Game 15: Yankees at Blue Jays
Alex Rodriguez is not in New York’s lineup tonight, as the team has decided to give him one more day to rest the lower back and oblique stiffness that he has been fighting since Saturday. A-Rod said he expects to play tomorrow, but with a team off-day on Thursday, they have a built-in excuse to give him even more rest if he needs it.
A-Rod made a great point about Eric Chavez, who’s filling in at third base. With Chavez and Andruw Jones, the Yankees have 16 Gold Gloves on their bench.
A.J. Burnett gets the ball tonight against one of his former teams. Burnett is off to the quick start that the Yankees were hoping he could piece together, entering tonight’s action with a 3-0 record and a 4.67 ERA through three starts.
“The big improvement has been in the location of his pitches, to me, his ability to get out of innings when he’s gotten into some trouble,” manager Joe Girardi said.
A few injury updates: Colin Curtis has had season-ending surgery on his separated shoulder. The rehab process didn’t go well, and now he’ll shoot for next spring. Also, Francisco Cervelli is on the way back. He caught yesterday in extended Spring Training and could get back behind the plate for Class-A Tampa on Friday.
Canada’s own Russell Martin got a lot of publicity today pre-game from the local media. He’s sure he had a few ticket requests coming to him from friends and acquaintances, but unfortunately Martin forgot his cell phone in New York. They’ll have to get into the ballpark the old-fashioned way.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Derek Jeter SS, Curtis Granderson CF, Mark Teixeira 1B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Eric Chavez 3B, Jorge Posada DH, Russell Martin C, Brett Gardner LF
Pitching: A.J. Burnett RHP (3-0, 4.67 ERA)
Yunel Escobar SS, Travis Snider LF, Jose Bautista RF, Adam Lind 1B, Aaron Hill 2B, Jose Molina C, Corey Patterson CF, Edwin Encarnacion DH, Jayson Nix 3B
Pitching: Kyle Drabek RHP (1-0, 1.93 ERA)
(* – I always think of that truck stop at the end of Die Hard With a Vengeance, Nord des Lignes. Not really sure why that movie had to end in Canada, but all right.)