Yankees' hunt for first Grapefruit League win heads to Lakeland

Adam Warren to start against reigning Cy Young Max Scherzer and the Tigers
02/28/2014 11:32 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The Yankees don't want to be the punch line today at "The Joke," hoping to get their first Grapefruit League victory this afternoon when they head to Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland for a 1:05 p.m. date with the Tigers.

It's Adam Warren's turn to impress in the derby for the Yankees' final rotation spot, and he has a pair of advantages working for him; for one, he has Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann (among others) in the lineup behind him, so he'll have a semblance of the group he'd be in front of come April 1, and he'll also be facing a Tigers lineup that, despite being a split-squad day, features several regulars - including Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

The Yankees, meanwhile, will be facing reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer early on, and here is the full starting lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Zoilo Almonte LF
Russ Canzler 1B
Brendan Ryan SS
Dean Anna 2B
Gary Sanchez DH

Among the reserves on the trip today, the Yankees will once again have Austin Romine behind the plate, will see utility candidate Yangervis Solarte get some time at second, and have Addison Maruszak, who was brought up to Major League camp yesterday, getting the backup spot at shortstop.

Behind Warren, Joe Girardi is scheduled to have Shawn Kelley make his spring debut, with Preston Claiborne, Dan Burawa, Mark Montgomery (who was supposed to pitch yesterday but was held back), Brian Gordon and Fred Lewis also in the bullpen. Dellin Betances, Caleb Cotham, Chase Whitley, Bruce Billings, Zach Nuding and Diego Moreno also made the trip, and are available in case of emergency - or, like Branden Pinder and Jeremy Bleich yesterday, if the game gets out of hand at any point.

Bronx Baseball Daily has several other notes from camp on the final day of February, but Joe Girardi revealed one other nugget about his starting staff: in regards to "super Saturday" tomorrow, the skipper will have CC Sabathia start with Hiroki Kuroda pitching the third and fourth innings and Masahiro Tanaka the fifth and sixth.

Beyond that, Vidal Nuno will start Sunday with Ivan Nova pitching Monday, David Phelps Tuesday, and Warren on Wednesday, but Girardi did not reveal his plan for next Thursday when Sabathia, Kuroda, and Tanaka are all "on schedule" again.

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