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Yankees Pre-Game Notes: March 17 vs. Pirates

03/17/2013 10:11 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Saturday was a tough day for the Yankees in two locales, but they’ll try again to get in the win column this afternoon when they travel to Bradenton to face the Pirates.

Ivan Nova will be on the mound for the Bombers, and the lineup behind him is led by Kevin Youkilis. The full nine who will take their cuts against the Buccos today:

Eduardo Nunez SS
Brennan Boesch RF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Jayson Nix 2B
Chris Stewart C
Thomas Neal LF
Dan Johnson DH
Melky Mesa CF

Behind that nine, Joe Girardi has Bobby Wilson (C), Addison Maruszak (1B), Jose Pirela (2B), Walter Ibarra (SS), Gil Velazquez (3B) listed as reserves, with scheduled second right fielder Neil Medchill leading a group of about a half-dozen up from Minor League camp for the trip.

Once Nova’s day is done – a time frame Girardi put at about 65 pitches – he’ll be followed by David Robertson, Mark Montgomery and Matt Tracy, with three others (including veteran Chris Bootcheck) up from across the street to also be available out of the pen.

Girardi wasn’t sure who would be in the Pirates lineup, but he did say he was looking forward to seeing catcher Russell Martin, who signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh in the offseason.

“It’ll be good to see him; he did some good things for us,” Girardi said. “He brought a grittiness, he played hard and wanted to be in there every day. He did a good job with our pitchers, and defensively he contributed…he’s a good kid.”

On the subject of his catching situation, Girardi acknowledged as well that Martin has more power than the tandem that will do the Yankees’ catching in 2013, but thought that Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli more than match up defensively.

Beyond Sunday, the Yankees have an off day Monday, and will be back in action against the Phillies on Tuesday in Clearwater.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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