Travis Hafner is hoping less is more for him this season.

The Yankees’ designated hitter has dropped 10 pounds this spring in an effort to take some stress off his massive frame, hoping the weight loss will help him to regain his status as one of the league’s most productive hitters. “I feel better overall,” Hafner said. “My body feels really good; I don’t get that sore anymore or anything. I feel like there’s potential there to have a really good season.”

Hafner, 35, was limited to only 66 games last year as a result of knee and back injuries, the latest in a streak of five consecutive injury-filled seasons. Having played his entire career at 255 pounds, Hafner is already down to 245, hoping to start the season somewhere between 240-245. “I’m a lot quicker,” Hafner said dryly before cracking a smile. “Maybe I’ll steal five bases this year.”

The absence of Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira for the first five-plus weeks of the season due to injuries, combined with Alex Rodriguez’s hip surgery and the departures of Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, have many people wondering where the Yankees will get their power early in the season.

That’s where Hafner comes in. All indications are that the DH could find himself hitting fifth when the season begins, leaving him in position to be one of the Bombers’ most important players in April.

“I’ve hit in the middle of the order most of my career and I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing,” Hafner said. “It’s a great opportunity for me until those guys get back to hopefully step up and help the team out.”

“We really need him,” hitting coach Kevin Long added. “We need him in the middle of the lineup, especially with some of our guys that are usually there not being there to start the season. We’re counting on him to have a big year.”

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