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A-Rod projected to hit 12 homers this season

Would you be happy with 12 homers from Alex Rodriguez this season?

Would you be happy with 12 homers from Alex Rodriguez this season?

It’s that time again: MLB.com’s 2015 Fantasy Projections are ready for the season, and they provide a fun flash-forward for what might be on the back of next year’s baseball cards.

There are no guarantees, of course, but here’s what the number-crunchers are seeing in their crystal balls for the Yankees’ key players. My eyes were immediately drawn to the stat line for Alex Rodriguez, where they’ve given him 12 homers. That’d account for the six necessary to catch Willie Mays (660) and then some, but it falls well below the over-under line of 19 1/2 for A-Rod homers that has been floating around on social media.

I think you’d probably take these lines for McCann, Ellsbury and Beltran in their respective second seasons wearing pinstripes. You definitely accept that kind of year from Drew; it’s a lot closer to where he was in 2013 with Boston. They’ve apparently put Adam Warren back in the bullpen and the Yankees are giving random starts to an awful lot of starting pitchers (but such is life in the Bronx).

I think Masahiro Tanaka’s numbers of 14-10 and a 3.02 ERA might be a bit conservative assuming a full season of health. And poor Brendan Ryan can’t crack the Mendoza line even in a preseason simulation. But don’t take my word for it, look for yourself:

C: Brian McCann, .251, 66 R, 25 HR, 78 RBI, 1 SB
1B: Mark Teixeira, .227, 60 R, 22 HR, 66 RBI, 1 SB
2B: Stephen Drew, .240, 50 R, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB
3B: Chase Headley, .269, 74 R, 19 HR, 71 RBI, 10 SB
SS: Didi Gregorius, .247, 54 R, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 5 SB
LF: Brett Gardner, .266, 86 R, 13 HR, 57 RBI, 21 SB
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury, .281, 84 R, 15 HR, 70 RBI, 37 SB
RF: Carlos Beltran, .268, 65 R, 22 HR, 70 RBI, 3 SB
DH: Alex Rodriguez, .251, 47 R, 12 HR, 51 RBI, 1 SB

OF: Chris Young, .232, 34 R, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 9 SB
1B: Garrett Jones, .256, 38 R, 12 HR, 43 RBI, 1 SB
2B: Rob Refsnyder, .247, 24 R, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 2 SB
SS: Brendan Ryan, .193, 11 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB

SP: Masahiro Tanaka, 14-10, 3.02 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 170 K
SP: Michael Pineda, 10-9, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 144 K
SP: CC Sabathia, 10-11, 4.08 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 145 K
SP: Nathan Eovaldi, 11-11, 3.92 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 150 K
SP: Ivan Nova, 6-7, 4.00 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 85 K
SP: Chris Capuano, 6-8, 4.17 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 89 K
SP: Chase Whitley, 2-3, 3.95 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 57 K
SP: Scott Baker, 4-5, 4.80 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 50 K

RP: Dellin Betances, 25 SV, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 104 K
RP: Andrew Miller, 15 SV, 2.49 ERA, 0.95 ERA, 90 K
RP: David Carpenter, 0 SV, 3.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 64 K
RP: Adam Warren, 0 SV, 3.41 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 89 K

Agree? Disagree? Hit the box below with your commentary.

Spring Game 25: Yankees at Rays

We’re underway at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., where it’s funky 70’s day. Bell-bottoms, disco music and … Adam Warren, looking to put the finishing touches on the No. 5 starter’s job. As Brian Cashman said yesterday, Warren is essentially Secretariat in this race, so something catastrophic would have to happen for him not to begin the year as the fifth starter.

“That’s how we envisioned him when he first got here, that he would be a starter in our rotation,” Joe Girardi said today. “It’s not unusual for guys to get their feet wet in the bullpen to start. I think he’s grown up a lot the last couple of years, and he has an opportunity to start this year.”

The Yanks brought a light travel squad to Port Charlotte, with Didi Gregorius likely the biggest name in the lineup. Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, Garrett Jones and John Ryan Murphy are here as well.

The game is being televised on SUN Network..

YANKEES (13-10-1)
Didi Gregorius SS
Brendan Ryan 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Chris Young CF
John Ryan Murphy C
Rob Refsnyder DH
Slade Heathcott LF
Ramon Flores RF
Cole Figueroa 3B

RHP Adam Warren

In relief: David Carpenter, Chris Martin, Danny Burawa

RAYS (10-9-1)
David DeJesus DH
Brandon Guyer RF
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings LF
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Logan Forsythe 2B
Curt Casali C

LHP Jordan Norberto

Spring Game 24: Yankees vs. Mets

The Grapefruit League version of the Subway Series has reached George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the Yankees will host the Mets this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. Masahiro Tanaka is on the mound for the Yanks, making what will be his third start of the spring as he continues to line up to be named the Opening Day starter.

After this outing, Tanaka would have one more start – probably on March 31, when he’d either endure a five-hour round trip bus trip to face the Twins in Fort Myers or pitch in a Minor League game across the street (guess which one I’m betting on?). He’d then have a full five days of rest before being ready to face the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 6.

