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Monday, March 11, 2013
Afternoon Notes: Hiro, Youk & Roker

By Andrew Marchand

TAMPA, Fla. -- Before the Yankees bring back Scott Brosius, let's get to some afternoon notes:

1.) HIRO PERFORMANCE: Hiroki Kuroda continues to look very good this spring. He pitched four scoreless innings against the Cardinals and allowed just three hits, walking none while striking out six. He already looks ready for the regular season.

"I'm getting there,: Kuroda said.

2.) TRUE YANKEE: In the fourth, Kevin Youkilis hit an absolute bomb of a homer run. As he rounded the bases you could hear a lot of, "Yoooooooooooooooouk," in the crowd.

Youkilis also played first on Monday. Since he won a Gold Glove at the position in 2007, there is no question he can play it; Joe Girardi just wants him to get some reps there.

3.) FRANCISCO TREAT: Girardi said new acquisition Ben Francisco will have a "chance" to make this team because he hits lefties well. In his career, Francisco has a .743 OPS vs. lefties and a .755 OPS against righties.

4.) WHO'S THAT? During warmups, there was a No. 98, who was noticeably behind the rest of the group during running drills.

Who was it? Al Roker, who was filming a segment for his Weather Channel show and "Today."

5.) BROSIUS: Just to make sure there is no Twitter eruption, I was kidding about Brosius.