As Joe Girardi promised, the lineup for Opening Day against the Astros would be the one he used for the spring training finale against the Marlins with one exception. Carlos Beltran will play right field, as expected, with Alfonso Soriano serving as the DH.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Brett Gardner, and Mark Teixeira all have better than .300 batting averages against Astros starter Scott Feldman for their careers. Jeter and Teixeira also have the only three Yankees homers off Feldman – one for Jeter, two for Tex. Jeter, Teixeira, and Gardner all have a .900 or better OPS vs. Feldman as well. Maybe we'll get to see some of the new offensive firepower in action tonight.
Yankees' Opening Day starter CC Sabathia has only faced three Astros in his career: Chris Carter, Jesus Guzman, and Dexter Fowler. None of them have more than six plate appearances against the big left-hander, and none of them have managed more than a single off Sabathia. It will be interesting to see whether or not CC can be effective without his velocity like he was in his start in Panama this spring, or if he'll be roughed up with a just slightly better than mid-80s fastball the way he was early on in spring training.
#Yankees lineup (YES,5:30pm): Ellsbury CF,Jeter SS,Beltran RF,McCann C,Teixeira 1B,Soriano DH,Gardner LF,Roberts 2B,Johnson 3B,Sabathia LHP— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 1, 2014
There were also new jersey numbers to be had before the team suits up for their first game of the 2014 season. Yangervis Solarte, the final player to be added to the 25-man roster, took Eduardo Nunez's spot on the roster and the jersey number right off his back. What a guy.
The Yankees needed to make a 40-man move by 3:00 pm today to actually get Solarte on the roster. Who did the cannon fire for? Well, it was Nunez. He's been Designated for Assignment by the Yankees. It's been a tough week for Nunez. It seemed like a weak infield gave him a perfect opportunity to stick on the roster as the favorite coming into camp. Now he's been sent to the big DFA in the sky, where maybe they have a helmet that actually fits him.
Eduardo Nunez DFA to make room for Solarte. #yankees— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) April 1, 2014
Also important: today was the first day Trenton Thunder bat puppy Rookie took the field. It was picture day and Taylor Dugas was the lucky player who got to hold him. Awww.
Tonight's game begins at 7:00 pm and you can watch it on YES, MLB Network (regionally), and MLB.tv
Yankees have no players in the same defensive position from the '13 Opening Day lineup. Last time that happened: 1946-47.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 1, 2014