Category: Pregame

Game 45: Domingo on a Tuesday

Domingo Germán shakes the dust off his right arm (he has not pitched since May 12) to start the middle game against the Texas Rangers and LHP Cole Hamels.

After appearing out of the bullpen for his first five games of 2018, Domingo Germán moved into the starting rotation once Jordan Montgomery was placed on the disabled list. He has gotten two no-decisions so far, as he has put up a 4.91 ERA in 11 innings as a starter. However, hitters have hit just .167/.262/.250 in those two starts, which shows Germán may have fallen victim to the BABIP gods once or twice.

Veteran lefty Cole Hamels, who just recently expressed interest in being traded to the Yankees, gets the ball for the Rangers. Through nine starts, he has put up a 3.48 ERA, though he has walked a few more batters than he would like to. Since his debut in 2006, Hamels has only faced the Yankees four times: 1-2, 3.24 ERA and .723 OPS against.

Miguel Andújar returns to the lineup at third base and Neil Walker shifts across the diamond to play first. Tyler Austin serves as the designated hitter against the lefty, and Giancarlo Stanton grabs his glove to play left field in place of Brett Gardner.


Rangers Lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – DH
  2. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  3. Nomar Mazara – RF
  4. Jurickson Profar – SS
  5. Joey Gallo – LF
  6. Rougned Odor – 2B
  7. Robinson Chirinos – C
  8. Ronald Guzmán – 1B
  9. Ryan Rua – CF

Game 44: Big Sexy in Texas

Somehow, Bartolo Colón is still pitching.

Fresh off a blowout win to secure their eighth straight series win, the New York Yankees tab Masahiro Tanaka as their starter against Bartolo Colón and the Rangers in Arlington.

Masahiro Tanaka has been consistent in his last five starts, and the Yankees have won four of them (one is in limbo as Tanaka started the suspended game in Washington on May 15). In that timeframe, he has a 3.72 ERA and a strong 24-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Most importantly, 84% of at-bats against the righty in this sample have ended in ground balls. That’s the best way to keep your team in the game. Since his debut in 2014, Tanaka has not had success against the Rangers. He’s 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA in four starts against them.

Facing the Yankees is the ageless right-hander Bartolo Colón. At the age of 44 years, 11 months and 27 days, Colón is having a resurgence on the mound in 2018. Through nine games (seven starts), the veteran has just a 2-1 record but a stellar 2.82 ERA. In his last time out against the Seattle Mariners on May 16, he fired 7⅔ shutout innings while allowing just four hits on 96 pitches. In 21 career appearances (20 starts) against the Yankees, Colón has a 6.11 ERA in 113⅓ innings. Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ second baseman, was just three months old when Colón made his MLB debut.

Miguel Andújar sits against the veteran Colón, while Neil Walker returns to the lineup at third base for the first time this season. Tyler Austin gets another start over at first, while Didi Gregorius returns to the lineup in the cleanup spot.


Greg Bird and Billy McKinney have had their rehab assignments transferred to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and have traveled to Pawtucket to play the Red Sox’s affiliate.

Tommy Kahnle, who has been shelved since April 16 with right shoulder tendonitis, began a rehab assignment tonight with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs tonight. He could rejoin the team as soon as Friday, per Aaron Boone.


Rangers’ Lineup:

  1. Delino DeShields Jr. – CF
  2. Shin-Soo Choo – DH
  3. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  4. Nomar Mazara – RF
  5. Jurickson Profar – SS
  6. Joey Gallo – LF
  7. Rougned Odor – 2B
  8. Robinson Chirinos – C
  9. Ronald Guzmán – 1B

 

Game 43: Sonny Aims to Right Ship, Fight Rain, Win Series

Sonny Gray gets the ball in today’s rubber game matinee from Kansas City, where there is a 45% chance of showers at first pitch.

Gray has struggled this season, especially with command of his pitches. He has walked 5.7 batters per nine innings, which is by far the worst rate in his career. Home runs have been a problem too, which he has allowed at a 1.2 per nine rate. His last start saw him regress from two solid outings, where he allowed five runs on nine hits against his former team. Gray is 1-2 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts against Kansas City, but the ERA jumps to 4.15 in Kauffman Stadium.

Facing Gray will be another lefty: Eric Skoglund. It’s been an up-and-down year for the 25-year-old, who has alternated between brilliant starts and not-so-brilliant ones. His last start was a tough luck loss, where he allowed just two runs in 7⅔ innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. His offense, however, could not bail him out. Skoglund has never faced the Yankees before, but has a career 4.95 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.

