The Yankees starting lineup on Wednesday against the Devil Rays will look like this:
Derek Jeter, SS
Hideki Matsui, LF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Jason Giambi, 1B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Jorge Posada, C
Ruben Sierra, DH
Enrique Wilson, 2B
Kenny Lofton, CF
Joe Torre cited a poor Spring Training as the reason he bumped Lofton all the way down to the ninth spot in the order. He said Lofton understood the change, and didn't fight it. The centerfielder, signed in the offseason by the Yankees, had just eight hits in 52 spring training at bats, good for just a .154 batting average. The change also allows Torre to bat Matsui earlier in the lineup, giving him a chance at getting more at bats in front of his home crowd.
After Monday morning's victory over the Yomiuri Giants, Torre also announced that OF Bubba Crosby, LHP Donovan Osborne and RHP Jorge DePaula made the Opening Day roster. RHP Scott Proctor was optioned to AAA Columbus and Jon Lieber, Orlando Hernandez and Travis Lee were all placed on the 15-day disabled list. Osborne is expected to fulfill Lieber's role of fifth starter until Lieber is healthy again. DePaula beat out Proctor for the final spot in the bullpen, and Crosby - with an impressive Spring Training - beat out Darren Bragg for the final bench spot.
Bragg, along with Homer Bush, Felix Escalona and Joe Girardi were all assigned to AAA Columbus. Girardi won't actually play for the Yankee farm team and will instead become a broadcaster for the YES Network.
The last decision the Yankees need to make concerns CF Bernie Williams. If they decide to place him on the 15-day disabled list, Williams will be eligible to play on April 8 against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium. That decision will be made on April 6.
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