Pitching matchups for the Red Sox series

Jacoby EllsburyAfter losing two of three to the Orioles to open the home schedule, dropping a 5-4 decision last night, the Yankees welcome the Red Sox to town for a four-game series — Jacoby Ellsbury’s first opportunity to match up against his former club in a regular season game, something he’ll be doing quite a bit, as the Yanks and Red Sox will lock up 19 times this year.

Here are the pitching matchups to look ahead to:

Thurs., 4/10 vs. Boston
RHP Michael Pineda (0-1, 1.50) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (0-0, 12.46 ERA) 7:05 p.m. YES/MLBN

Fri., 4/11 vs. Boston
LHP CC Sabathia (1-1, 7.50) vs. LHP Jon Lester (0-2, 2.51 ERA) 7:05 p.m. YES/MLBN

Sat., 4/12 vs. Boston
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 2.92) vs. RHP John Lackey (2-0, 1.38 ERA) 1:05 p.m. YES/FS1

Sun., 4/13 vs. Boston
RHP Ivan Nova (1-1, 8.68) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (1-1, 9.00 ERA) 8:05 p.m. ESPN

Game 8: Yankees vs. Orioles

Hello from Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees and Orioles are set to play the second game of a three-game series. We’ve got a rare Tuesday afternoon game here in the Bronx, with Ivan Nova and Wei-Yin Chen locking up as the pitching matchup. We had some rain earlier in the day but it’s turning into a pleasant, overcast afternoon; temperatures in the low-to-mid 60s.

Here are the quick hits from the Yankees clubhouse:

  • Francisco Cervelli is in the lineup, making his first career start at first base. It’s something the Yankees have toyed with a little bit in the last few days, but Cervelli is still very much an unknown quantity over there. Joe Girardi called it a “low risk” gamble. Cervelli thinks the last time that he played first base in a game was when he was 15.
  • Cervelli has been taking ground balls all over the infield since Spring Training, and with a lefty on the mound, it’s something that they want to take a look at. Girardi said that it is not something he has to stick with all day; Kelly Johnson is still the regular first baseman.
  • Cesar Cabral was promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take David Robertson’s place on the active roster. Matt Thornton may not be available today; Thornton pitched yesterday and Girardi said that he has also been getting up in the bullpen often.
  • Who’s today’s closer? Girardi replied: “That is a really good question.”
  • You might remember that the Yankees thought about having Alfonso Soriano play first base this spring. They never got around to it, Girardi said, because Soriano got a late start to his spring with a bad case of the flu and then needed to focus on working in the outfield corners. Girardi also said that he has never seen Brian McCann take a grounder at first base, so they weren’t about to start now.

Lineup time:


ORIOLES (2-5)

Nick Markakis RF
Delmon Young DH
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nelson Cruz LF
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 3B

Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 6.35)

YANKEES (4-3)

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Francisco Cervelli 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Yangervis Solarte 3B

Ivan Nova RHP (1-0, 3.18)

Yankees recall Cabral from Triple-A

Prior to today’s game, the Yankees placed RHP David Robertson on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to 4/7) with a left groin strain and recalled LHP Cesar Cabral from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Eduardo Nunez dealt to Twins

NEW YORK — The Yankees have traded infielder Eduardo Nunez to the Twins in exchange for Minor League left-hander Miguel Sulbaran.

Sulbaran, 20, is 21-10 with a 3.15 ERA in 55 career Minor League games (45 starts) in the Dodgers and Twins organizations. This season, he made one relief appearance for Class-A Cedar Rapids.

A product of Venezuela, Sulbaran spent last season with Class-A Great Lakes and Cedar Rapids, going 9-4 with a 2.96 ERA in 27 games (20 starts). In 112 2/3 innings, Sulbaran allowed 110 hits and 32 walks, recording 101 strikeouts.

Nunez, 26, was designated for assignment when the Yankees chose to take Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte as the backup infielders on their Opening Day roster. In 270 career games with the Yankees, Nunez hit .267 with 10 home runs, 76 RBIs and 48 stolen bases.

The Twins have said that Nunez will be assigned to Triple-A Rochester.

Robertson heading to disabled list with groin strain

NEW YORK — The Yankees spent seven weeks of the spring watching David Robertson glide through a breezy camp, harboring few concerns about the handoff of Mariano Rivera’s old closer role.

One wrong move has changed that, shaking up the pecking order of New York’s bullpen. Robertson will be placed on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a Grade 1 strain of his left groin, Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed after Monday’s 4-2 victory over the Orioles.

“It’s not what you want, but you’ve got to figure it out,” Girardi said. “Other guys will get a chance to step up. You expect them to step up and get the job done in his absence. We’ve had to deal with things like this before. We just need guys to step up.”

In Robertson’s absence, Girardi said that his first call will likely be to right-hander Shawn Kelley, depending on where the opponents’ lineup is. Kelley set down Baltimore in the ninth inning on Monday to record his first career save.

“It forces all of us to throw another inning later, so obviously that’s not good for the whole ‘pen,” Kelley said. “But injuries are part of it and we’ve got to overcome it. You saw today what we’re capable of, and hopefully we can string it together until he gets back.”

The Yankees could consider promoting left-hander Cesar Cabral or right-hander Shane Greene from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Robertson on the active roster, though no official move has been announced.

“Opportunity presents itself all the time,” Kelley said. “I would give anything for David not to be hurt right now, because I know he’s upset. We’re a better team with D-Rob. But like I said, we’ve got to move forward, and we’ve all got to step up and fill some bigger roles.”

Robertson said that he felt the injury after throwing about five or six pitches while closing out Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Robertson pitched around a hit and a walk to log his second save of the year.

“It just started aggravating me. I thought it was going to go away,” Robertson said. “I had some pain in the afternoon coming home on the flight, and this morning when I woke up there was still some irritation there, so I came in and said something.”

An MRI taken on Monday morning in New York revealed the strain. Robertson said that he believes he will be able to return in the minimum 15 days, but the timing of the injury is an annoyance that recalls a previous incident in his career.

Back in 2012, when Robertson claimed the closer’s role following Rivera’s season-ending knee injury, Robertson made just four appearances before he also landed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. Rafael Soriano claimed the closer’s job at that time, keeping it for the rest of the year.

“It’s definitely a little frustrating. It seems like something always happens to me,” Robertson said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no way I’d be able to go out there and be 100 percent, and do what I do the way I’m feeling right now.”

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