Hello from Chase Field, where the Yankees will open a seven-game road trip tonight with three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-backs have struggled mightily at home this year, posting a 5-16 record here, and that’s something the Yanks will try to take advantage of as they send rookie right-hander Chad Green to the mound for his Major League debut.
It’s not easy being Green? So they say. Acquired in the Justin Wilson trade, Green pitched his way onto the radar by posting a 1.95 ERA at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while holding opponents to a .559 OPS.
“You hope the experience in spring training helped him,” manager Joe Girardi said. “The biggest thing is for him to relax, get him through the first inning and usually guys can settle in a little bit. He’s thrown the ball very well in Triple-A this year. We’ve been pleased with what he’s been doing, and because we didn’t use him the last couple days, we were able to start him today.”
Left-hander Robbie Ray starts tonight for Arizona. He is 0-2 with 7.94 ERA over his last four starts, and control has been an issue all season, as he has walked 19 in 35 1/3 innings.
Things don’t get any easier the rest of the series, as the D-backs will trot out Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller against Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi, respectively.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of our coverage from yesterday’s 7-5 Yankees victory:
- Beltran slugs 400th home run of his career
- Pinch-hit from Headley gets Yanks series win
- Headley keeps up surge with late heroics
- CC throws sim game, targets Friday return
- Green to start Monday for Yanks in debut
- Play Ball in the Bronx a thrill for kids
- “NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 16, 2016
Green had a 1.22 ERA and a team-high 36 strikeouts in seven starts for the RailRiders, and part of the appeal in starting him tonight is that it will give Pineda and Eovaldi an extra day of rest. The Yanks think that can help Pineda in particular, as he comes into tomorrow with a 6.28 ERA and has fallen well short of what they expected as their No. 2 starter.
“We’re hoping for Pineda and all the guys that it helps them a little bit,” Girardi said. “We’re going to get into another long stretch. That’s why we did this today. He really had to grind through a couple starts; he went five innings and threw 114 pitches. Hopefully it helps him.”
The Yankees may not have their power trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman available tonight, having worked them often in the series against the White Sox.
“It’s not really how you draw it up, but there are the days you have to do that. Guys get a chance to step up and hopefully they can do it,” Girardi said.
Alex Rodriguez jogged on the field and took batting practice. All systems are go for him to return to the lineup as the designated hitter on Thursday at Oakland.
HONORING JOE G.
The Diamondbacks will pay tribute to the late Joe Garagiola on Monday via a special pregame ceremony that includes the unveiling of a “Joe” emblem in left field and a video tribute. Yogi Berra’s granddaughter Lindsay is participating in the ceremonial first pitch, along with Garagiola’s children.
Chase Headley is batting .333 (9-for-27) with three extra-base hits over his last nine games.
ON THIS DATE
2006: The Yankees tie a franchise record by overcoming a nine-run deficit vs. Texas to win, 14-3, in nine innings. Jorge Posada hits a two-run, walk-off home run off Akinori Otsuka.
The Yankees welcome the White Sox to town tonight for a three-game series, having just taken three of four from the Royals, an impressive follow-up to their series victory over the Red Sox. Dare we say it? They’ve looked pretty good of late; they’ve won six of nine, averaging five runs per game.
Tonight’s starters are Luis Severino for the Yankees and Chris Sale for the White Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET from Yankee Stadium. It has been raining all afternoon but the skies are clearing and the tarp has been removed from the field.
Gary Sanchez, the Yanks’ No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been called up and will be batting sixth as the designated hitter. He is also expected to DH tomorrow against Jose Quintana and said that he is ready for the challenge of facing two tough lefties back to back.
“My time here was brief last year, but during the time that I was here I learned how to prepare better for the game and even learned a lot from just watching the guys play,” Sanchez said. “We have a lot of veterans here. It’s a lot of good experience for me.”
Here’s a quick rundown of some of our coverage from yesterday’s 7-3 Yankees victory:
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 13, 2016
Jacoby Ellsbury remained out of the Yankees’ lineup on Friday, though manager Joe Girardi expressed hope that Ellsbury will be able to return on Saturday or Sunday. He has not played since last Friday vs. Boston, when he felt tightness in his right hip after stealing third base.
Duke University head football coach David Cutcliffe will throw out the first pitch. The Blue Devils beat Indiana University 44-41 in OT in last year’s New Era Pinstripe Bowl for their first bowl victory since 1961. He’ll receive a base signed by the Yankees.
