Adam Warren returning to Yankees’ rotation tonight

Adam Warren

Hello from Tropicana Field, where the Yankees will continue their three-game series with the Rays tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Adam Warren is on the mound for the Yankees, making his first start since late June as he returns to the rotation and takes the spot of the injured Nathan Eovaldi.

Jake Odorizzi — also known as Brian McCann’s personal punching bag … we’ll get to that — is getting the starting nod for Tampa Bay. The Yankees have won nine of their last 11 road games, and five of eight games this year at Tropicana Field. The Rays have lost 13 of their last 20 games. 

Playoff picture: The Yankees (79-64) trail the Blue Jays (82-61) by three games in the American League East. Toronto opens a series tonight against the Braves at Turner Field. The Yankees lead the Rangers (76-67) by three games for the first Wild Card spot.

Baseball Prospectus has the Yankees with a 97.6 percent chance of making the postseason and a 12.4 percent chance of winning the division.

Lineups

Clubhouse report

Alex Rodriguez has been diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee, but he is playing through it. MORE

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Warren should be able throw 65 to 70 pitches today, and the entire back end of the Yankees bullpen (Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson) should be available with Dellin Betances getting the day off Monday.

Jacoby Ellsbury remains at the top of the lineup despite his 0-for-21 skid. Girardi said that he saw some encouraging signs from Ellsbury’s swings last night, and wasn’t tempted to dislodge Ellsbury from the leadoff spot.

The Yankees haven’t set their rotation beyond tomorrow, when Luis Severino will pitch. Girardi said there are no health concerns that they are waiting on.

Jake LaMotta is here! The ‘Raging Bull’ watched batting practice from the field in front of the Rays dugout.

MLB Network’s three to watch

Yankees Rays Baseball

Brian McCann has hit .647 (11-for-17) with three doubles, a triple, three homers and two walks in his career against RHP Jake Odorizzi. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McCann’s 1.471 slugging percentage vs. Odorizzi is the highest of any current AL hitter vs. any current AL pitcher (min. 15 at-bats).

Alex Rodriguez is slugging .735 with five home runs and nine RBIs over his last 10 games.

Evan Longoria, who was batting .394 (13-for-33) with four homers over the first nine games in September, is batting .083 (1-for-12) over his last three games. 

Stat so?

Left-handed hitters have an OPS of .614 against Odorizzi compared to right-handed hitters, who have an OPS of .714.

On this date

Bob Meusel tied a still-standing Major League record with three sacrifice flies in the Yankees’ 6-4 win at Cleveland’s League Park. Don Mattingly is the most recent Yankee to accomplish the feat, doing so on May 3, 1986 vs. Texas.

Quote to note

“I mean, you could think about [sitting Ellsbury], but it’s a pretty hard guy to take out of your lineup. Because hitting, it turns around pretty quickly. We have 19 games to go. He’s extremely important to our lineup. So it’s hard to sit Ells.” — Girardi

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