Game 75: Keep the Momentum Going

As the Yankees struggle with more injury news, they look to build on last night’s win behind Luis Severino.

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The young righty looks to rebound from allowing a season-high six runs June 22 against the Angels. This start marks his second time facing the White Sox this season. He got the loss April 18, when he allowed four runs through eight innings. Through seven starts, Severino has yet to receive a loss on the road.

Tough lefty José Quintana counters for the White Sox. The Colombian has been linked to the Yankees through trade rumors for months on end, but has stayed put to become the White Sox ace. An All-Star last season, Quintana is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in June. He did not pitch when the two teams met in April.

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Brett Gardner gets the night off against the tough lefty. He is 2-for-7 (.286) lifetime against Quintana, but just 7-for-42 (.189) in his last 10 games. Rob Refsnyder starts in his place. With Starlin Castro on the DL, the Yankees promoted No. 11 prospect Tyler Wade. However, he will be on the bench in favor of Ronald Torreyes. Matt Holliday is still inexplicably sick, and Tyler Austin‘s hamstring is sore, so the latter is the designated hitter. Austin Romine starts at first base in his place.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  2. Chase Headley – 3B
  3. Aaron Judge – RF
  4. Gary Sánchez – C
  5. Didi Gregorius – SS
  6. Tyler Austin – DH
  7. Ronald Torreyes – 2B
  8. Austin Romine – 1B
  9. Rob Refsnyder – LF
Chicago White Sox
  1. Yolmer Sanchez – 2B
  2. Melky Cabrera – LF
  3. José Abreu – 1B
  4. Avisaíl García – RF
  5. Todd Frazier – 3B
  6. Matt Davidson – DH
  7. Tim Anderson – SS
  8. Kevan Smith – C
  9. Adam Engel – CF

Yankees 6, White Sox 5: Yanks Avoid Bullpen Collapse, Take Series Opener

What looked like a sure win for the Yankees turned dicey once Jordan Montgomery handed it over to the Yankee bullpen.

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Montgomery turned in one of his best starts of the year, allowing just one run on a Todd Frazier solo home run. He allowed just four other hits, one walk and struck out eight batters. The bullpen had a tough time keeping it together after that.

The Yankee offense scored at least six runs for the second consecutive day. Tyler Austin recorded two RBIs on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a solo home run in the sixth. Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine each hit sacrifice flies too, in the fourth and sixth, respectively. Chase Headley added an RBI single on his 3-for-4 night.

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Jonathan Holder entered in the eighth, and looked to be out of the inning on a double play ball. But, second baseman Rob Refsnyder, who entered when Starlin Castro was injured, pulled Austin off first base with his throw. Joe Girardi then brought Dellin Betances to strike out Frazier and put out the fire.

In the ninth, things unraveled to make the final frame quite uncomfortable. Chasen Shreve allowed consecutive singles, and then Tim Anderson hit a three-run home run to make it a 6 to 4 game. Enter Aroldis Chapman. The closer gave up a single to Melky Cabrera who scored on a double by José Abreu. But, Chapman beared down to get a ground out and fly out to end the threat.

Castro went down in the third inning with what was diagnosed as a strained right hamstring. Reports indicate that he will be headed to the disabled list, and the Yankees will promote utility player Tyler Wade to take his place. Wade, the Yankees No. 11 prospect, has been training at every position except for catcher and first base for the Yankees. The club has not confirmed the move yet.

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The move has caused a ripple effect through the Yankee farm system. No. 4 prospect Jorge Mateo was promoted to AA Trenton to replace Abiatal Avelino, who is headed to AAA Scranton to replace Wade.

Starlin Castro Exits With Right Hamstring Strain, Wade Reportedly to be Promoted

UPDATE (9:48 p.m. EDT): Multiple sources report that minor-league Swiss Army knife Tyler Wade, who Brian Cashman said would be the first man up if the Yankees needed infield help, has been removed from Scranton’s game against the Syracuse Chiefs. The Yankees do have an extra 40-man roster spot since Chris Carter was designated for assignment. This all but indicates that Castro will be placed on the disabled list after the game.

UPDATE (9:27 p.m. EDT): The injury has been announced as a right hamstring strain. Castro will have to undergo further evaluation to determine what grade the strain is. That will then determine how long he is out for. As noted below, Castro missed a lot of time last season with a strained right hamstring.

Starlin Castro was removed from Monday’s game in Chicago after running out a ground ball in the third inning, and pulling up at first base. Rob Refsnyder took over at second base in the following half-inning.

Castro had sat recently because he received a cortisone shot in his wrist, which apparently had been bothering him for weeks. The Yankee second baseman missed time last year with a strained right hamstring. The television shots made it look as though Castro was trying to stretch out his right leg.

Acquired from the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2016 season, Castro has been one of the Yankees’ best hitters in 2017. He was slashing .315/.350/.490 heading into today’s game.

This is a developing story. Please stay tuned for updates as they come in.

Game 74: Scuffling Yankees Head to South Side

Losers of eight out of their last 10, the Yankees take their show on the road to Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago to face the White Sox.

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The South Siders come into the series 7½ games out of first place in the American League Central. They also come in losers of the last three games. The series opener features a matchup of left-handed pictures: Jordan Montgomery for the Yanks and David Holmberg for the White Sox.

Montgomery has been incredible in the month of June. He is 3-0 in four starts with a 2.96 ERA through 24⅓ innings. He battled through 5⅔ innings June 21 against the Angels, allowing two runs on five hits in a game the Yankees won 8 to 4.

Holmberg has bounced around since his debut in 2013. He pitched for Arizona that year, Cincinatti in 2014 and 2015, but was stuck in the White Sox minor league system in 2016. The lefty has pitched well thus far, allowing no more than three earned runs in an outing. As a starter, he is 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA.

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The Yankees welcome Jacoby Ellsbury back to the starting lineup, as he bats sixth and patrols center field. Starlin Castro, batting second, is good to go after getting a cortisone shot in a wrist that had been nagging him for weeks. Gary Sánchez is the designated hitter with Matt Holliday still having allergy problems. Didi Gregorius gets the night off against the lefty; he started seven straight games. Ronald Torreyes starts again, this time at shortstop. Austin Romine, who is evolving into Montgomery’s personal catcher, is behind the plate tonight.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Starlin Castro – 2B
  3. Aaron Judge – RF
  4. Gary Sánchez – DH
  5. Tyler Austin – 1B
  6. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  7. Chase Headley – 3B
  8. Austin Romine – C
  9. Ronald Torreyes – SS
Chicago White Sox
  1. Tim Anderson – SS
  2. Melky Cabrera – LF
  3. José Abreu – DH
  4. Avisaíl García – RF
  5. Todd Frazier – 3B
  6. Matt Davidson – 1B
  7. Yolmer Sánchez – 2B
  8. Kevan Smith – C
  9. Adam Engel – CF

Ellsbury Activated, Hicks to DL, Bullpen + Outfield Reinforced

Ahead of tonight’s opener in Chicago, the Yankees made a flurry of roster moves to prepare themselves for the White Sox.

After missing more than a month with a concussion, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was activated from the 7-day concussion disabled list. Fellow outfielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain.

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The team also swapped reserve outfielders and relief pitchers. Mason Williams was sent down after appearing in five games, and so was lefty Tyler Webb after 2⅓ innings. Both were optioned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Utility man Rob Refsnyder was recalled from AAA, and right-handed reliever Ronald Herrera was recalled from AA Trenton.

Hicks went down in the fourth inning Sunday, forcing the Yankees to use their only healthy bench player. Ellsbury returns after just 14 innings of rehab games. He went It is unclear if Ellsbury will start in the series opener tonight because the White Sox are starting a left-handed pitcher.

Williams was 4-for-16 (.250), while Webb did not allow a run. Refsnyder is currently 5-for-29 (.172) at the major league level. Herrera allowed two earned runs in two innings during his only MLB appearance June 14.

Rangers 7, Yankees 6: Comeback Falls Short as Yanks Can’t Bail Pineda Out

Michael Pineda allowed seven runs in just four innings, and that was a hole the Yankees offense could not climb out of as they drop the series finale to the Texas Rangers 7 to 6.

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The Yankees got quite close, but missed opportunities when they mattered most. Chase Headley led off the eighth inning with a double, but Tyler Austin, Mason Williams and Ronald Torreyes failed to get him in. Aaron Judge singled with two outs in the ninth, but Rangers closer Matt Bush struck out Gary Sánchez to end the game.

The blame for this loss basically should start and end with Michael Pineda. The Rangers didn’t score after the fourth inning, and asking your offense to score eight runs is a lot. Elvis Andrus singled a run home in the first, then came home on an Adrián Beltré homer. Next inning, Shin-Soo Choo hit a three-run shot into the second deck in right field, and rookie Drew Robinson got his first big league hit next inning. with a solo shot into the Yankee bullpen.

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The Yankees got a brilliant performance out of their bullpen, which contributed five shutout innings. Tyler Webb, Chad Green, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman allowed two hits and two walks while striking out seven batters in relief of Pineda.

The Bombers got as close as they could in the seventh inning, when Ronald Torreyes hit a solo home run. Judge and Sánchez walked consecutively, and then Didi Gregorius grounded an RBI single to right field. However, Choo came up throwing and gunned Sánchez out at third base.

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After leaving the game early with right oblique tightness, Aaron Hicks is most likely headed to the disabled list. Hicks had been slumping, with just three hits since sitting out three games with an Achilles injury. The Yankees may call Jacoby Ellsbury up from his rehab assignment after just two games to fill the hole.

Joe Girardi revealed after the game that Starlin Castro was unavailable to pinch hit because he received a cortisone shot in his wrist. Girardi said that the wrist had been bothering Castro for six weeks. It’s unclear what the Yankees will do next with him.

CC Sabathia threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session today, and said afterwards that he felt good. He might be back before the calendar flips to July. Starting pitching has been bad for the Yankees of late, so a healthy Sabathia would help greatly.

Aaron Hicks Removed From Game With Right Oblique Tightness

UPDATE (4:21 p.m. EDT)

The Yankees have announced that Aaron Hicks left the game due to right oblique tightness. He will undergo an MRI.

Original story

Aaron Hicks was removed from Sunday’s matchup with the Texas Rangers with an undisclosed injury.

Hicks went 1-for-2 before his removal, which came after he covered a lot of ground to track down a Jonathan Lucroy line drive. Mason Williams took over in center field, Tyler Austin moved to right field and Austin Romine entered in Hicks’s spot at first base.

Hicks has been in a bit of a slide recently, going 2-for-26 (.083) heading into today’s game. He sat out three games of the west coast road trip with an Achilles injury. He was able to return after a Yankee off-day, but seemed not to be at 100% both in the field and at the plate.

At this point, Jacoby Ellsbury is the most likely candidate to replace Hicks if the injury is bad. Ellsbury has been playing rehab games for AAA Scranton since he passed his concussion test. He has missed more than a month since suffering the injury at the end of May.

The only other players on the 40-man roster with outfield experience are Rob Refsnyder and Jorge Mateo, though the latter has never played above Class-A Advanced.