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Yankees Pre-Game Notes: March 16 vs. Phillies

03/16/2013 10:16 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro
TAMPA – Saturday is another Ernie Banks day for the Yankees, as they’ll split the squad and play two in the Sunshine State.

It’s already a beautiful day here in Tampa, where one squad will battle the Phillies in a rare noon start on YES. Hiroki Kuroda is on the mound, and the lineup behind him will feature the newest Yankee, Brennan Boesch, who was signed Friday afternoon after being released by the Tigers.

In his first New York media meeting, Boesch said that being a Yankee was a dream come true, and he’ll get his first chance to show off his pinstripes in right field this afternoon.

“The Yankees had interest, and they were the first team on my list,” Boesch said this morning of his whirlwind 24 hours, “and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been in Detroit since 2006 and that’s all I know, but sometimes it comes to an end and I couldn’t ask for a better place to land or a better organization for my second go round.”

The rest of this afternoon’s lineup behind Kuroda:

Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Brett Gardner LF
Chris Stewart C
Gil Velazquez 2B

With Boesch on board, Ichiro moves over to left and Brett Gardner is in center, an alignment that could very well see the light of day on Opening Day. Also, Derek Jeter is playing shortstop for the second consecutive day, so he will likely be out of the lineup Sunday ahead of the team’s off day Monday.

The Phillies lineup today is packed with many of the team’s projected Opening Day starters, including a top four of Ben Revere, Michael Young, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. Top prospect Domonic Brown is in the lineup as the left fielder, and Laynce Nix, older brother of the Yankees’ Jayson, is slotted in right field.

Unfortunately, little bro will not see the field in Tampa today, as he will be part of the squad headed to Lake Buena Vista to face the Braves later this afternoon. On the bench here at Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees have Bobby Wilson, Luke Murton, Walter Ibarra, and Addison Maruszak slotted in as reserves on the diamond and Eduardo Sosa, Ramon Flores, and Zoilo Almonte in the outfield, with a handful of players up from Minor League camp and available if needed.

Beyond Kuroda, the Yankees have the legendary Mariano Rivera set for his third spring inning, and David Aardsma, who seems to be in good shape after battling a groin injury over the last week or two, is set to go as well. Cody Eppley, Shawn Kelley, and Mark Montgomery are also listed today.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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