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Brett Gardner only Yankees starter from last year's opener to start Tuesday night

Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) triples to

Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) triples to left in the bottom of the fourth. (Sept. 4, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

HOUSTON -- The answer is one. The question: How many Yankees starters from last year's Opening Day will be in this year's opener?

Just Brett Gardner, who led off and played centerfield in the 2013 opener against the Red Sox, an 8-2 loss.

"It's different," Joe Girardi said Monday. "It's a much different lineup, there's a lot of turnover. We addressed some situations this winter, got some people healthy and that's why it looks so different."

The difference is staggering. After Gardner last April 1 at the Stadium, it was Eduardo Nuñez at short, Robinson Cano at second, Kevin Youkilis at first, Vernon Wells in left, Ben Francisco at DH, Ichiro Suzuki in right, Jayson Nix at third and Francisco Cervelli at catcher.

Tuesday night it will be Jacoby Ellsbury leading off, followed by Derek Jeter at short, Carlos Beltran in right, Brian McCann at catcher, Mark Teixeira at first, Alfonso Soriano at DH, Gardner in left, Brian Roberts at second and Kelly Johnson at third. "I think we feel we have a very deep lineup, our bench will be productive as well and that we're going to score runs," Girardi said.


No worries with Robertson

David Robertson mostly flew under the radar this spring, quite an accomplishment for the man tabbed to replace Mariano Rivera. Part of that had to do with the influx of big names that commanded so much attention during camp. But there's also this: The Yankees have little doubt he will be just fine. "I think he's earned that role over his time here," Girardi said. "For the most part it's new for him, but I expect good things out of him. There's no doubt he's going to blow a save. It happens. I think his teammates will have his back and I think he will bounce back.''

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