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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Pregame Notes: Tex making progress?

By Andrew Marchand

The big news from the pregame is that Curtis Granderson batted for the first time since his first at-bat of spring training, while Kevin Youkilis is optimistic about his back. Both Granderson and Youkilis could return by the middle of the month.

1) TEX MESSAGE: We went through the full injury report on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Joe Girardi said that Mark Teixeira still was just dry swinging, which means he is not even making contact with a ball off a tee. However, Teixeira tweeted:

Felt good hitting balls today, I didn't make one out in the cage. #Yankees #OntheMend

— Mark Teixeira (@teixeiramark25) May 1, 2013

So Teixeira may have made some progress. If he did make contact off a tee or in soft toss, he would be moving up a stage in his rehab. He still is a long way from returning, but this could be a good sign for him.

We should have more on this after the game.

2) LINEUP: Even against the lefty Erik Bedard, Joe Girardi had the hot hitting Travis Hafner at DH. Hafner started at DH against a lefty this past weekend as well. Girardi said that since Hafner had only played five straight the manager was fine with sending him out there again.

Girardi had Ichiro Suzuki -- who also is hitting well lately -- leading off and in center, with the cold Ben Francisco batting fifth and in right. This put the healthy Brett Gardner on the bench.

"'Ich' has been hot," Girardi said. "That's the bottom line."

Girardi said that Francisco has "struggled," but he doesn't want him to feel "like every at-bat is the end of the world." Francisco needs to start hitting or he won't be playing at all.

3) NEWCOMERS PRODUCING: Hafner, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Brennan Boesch combined for half of the team's 36 homers in April. Wells, Overbay and Boesch were not on the roster when spring training began.