Didi Gregorius sits again against a lefty starter, as Aaron Boone wants him to “recharge, both physically and mentally, and hopefully he can hit the ground running when we get to Texas tomorrow”. Ronald Torreyes, who’s hitting .392/.404/.510 when in the starting lineup this year, gets another start at shortstop. Despite collecting a double last night, Clint Frazier sits in favor of Brett Gardner in left field. Gary Sánchez gets the day-game-after-a-night-game off, as Austin Romine continues to catch Gray.

After a few hitless games, I’m slightly surprised Boone didn’t decide to rest Aaron Judge in the finale. Giancarlo Stanton could have shifted to right, and Sánchez could have snuck into the lineup as the designated hitter. Just a hypothetical, though.


Royals’ Lineup:

  1. Jon Jay – CF
  2. Jorge Soler – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – DH
  5. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  6. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  7. Alex Gordon – LF
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Drew Butera – C

 

Game 42: Red Thunder Returns

With the Yankees facing two lefties to finish out their three-game series in Kansas City, Clint Frazier makes his 2018 debut for the Yankees tonight.

Frazier bats seventh as the designated hitter against Danny Duffy of the Royals. Countering for the Yankees is ace Luis Severino. Severino has gotten the win in six straight starts, and his only loss came April 10 in a blowout in Boston. Severino has beaten the Royals in his only start against them. With a 2.14 ERA through nine starts this season, Severino has a firm grasp on the title of ace of the Yankees staff.

Danny Duffy‘s season has been a polar opposite compared to Severino’s. His record stands at 1-5, and he carries a 6.51 ERA into tonight’s start. Duffy showed signs of promise in a May 8 start against the Baltimore Orioles, where he allowed just one run through 5⅓ innings of work. That success did not carry over to his May 13 outing against the Cleveland Indians, where he lasted just 3⅓ innings and permitted nine earned runs on eight hits (including two home runs). Righties have a .308/.385/.597 batting line against Duffy, and the Yankees do not have a single left-handed bat in the lineup tonight.

Ronald Torreyes is actually playing tonight, and it’s not another typo like last night. He replaces the struggling Didi Gregorius at shortstop. Giancarlo Stanton shifts to the outfield, and Aaron Hicks takes over the leadoff spot after a strong 3-hit night last night. Tyler Austin, who is slashing .281/.351/.531 against lefties this season, gets the call at first base over Neil Walker.

According to Weather.com, there is a 40% chance of “scattered strong storms” at time of first pitch. Also, the National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm watch for the Kansas City area until midnight Eastern Time. So, we’ll see if we a. start on time and b. play a full nine innings. Let’s hope for the best!


Royals’ Lineup:

  1. Jon Jay – CF
  2. Jorge Soler – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – DH
  4. Salvador Pérez – C
  5. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  6. Alex Gordon – LF
  7. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Ryan Goins – 3B

 

Game 41: CC Leads Yanks into KC

Game 42: CC Leads Yanks into KC ➡️

Whoa – Yankees baseball is back after far too much time without it. There’s no rain in the forecast tonight in Kansas City as CC Sabathia leads the Bombers into a three-game set with the Royals.

Sabathia was originally scheduled to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Washington Nationals, but that was washed out along with the remainder of Tuesday’s suspended game. He stumbled a bit in his last start against the Red Sox on May 10, where he gave up four earned runs in four innings. That start saw his season ERA jump from a stingy 1.39 to a still-impressive 2.23. The veteran has a career 21-11 record and 3.14 ERA in 39 career starts against the Royals. It’ll be interesting to see how Sabathia responds to the extra rest, since he has a career 4.09 ERA in 71 starts with 6+ days of rest.

The Yankees face off against righty Jakob Junis in the series opener. Through eight starts this season, Junis has been one of the Royals’ most consistent pitchers. He’s got a 4-3 record, and has given up two runs or less in five out of those eight starts. Unsurprisingly, the Royals have won each of those five starts. Junis faced the Yankees once last season, giving up six earned runs on seven hits. Aaron Judge and Greg Bird each homered off him in an eventual 11-to-3 Yankees win.


Clint Frazier remains with the Yankees as a fourth bench option. It seems likely that he will start in left or center for Saturday and/or Sunday’s games against lefties Danny Duffy and Eric Skoglund, respectively. Brett Gardner has hit just .188/.278/.188 in a 37 plate appearance sample against lefties this season, and Aaron Hicks has hit an even worse .115/.172/.154 in 29 plate appearances against southpaws. Definitely doesn’t hurt to get Red Thunder and his .362/.423/.702 line from Triple-A into the lineup.

