Austin Romine, infielder Walter Ibarra (listed at second base), and the entire reserve outfield.

Also listed is third baseman Kevin Mahoney, who is not in Major League camp but will be making an appearance, and infielder Reegie Corona and pitchers Shaeffer Hall and Graham Stoneburner are also on the trip as if-needed reserves.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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