The last time the Yankees came to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, they left with a rather sour taste in their mouth.
The team struck out 23 times in a three-game series, compared to just 19 total hits in 105 at bats. In that span, they left 21 men on base. The result was a demoralizing and frustrating sweep.
Tasked with preventing a similar results this time around is opening starter Luis Severino. The ace of the staff makes his first appearance after pitching a scoreless second inning for the American League in the 2018 All-Star Game in DC. He only lasted five innings in each of his last two starts, July 7 at Toronto and July 12 at Cleveland, so the extra rest from the All-Star break should help him last deeper into the game. He last faced Tampa on June 16, where he threw eight shutout innings and struck out nine.
It will be another Rays opener on the hill tonight. Getting the ball is 2013 29th-round pick Hunter Wood, whose longest outing on the season came July 3 when he pitched three innings against the Miami Marlins. He only has one “start,” which came July 11 in Detroit when he pitched the first inning. Overall, he has no record but a 2.70 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 13⅓ innings.
Aaron Boone sends out an identical lineup to last night’s rained-out series finale with the Mets. Gary Sánchez returns to the stadium where he screened his groin a month ago. With Gleyber Torres‘ return looming, Neil Walker gets another start at second base.
- Gleyber Torres went 1-for-3 with a walk, single and run scored in his first rehab game Saturday with High-A Tampa. He played seven innings at second base, and is still expected to re-join the team Wednesday.
- Ronald Torreyes has been activated from Triple-A SWB’s temporarily inactive list, and transferred to join Torres in Tampa for his first game action since June 25. The utility infielder missed that time attending to his wife, who had an undisclosed medical problem. He’s starting at shortstop alongside Torres at second.
- Clint Frazier, who was removed from a minor-league game July 19 for precautionary reasons related to concussion, was transferred from the 7-day disabled list in the International League to the Yankees’ 10-day disabled list. Frazier was optioned to the minors July 16 but took the full 72 hours allotted to him to report (which was very unlike him, since he normally reports within 24 hours). It turns out Frazier had complained about nausea to the training staff after a collision with Baltimore Orioles third baseman Jace Peterson on July 11. He entered as a substitute for the Yankees on July 13 and July 15 in the final series before the All-Star break in Cleveland. His disabled list move is significant because he will now accrue major league service time and pay.
- Kevin Kiermaier – CF
- Matt Duffy – 3B
- Jake Bauers – 1B
- Ji-Man Choi – DH
- Joey Wendle – LF
- Daniel Robertson – 2B
- Mallex Smith – RF
- Willy Adames – SS
- Jesús Sucre – C