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Yankees lineup vs. Rays - Beltran returns to the outfield; Tanaka throws off mound

Scott Iskowitz

The Yankees cling to a very slim chance at making the playoffs, so maybe if they actually collect a few wins in a row they can make a real run. Shane Greene will give them a chance to win, but it's the offense that needs to do more.

Today Carlos Beltran will make his return to right field for the first time since May. He has been throwing with no pain, so Girardi felt comfortable finally putting him out there. Brian McCann has not been activated from the 7-day concussion DL because Girardi did not like how he looked yesterday:

McCann says he expects to be in the lineup tomorrow, but we'll see how that goes.

As for the rest of the lineup, Brett Gardner leads off with Derek Jeter as the designated hitter and Jacoby Ellsbury batting third. Mark Teixeira, Beltran, and Chase Headley follow, with Martin Prado starting at second base, Francisco Cervelli behind the plate and Brendan Ryan at short. It's funny how they don't allow Stephen Drew to play his natural position anymore, kind of like what they did with Kelly Johnson.

Masahiro Tanaka progressed to throwing off a bullpen mound today and reported no problems. He threw 25 fastballs and will look to add some breaking balls in for his next bullpen. While you could make the argument that Tanaka should be shut down if the Yankees are out of the playoff picture, the Yankees disagree: