Monday, March 3, 2014

The Yankees were far from being the Bronx Bombers last season, hitting over 100 homeruns less than they did in 2012. Of course, that had a lot to do with the vast amount of injuries suffered during the season last year.

The lineup's main power-hitters like Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira missed a lot of time, and yes, even Alex Rodriguez missed most of the season because of hip surgery.

But the Yankees are hoping to get back to where they were in 2012 after adding Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran to slot in with Alfonso Soriano and, hopefully, a healthy Teixeira. Jacoby Ellsbury is another guy that you could include, but other than his MVP-caliber 2011 season, he hasn't been a power hitter.

So far through their first five Grapefruit League games, the Yankees have already sent 8 balls flying over the fence, that's the most on the Grapefruit league and tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the most in baseball.

Yeah, it's only spring, but homeruns are what make the Bombers the Bombers, and it's also good when you have the stars players like McCann (1) and Beltran (1) knocking them out of the park early.

The Yankees will be trying to tally up a few more long-balls today in Tampa as they take on the Washington Nationals at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Ivan Nova will be on the mound for the Yankees making his second start of the spring. Nova is currently penciled in to be the Yankees' No. 4 start on Opening Day. A great second half to finish the 2013 season really helped him become a future star.

Nova gave up two runs in 1 1/3 inning in his first start against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week. He had a some trouble with his pitch-count, walking a par of batters before reaching the pre-set 35 pitch limit halfway through the 2nd inning.

Nova and the Yankees will be going up against Nationals starter Ross Detwiler.

Today's lineup vs Nationals:

David Robertson and Shawn Kelley are among the pitchers slated to throw today. Robertson has not pitched in a game yet this spring, so today will be his debut. He'll pitch in the 4th inning. most likely, after Nova goes through his first three. John Ryan Murphy will come into the game as McCann's backup. Murphy has been hitting the ball very well so far, and could actually win the backup job if he outplays Francisco Cervelli.

Today’s second string: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Zelous Wheeler, SS Addison Maruszak, 3B Jose Pirela, LF Ramon Flores, CF Mason Williams, RF Adonis Garcia.

Today’s scheduled relievers: Robertson, Kelley, Dan Burawa, Yoshinori Tateyama, Robert Coello, Jim Miller (Chase Whitley, Mark Montgomery and Brian Gordon are listed as available if necessary).

Today's game will be on YES, so you'll have that. You can also follow along on Twitter for updates.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog


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