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Torre Says He’s Looking For Depth

March 21, 2000

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Most managers would love to have Joe Torre’s problems.

The New York Yankees manager says his team lacks depth, but he remains happy with his pitchers.

``Were not as deep as we were last year,″ Torre said Monday before the Yankees played Pittsburgh on Monday night. ``I like our pitching. That’s what I’m keying on.″

The Yankees face two pitching questions _ finding a No. 5 starter and the health of reliever Allen Watson.

Ed Yarnall is the frontrunner for the No. 5 spot, but has struggled in his two starts after being sidelined by a stiff back.

Although Torre expects Yarnall to fill the role, he’s less than definitive about it.

``The fifth spot is up for grabs at this point in time,″ Torre said. ``His (Yarnall) stuff is good. His confidence is what I’ll keep my eye on.″

Yarnall, who has allowed 15 runs in four innings, will follow David Cone Tuesday night when the Yankees host Toronto.

Ramiro Mendoza would likely get the nod should Yarnall falter.

Watson has been bothered by a sore throwing shoulder. He threw off a bullpen mound Monday, and might make a game appearance by Thursday.

New York is looking to replace backup infielder Luis Sojo, designated hitter Chili Davis and backup catcher Joe Girardi.

Juan Melo and Rafael Bournigal are battling for the infield spot. Chris Turner and Tom Pagnozzi, who missed all of last season following shoulder surgery, are the leading backup catcher candidate.

``The frontline people are still all in place,″ Torre said. ``The offense, I really don’t dwell on that. I know you can win with three or four runs if you have the pitching.″

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