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J.A. Happ

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees displayed their power for the second straight day, bursting for 17 runs in a 17-7 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Aaron Judge is absolutely locked in at the plate. The Yankees' slugger crushed his sixth home run of the spring -- which leads the majors in Spring Training - and did it while the Blue Jays aligned their outfield with four outfielders. He finished 1-for-2. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

One half of the Yankees' split squad (7-6) host the Pirates (7-8) on Sunday at Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 p.m. 

Yankees Notes...

Greg Bird gets the start at first base as the battle with Luke Voit continues. ... Troy Tulowitzki gets the start at shortstop. ... J.A. Happ is on the mound. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, Danny Abriano
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees have their Opening Day starter. 

Masahiro Tanaka will get the call to take the mound on March 27 when the Yankees open the season against the Baltimore Orioles, manager Aaron Boone announced on Saturday. 

It will be the fourth career Opening Day start for the 30-year-old. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees have decided who their Opening Day starter will be, a process they had to go through again with the news that Luis Severino was shut down for two weeks with rotator cuff inflammation. 

And though Aaron Boone wasn't ready Friday to publicly reveal who will take the hill on March 28 against Baltimore in the Bronx, the signs point to Masahiro Tanaka drawing the assignment.

Tanaka, who gave up two runs in 3.1 innings Friday against Detroit, is lined up to pitch that day and he has previous experience starting on Opening Day, having done so three straight seasons from 2015-17. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he could envision his team using openers on some circumstances, especially considering two starting pitchers are dealing with injuries.

With Luis Severino being shut down for two weeks due to rotator cuff inflammation and CC Sabathia expected to start the season on the injured list, Boone said on Wednesday he wouldn't rule out the use of openers -- using relief pitchers to pitch the first inning or two of a game in an assurance to face the opponents' 1-3 hitters -- in 2019.

"I could see it being something we consider from time to time," Boone said, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey. "I don't see it a lot, but yeah, I could see it coming into play on certain occasions."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Stephen Tarpley, Matt Eisenberg
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Is Gio a good fit for Yankees? 00:00:41
Andy Martino argues that Gio Gonzalez is not the right pitcher the Yankees need to replace CC Sabathia or Luis Severino to start the season.

On a day when Brian Cashman addressed the Yankees' first mini-crisis of the year, I thought it was revealing that he left the door open to acquiring another pitcher, even as he made a point of expressing confidence in his depth.

"I can't rule anything out," he told reporters in Tampa, "but the main focus is what we've got."

That could just be his way of saying he'll only jump in on Dallas Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez, the two most attractive unsigned free-agent pitchers, if their price falls to a bargain level...

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

James Paxton probably proved last April there's at least some innate grace-under-pressure coursing through his veins. That's when he deftly handled that bald eagle landing on his back during a pre-game ceremony in Minnesota.

Some of us would've had a full freak-out, complete with running, screaming and a mitt and cap flopping to the ground. But Paxton was better than that. Way better. You've seen the viral video. Big Maple has Big Calm.

Does that mean he's a lock to handle the Bronx fishbowl this season, his first as a member of the Yankees? No, but that, plus his undeniable talent, at least makes you want to see him work during the pomp of Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, the kickoff to this season laden with outsized expectations.

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Justus Sheffield, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On Oct. 8, 2018, during the terrible span of 10 minutes or so between a playoff loss and a grilling from reporters, Brian Cashman offered Aaron Boone an out.

"You can tell them about Britton," said the GM, whose typical approach is to preemptively reveal stories that are likely to leak anyway.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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