The Yankees feel comfortable with an expanded bench since their bullpen has had ample rest because of Wednesday’s rainout and Thursday’s regularly scheduled off-day. Domingo Germán will be available out of the bullpen during the Royals series, though he is also scheduled to start May 22 against the Texas Rangers.

There was brief confusion prior to the game regarding who is actually starting at second base, with the first lineup indicating Ronald Torreyes at that spot. It turns out the Royals made an error on the video board, and that’s how Torreyes’ name got into the mix. The plan was to start Gleyber Torres all along, per Aaron Boone.


Here’s the most recent update on the two injured Yankees on their rehab assignments (each has played six games):

  • Greg Bird (right ankle surgery): 2-for-17 (.118/.348/.118), 6 BB, 4 K – Bird may be a bit rusty, but his plate discipline is in full form.
  • Billy McKinney (left shoulder sprain): 3-for-19 (.158/.360/.211), 6 BB, 6 K – McKinney has one extra base hit.

Not rehab related, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported today that Brandon Drury (migraines, blurred vision) is taking the full 72 hours allotted to him to report to Triple-A Scranton “not because he is upset with the club, but because he wants to squeeze in two extra visits with a specialist in Greenwich, Ct., who is treating him for an irritated tendon in his neck”. Drury was optioned to Triple-A on May 14 after his 20-day rehab assignment window expired, and reported back to SWB today.

Definitely not rehab related: Jacoby Ellsbury has suffered a minor back injury while trying to come back from approximately five different injuries and has now been shut down from baseball activities.


Royals Lineup

  1. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  2. Jorge Soler – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – C
  5. Jon Jay – LF
  6. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  7. Alex Gordon – DH
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Abraham Almonte – CF
    Jakob Junis – RHP

Game 16: Finish the Fish

Tanaka looks to follow Luis Severino’s dominance from last night.

Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball as the Yankees look to sweep a quick, two-game series from the Miami Marlins. With last night’s 12-to-1 win still fresh in their minds, the Marlins tab Jarlin García to counter Tanaka.

The Yankees pounded out 15 hits last night, and two of them were home runs for Didi Gregorius. Didi leads the team with five homers, while Aaron Judge swatted his fourth home run of the season last night as well. Those two joined Brett Gardner, Gary Sánchez, Tyler Austin and Miguel Andújar to collect multiple hits Monday.

Neil Walker is in the lineup tonight, taking over at second base for Ronald Torreyes. We have not seen Tyler Wade start a game since April 12 in Boston, and he could be sent out if Gleyber Torres is deemed MLB-ready in the near future.


  • Greg Bird could head to Tampa as soon as next week to start getting into game situations. So far, there are no setbacks in his rehabilitation. It seems that he could get into rehab games within the next two weeks.
  • Gleyber Torres will sit tonight during Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s game against Gwinnett after being removed from last night’s contest with back stiffness. That benching was precautionary, and the team still has a 12-hour bus ride to Scranton ahead of them once the game is over. Torres could be called up as soon as Wednesday and the team would still have six full seasons of control, though it appears unlikely a promotion would be that instantaneous.
  • Tommy Kahnle was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to today’s game. RHP Luis Cessa was recalled from Triple-A Scranton to take his roster spot.

Marlins Lineup:

  1. Derek Dietrich – LF
  2. Miguel Rojas – SS
  3. Starlin Castro – 2B
  4. Justin Bour – DH
  5. J.T. Realmuto – C
  6. Brian Anderson – 3B
  7. Tomás Telis – 1B
  8. Cameron Maybin – CF
  9. J.B. Shuck – RF

Game 15: Subway Series Meets Tebow Time

More Stanton in left!

The second Subway Series preview comes to Tampa today, as Matt Harvey and Luis Cessa square off on a beautiful Florida afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Cessa makes his third start of the spring, and will try to keep up with Domingo Germán in the competition to be the team’s sixth starter. So far in camp, Cessa has allowed five runs (four earned) through four innings of work. He missed his March 2 start due to a stiff neck, and Germán stepped into that role.

Giancarlo Stanton gets his third start of the spring in left field, with Aaron Judge playing on the other side of Brett Gardner in right and center field, respectively. Tyler Austin starts at first base today, with Greg Bird not listed on the lineup card as an available player. Tyler Wade looks to continue his strong audition for the second base job as he bats ninth and mans the keystone.

We’re likely to see some star-studded relievers today, with LHP Aroldis Chapman, RHP David Robertson, RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Adam Warren listed on today’s game notes.


