Yes, it’s the Orioles. But, a sweep of the two-game series against the last-place O’s is the perfect momentum boost for the Yankees as they head into a massive four-game series with the Boston Red Sox tomorrow.
Sonny Gray, who seems to have figured himself out of late, is tasked with getting that done this afternoon. Starting with a July 11 win over the same Orioles, Gray has put up an impressive 1.10 ERA in his last three starts with 19 strikeouts to just six walks. He threw only 75 pitches his last time out July 26 against the Kansas City Royals because he took a comebacker off of his pitching hand. The Yankees had a seven-run lead at the time and decided it was not worth the risk of having him stay on the mound. He is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA against Baltimore this season.
Alex Cobb will pitch for Baltimore, and it’s safe to say his free-agent signing is not working out so far. Since he didn’t sign until March 21, he began the season in the minor leagues. He did not pitch through the fifth inning in a start until May 1, and that’s just the first of many ugly statistics. His last seven decisions have been losses, and he owns a 5.96 ERA in that timeframe (nine starts). He has not face the Yankees yet in 2018, but has plenty of history with them from his career and Tampa Bay. In 14 starts, he is 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA. The Yankees are hoping for Baltimore Cobb and not Tampa Bay Cobb today.
Giancarlo Stanton is serving as the designated hitter today, giving Neil Walker the day off after seven consecutive starts. Shane Robinson will be patrolling right field this afternoon. It turns out my concern about Austin Romine coming down with hand, foot and mouth disease after catching J.A. Happ was unfounded. He sat last night in order to be in position to catch Gray in the day game after a night game.
- Lance Lynn has reported to the Yankees today, and will be active out of the bullpen. He will be wearing No. 36.
- Lynn’s roster spot was open once the Yankees optioned lefty Ryan Bollinger back to Double-A Trenton after last night’s game. It’s unclear if he will retain his 40-man roster spot or if the Yankees will attempt to outright him again. He already has the healthcare for life.
- Speaking of Happ, the Yankees have yet to definitively scratch him from Saturday’s start in Boston. They plan to evaluate him and make that decision in the next 24-or-so hours. Luis Cessa was limited to a one-inning outing yesterday for the RailRiders so he and Lynn are the insurance options.
- Some minor-league details: first-round pick Anthony Seigler was removed from a GCL game after one plate appearance the other day, but for a good reason: he was being promoted to Pulaski (considered to be a rookie league but a step above the Gulf Coast League and below the South Atlantic League).
- Tim Beckham – SS
- Jace Peterson – RF
- Adam Jones – CF
- Danny Valencia – DH
- Chris Davis – 1B
- Trey Mancini
- Caleb Joseph – C
- Renato Núñez – 3B
- Breyvic Valera – 2B