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Minor leagues get started tonight

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This is Opening Day for the Yankees minor leaguers. Of course, I’m partial to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre opener because I covered it the past seven years, but each of the Yankees top four affiliates will be in action tonight.

Late spring signings have significantly changed the Triple-A roster. Chad Moeller, Chad Huffman and Robby Hammock are on the bench, crowding P.J. Pilittere and Matt Cusick to the DL and forcing Reid Gorecki — who played in the big leagues last year — to Double-A Trenton. Kevin Whelan was also taken off the active roster, with the last bullpen spot going to Zack Segovia.

If you’re not reading him already, make sure you bookmark Scranton beat writer Donnie Collins [2], who covered a lot of those Scranton/Wilkes-Barre openers with me, and was doing it before I got there. He’s a terrific writer with a good baseball mind. You’ll like him.

Speaking of guys you’ll like, Jesus Montero will be batting sixth in his Triple-A debut. It’s the same ease-him-in treatment the Yankees gave Austin Jackson at the beginning of last season.  For those who are curious, here’s tonight’s Triple-A lineup. Right-hander Ivan Nova gets the start for Scranton.

Kevin Russo 3B
Reegie Corona 2B
Juan Miranda 1B
David Winfree RF
Jon Weber DH
Jesus Montero C
Colin Curtis LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Greg Golson CF

In Trenton, Mike Ashmore has the Opening Day lineup [3]. Chris Garcia is on the mound for the Thunder. For more Trenton nuggets, check out Josh Norris [4] and John Nalbone [5].