Tanaka said yesterday that he is not thinking about that assignment, though he acknowledged it would be an honor to serve as the Opening Day starter. For now, he’s focused on getting his pitch count up against the Mets and – of course – making it to the regular season healthy.

The game is being televised on YES and MLB Network. It’s also on WOR (Mets) radio.

METS (12-10)
Juan Lagares cf
Ruben Tejada ss
Lucas Duda 1b
John Mayberry Jr. lf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis rf
Travis d’Arnaud c
Johnny Monell dh
Alex Castellanos 3b
Matt Reynolds 2b

Rafael Montero rhp

In relief: Sean Gilmartin, Chase Bradford

YANKEES (13-9-1)
Brett Gardner cf
Chase Headley 3b
Carlos Beltran rf
Mark Teixeira 1b
Alex Rodriguez dh
Garrett Jones lf
Stephen Drew 2b
Didi Gregorius ss
John Ryan Murphy c

Masahiro Tanaka rhp

In relief: Justin Wilson, Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances

Spring Game 20: Yankees vs. Astros

We’re back again at George M. Steinbrenner Field, where Michael Pineda has the ball this afternoon for a 1:05 p.m. ET tilt against the Houston Astros. This will be the Yanks’ last game at home for a couple of days, as the squad will motor to Florida’s Treasure Coast to see the Mets tomorrow and then visit the Nationals on Monday.

Dallas Keuchel is on the hill for Houston as we head into the home stretch of Spring Training — 16 days until Opening Day.

There’s no Yankees TV or radio for this game, but there is a Houston radio broadcast.

ASTROS (7-6-3)
Robbie Grossman LF
George Springer RF
Chris Carter DH
Jason Castro C
Matt Dominguez 3B
Jon Singleton 1B
Carlos Correa SS
Marwin Gonzalez 2B
Jake Marisnick CF

Dallas Keuchel LHP

In relief: Mark Appel, Will Harris, Darin Downs

YANKEES (11-7-1)
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chris Young CF
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS
Austin Romine DH

Michael Pineda RHP

In relief: David Carpenter, Justin Wilson, Andrew Bailey.

Spring Game 19: Yankees at Tigers

We’re at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. this afternoon as the Yankees visit the Tigers for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest. Adam Warren gets the start for the Yanks, opposite Alfredo Simon. Old friend Joba Chamberlain is listed among the Tigers’ pitchers for this game.

The game will mark the first spring action for shortstop Brendan Ryan, as the Yankees toss him into a game at shortstop. Ryan was bouncing around the clubhouse back in Tampa, shouting loudly and wearing a backpack, so it’s safe to say he’s just a little excited to get out there. He’ll play four or five innings. Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez also are in the Yanks’ lineup.

There’s no TV or radio, either New York or Detroit, for this game. Sorry about that. Here are the lineups, followed by some notes & quotes…

YANKEES (10-7-1)
Brett Gardner cf
Brendan Ryan ss
Brian McCann c
Alex Rodriguez dh
Garrett Jones 1b
Chris Young rf
Jose Pirela 3b
Rob Refsnyder 2b
Ramon Flores lf

Adam Warren rhp

In relief: Chase Whitley, Chris Martin

TIGERS (6-12-1)
Rajai Davis lf
Anthony Gose cf
Ian Kinsler 2b
J.D. Martinez rf
Yoenis Cespedes dh
Alex Avila c
Nick Castellanos 3b
Jordan Lennerton 1b
Jose Iglesias ss

Alfredo Simon rhp

In relief: Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain, Bruce Rondon, Joakim Soria

Tex messaging: Joe Girardi said that he has been happy with what Mark Teixeira has shown so far this spring.

“What I’ve seen is, he’s healthy, which I think last year was a struggle with his wrist on and off,” Girardi said. “It has been strong. He’s let it go. I’ve talked to him a couple of times after he’s played a couple of days, and he says he feels great. To me that’s encouraging.”

A-OK: A-Rod has one hit in his last 12 at-bats, but Girardi said he has no concerns there.

“I’m OK with his at-bats. That’s just normal for hitters to go through that,” he said. “The real importance is the last 10 days to feel that all our hitters are in a good spot leading up to the season. We’re not there yet. Still timing issues. I see some guys timing improving a lot the last few days. We want to continue that.”

For openers: CC Sabathia has started on Opening Day in each of his previous six seasons with the Yankees, but Girardi acknowledged on Friday that streak may be coming to an end. Girardi said he has four or five decent candidates to make the April 6 start vs. Toronto.

“I’ve got to make sure he’s ready,” Girardi said. “A lot of times it’s a big story for who’s the Opening Day starter, but after Opening Day, does anyone really care? I think it’s a bigger story who’s the Game 1 starter in the playoffs. That’s a bigger story to me, but I understand why it’s a big story because it’s Opening Day and there is a little something that goes with it. But I think when players look back on their career, they’re not going to say, ‘I was the Opening Day starter only 11 times instead of 12.’”

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