Injury Notes:

  • Clint Frazier spoke to the media this morning regarding his concussion. Marc Carig of The Athletic reported the outfielder has needed to be driven to camp beacuse of “scary” moments driving. “There’s a lot of positives that have come, but I’m not over the hump … I want all positives. I want no negatives,” Frazier said per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.
  • Frazier ran, hit and threw today with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has been out with oblique tightness, and has not appeared in a game since March 1.

 


Mets Lineup:

  1. Amed Rosario – SS
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Brandon Nimmo – RF
  4. Phillip Evans – 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  6. José Reyes – 2B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Tim Tebow – DH
  9. Zach Borenstein – LF

    Matt Harvey – RHP

Game 14: Off to Disney World

No TV, just radio tonight.

The Yankees bring their team (minus nine players) to Kissimmee tonight, taking on the Atlanta Braves inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Champion Stadium hosts a matchup between big league righties Sonny Gray and Julio Teherán.

The team continues to look at Billy McKinney, as he starts in right field tonight after his go-ahead grand slam against the Mets Wednesday. Fellow 40-man outfielder Jake Cave gets the start in left field. Gleyber Torres starts at second base, while Miguel Andújar continues his quest for the third base job.

The Yankees list RHP Jonathan Holder, LHP Chasen Shreve, RHP Tommy Kahnle, RHP J.P. Feyereisen and RHP David Hale as probable relievers against the Braves.


Braves Lineup:

  1. Ender Inciarte – CF
  2. Charlie Culberson – SS
  3. Freddie Freeman – 1B
  4. Tyler Flowers – C
  5. Nick Markakis – RF
  6. Ryan Schimpf – 3B
  7. Christian Colón – 2B
  8. Preston Tucker – LF
  9. Lane Adams – DH

Game 10: No More Off-Days

After yesterday’s off-day, the only one of the spring, the Yankees head east to take on the Detroit Tigers for the third time. Jordan Montgomery gets the ball on short rest for the Bombers, while fellow lefty Francisco Liriano makes his spring debut for the Tigers.

The Yankees have decided to give Giancarlo Stanton another go in left field, which he entirely deserves. He battled tough sun and winds during his first appearance in left since a very short stint there in Double-A in 2010.

“I felt all right,” Stanton said to Bryan Hoch. “I got some bad balls that didn’t help the team at all. Got to find a way to get behind them or do something with those. But I felt all right. The routes and everything were good. The rest, not as.”

Also, Adam Lind makes his Yankees debut today batting seventh and DHing. He signed a minor league deal with the team March 2, and figures to battle with Tyler Austin for the backup first base job. His deal reportedly has an opt-out after Spring Training if he is unable to crack the big league roster. Lind slashed .303/.362/.513 (122 wRC+) with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs in 116 games for the Washington Nationals in 2017.


Tigers Lineup:

  1. Dixon Machado – 2B
  2. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
  3. Nicholas Castellanos – RF
  4. Victor Martínez – DH
  5. James McCann – C
  6. Mikie Mahtook – LF
  7. Niko Goodrum – 1B
  8. Pete Kozma – SS
  9. JaCoby Jones – CF

Game 9: Versatility on Display

More AL East action!

The Yankees welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Tampa (yeah, it’s odd) for a preview of AL East action, with fireballers Chad Green and former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi facing off.

The biggest note about today’s game is that Giancarlo Stanton makes his first professional start in left field for the Yanks. Over the winter, much was made about whether Stanton or Aaron Judge would see time in left field. It’s only a matter of time until Judge gets time out there, but his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery has slowed him down slightly.

With the Yankees short on first base depth, Billy McKinney gets the start at first base. He played the position in high school, and began taking reps there again during the Arizona Fall League. McKinney, who can also play both outfield corners, is competing with Tyler Austin, Ryan McBroom and recently signed Adam Lind for spots on the first base depth chart behind Greg Bird.

Two former Yankees take the field for the Rays, as Nathan Eovaldi will be on the mound and Nick Solak suits up at second base. Solak was traded by the Yankees to the Rays as part of the three-team deal that allowed the Bombers to get infielder Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Rays’ Lineup:

  1. Mallex Smith – LF
  2. Kevin Kiermaier – CF
  3. Denard Span – DH
  4. Brandon Snyder – 1B
  5. Jake Bauers – RF
  6. Nick Solak – 2B
  7. Johnny Monell – C
  8. Kean Wong – 3B
  9. Jake Cronenworth – SS