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Sunday morning notes: Early look at the big league lineup

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Is it fair to read into today’s lineup? I’m sure Joe Girardi will say no, but at the very least it seems fair to make some assumptions based on the middle of the order.

Cano to Teixeira to Granderson to Youkilis to Hafner. If Girardi isn’t planing to hit those five in that sequence, why put them in that sequence today? If he were thinking of hitting Robinson Cano cleanup instead of third, why not put him cleanup in a lineup that has back-to-back lefties at the top?

There are no significant surprises in today’s lineup — I did wonder whether Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner might be switched — but it’s an early glance, one of the few times we’ll see this many regulars in the same lineup during spring training. Put Derek Jeter second, drop either Brett Gardner or Ichiro Suzuki to the No 8 spot, and we might very well be looking at the Opening Day lineup.

This early in spring training, that’s worth watching.

[3]• Phil Hughes said he’s not sure what exactly he’ll do in the pool today. Might jog — the Yankees have a pool with a treadmill — and he might swim. Whatever it is, it’ll be the next step in his recovery from a bulging disc, and so far Hughes seems optimistic that this problem is going to disappear quickly.

• Mark Montgomery will face hitters today.

• The Blue Jays are scheduled to start lefty J.A. Happ today.

• When Girardi said Cano and Teixeira would play quite a bit in these early games, I still didn’t expect back-to-back games at the very beginning. It’s not earth shattering, but it’s a bit unusual. Obviously those two are on accelerated schedules because of the World Baseball Classic.

• Most of the big names in the Yankees farm system — Heathcott, Austin and Flores in particular — played in yesterday’s game, but today will be a chance to see Cito Culver in the field and Gary Sanchez at the plate. Sanchez is the backup at designated hitter. I wonder how many defensive opportunities there will be given the catcher competition. I know people would love to see Sanchez and J.R. Murphy, but surely it’s a priority to give time to Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and Bobby Wilson.  

• Today’s second string: C Bobby Wilson, 1B Addison Maruszak, 2B Jayson Nix, SS Cito Culver, 3B Rob Segedin, LF Ronnier Mustelier, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Thomas Neal, DH Gary Sanchez

• Today’s pitching order: Adam Warren, Cody Eppley, Matt Daley, Francisco Rondon, Preston Claiborne, Juan Cedeno and Jim Miller (that’s very subject to change, but it’s the order they’re listed in the clubhouse, which is usually the order in which they enter a game). Guys like Corey Black, Shane Greene and Bryan Mitchell — guys who are scheduled to pitch tomorrow — are listed as backups for today. They’ll pitch if one of the other pitchers has trouble getting his assigned outs.

• Dave Robertson (to Francisco Cervelli) and Andy Pettitte (to Austin Romine) will throw sides today.

[4]Today’s live batting practice:
Facing Greg Bird, Corban Joseph, Luke Murton and Jose Pirela
Hiroki Kuroda (Sanchez)
Mark Montgomery (Higashioka)
Dellin Betances (Arcia)

Pretty good group of pitchers staying behind to throw sim games tomorrow:
Facing Francisco Arcia, Rob Segedin, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal
Ivan Nova
CC Sabathia
Mariano Rivera
David Aardsma
Clay Rapada
Shawn Kelley
Tom Kahnle

Tomorrow’s travel squad:
Pitchers: Corey Black, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Zach Nuding, Vidal Nuno, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder, Ryan Pope, Jose Ramirez, Josh Spence, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Cervelli, Kyle Higashioka, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Greg Bird, Cito Culver, Walter Ibarra, Dan Johnson, Corban Joseph, Addison Maruszak, Jayson Nix, Jose Pirela, Kyle Roller, Gil Velazquez
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Matt Diaz, Ramon Flores, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Slade Heathcott, Ronnier Mustelier, Juan Rivera

Today’s batting practice groups (changed around quite a bit):

Group 1
Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Derek Jeter, Chris Stewart, Ichiro Suzuki
Group 2
Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis
Group 3
Francisco Cervelli, Cito Culver, Dan Johnson, Juan Rivera, Gary Sanchez
Group 4
Matt Diaz, Slade Heathcott, Melky Mesa, J.R. Murphy, Gil Velazquez
Group 5
Thomas Neal, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez, Bobby Wilson
Group 6
Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Kyle Roller, Austin Romine
Group 7
Adonis Garcia, Addison Maruszak, Ronnier Mustelier, Rob Segedin
Group 8
Francisco Arcia, Ramon Flores, Kyle Higashioka, Walter Ibarra

UPDATE: Blue Jays lineup
Anthony Gose CF
Emilio Bonifacio 2B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie DH
Luis Jimenez 1B
Henry Blanco C
Ryan Langerhans RF
Andy LaRoche 3B
Lance Zawadzki SS

Associated Press photos