Yankees set for home opener vs. Rays

The last week, the New York Yankees have participated in other teams home openers.

Today, it’s their turn.

Baseball will officially get underway in the Bronx this afternoon as the Yankees take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. The last time the two teams met was last Sunday through Wednesday, when the Rays took two of the three games against the Yankees.

Here’s a few things to know before Girardi releases the lineup for this afternoon’s contest.

Greg Bird‘s eventful weekend

The Yankees are anticipating to get Greg Bird back in the lineup, but it had been an eventful weekend for the Yankees first baseman. On Saturday, Bird sat on the bench after he revealed an aggravated ankle injury after fouling a pitch during the final week of Spring Training. On Sunday, Bird’s ankle was better…but he wasn’t feeling well overall. Girardi said Bird had a stomach bug, which he hopes doesn’t turn into the flu.

“He doesn’t have a fever,” Girardi said. “I guess he (vomited) last night (Saturday) or this morning (Sunday). You’re hoping it’s not the flu. Maybe it was something he ate. I’ll see how he’s feeling today. My guess is he’s not too available, but we’ll see.”

Girardi himself has a cold.

Let’s just hope the Yankees don’t have to battle the flu the way the Boston Red Sox have over the last few weeks. Whatever it is happening in Boston, it’s dreadful.

Yankees to rely on Higashioka and Romine

After Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees placed Gary Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a right bicep strain. Sanchez is slated to see the doctors on Monday but the Yankees are unsure how long Sanchez is going to be out.

“We’re not exactly sure how long he’s going to be out,” Joe Girardi said Sunday. “He feels a little bit better today, which is somewhat encouraging. He’ll see our doctor tomorrow and they’ll do what they need to do to find out exactly what it is. As I said yesterday, a lot of times it’s a chance for someone to step up.”

In the meantime, Kyle Higashioka and Austin Romine will handle the catching duties. This would be Higashioka’s first call up with the Yankees. He spent the last nine years in the Yankees minor league system.

“Obviously it sucks, the circumstances,” Higashioka said. “But it was real exciting for me getting that call. It hasn’t really sunk in. To be honest, it feels pretty normal. The clubhouse is the same. It’s a lot of guys I know here, so maybe once we get on the field and the game starts it’ll be a little more surreal. But as of right now, it just feels like another day.”

Yankees ‘CC’ their first two wins of the season

Coming into Monday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees have won two games this season. Both of those games had CC Sabathia as the starting pitcher.

This season, the Yankees are 2-0 in Sabathia’s starts while Sabathia himself has a 1.64 ERA. How does the rest of the staff fair? 0-4 with the staff collecting a 9.92 ERA.

It’s safe to say the rest of the staff has to do better.

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