Lots to talk about with Sale, who is 3-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 41.1 innings in six career starts against the Yankees. The lone defeat came last year. Opposing batters are just two-for-20 with no extra-base hits with runners in scoring position against Sale this year … and in case you’ve forgotten, opportunities with RISP haven’t exactly been the Yanks’ strong suit in 2016.
THEY SAID IT
“I’d be somewhat surprised if he’s not (an everyday catcher). I think all the tools are there. He’s still really young. There aren’t a whole lot of 23-year-old everyday catchers in the big leagues, it just doesn’t happen, because there’s so much that goes into the position. But I think he’s going to be really good.” – Girardi, on Sanchez.
ON THIS DATE
1955: Mickey Mantle goes 4-for-4 with three home runs – two left-handed, one right-handed – and five RBIs in a 5-2 win at Detroit. It was Mantle’s only career three-homer game and the first of 10 games where he homered from both sides of the plate.
The Yankees will try to take three of four games from the defending World Series champions tonight, as Nathan Eovaldi heads to the hill against former Yankee Ian Kennedy. New York won the first two games of this series before dropping a 7-3 decision last night.
“[Tonight] we have an important game,” Carlos Beltran said. “It would be great to win the series against the world champions. I think if we’re capable of doing that, it’s going to be positive for us.”
Eovaldi and Austin Romine appear to be a regular battery. Joe Girardi said that he didn’t really plan for Romine to be Eovaldi’s personal catcher, but he figured that Brian McCann could use a turn at designated hitter. The fact that Eovaldi has pitched well with Romine doesn’t hurt.
“It’s not something that I’ve really set out to do, but it’s kind of worked that way, and that’s easier for Austin and the pitcher,” Girardi said. “If you’re on a good page together and you’re familiar with each other, I think it’s helpful.”
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 12, 2016
You’ll notice that Mark Teixeira is back in the lineup after missing two games with a stiff neck. The Yankees made a roster move prior to this game, recalling left-hander Tyler Olson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while optioning outfielder Ben Gamel to the Minors.
“We’re getting Tex back today. We’re kind of in the same situation we were the last few days,” Joe Girardi said. “We just felt we could use an extra arm being that (Phil) Coke is not available and if we needed some distance out of our bullpen, the other guys are really not built for that.”
There could be more in store this weekend: the White Sox are set to throw left-handers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana on Friday and Saturday, and so Joe Girardi said that it’s possible they’ll need to call up a right-handed bat. That could be Rob Refsnyder, who has been hitting consistently at Triple-A.
Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury both did some running on the field this afternoon. There is optimism that Ellsbury will be able to play in the White Sox series, while Rodriguez believes he can come back from the disabled list when he’s eligible during this upcoming West Coast road trip.
“I’ll have a much better answer over the next 48 hours to see how I recover from these two days, but so far, so good,” Rodriguez said.
The Yankees are batting just .210 (53-for-252) with runners in scoring position, 29th best in the Majors(trailing just the Mets).
THEY SAID IT
“I don’t think there’s anybody that covers our game, that’s in our game, that thinks this club is what we showed in April, at all.” – GM Brian Cashman
ON THIS DATE
1925: Lawrence Peter Berra is born in St. Louis. A three-time MVP and 10-time World Series champion, “Yogi” was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Masahiro Tanaka will cross off the final American League opponent off his list tonight as the Yankees host the Royals in the second game of a four-game set at Yankee Stadium. The defending World Series champions are the only team that Tanaka has not faced in his three-year big league career.
Tanaka is one of four pitchers in the Majors to allow two earned runs or fewer in each of their first six starts. Some runs would be very welcome for the right-hander: despite his terrific beginning to the season, he’s just got one victory because the Yanks have averaged 2.5 runs per game in his outings.
“The good thing is, we’re not talking about that (elbow ligament),” manager Joe Girardi said. “This will be a little bit of a test, though, because we’re into a lot of days in a row where he’s going to be on every fifth day, but he’s seemed to handle it. He feels good, and he’s pitching extremely well. We just need to keep it there.”
This is the first big league start for Ben Gamel, who is batting ninth and playing right field.
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— #VoteRoyals (@Royals) May 10, 2016
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 10, 2016
Mark Teixeira is the latest star player to appear on the team’s injury report, as the switch-hitter could miss the next two games as he deals with neck spasms, manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday.
Teixeira is just 1-for-15 on the Yankees’ current homestand after going hitless in New York’s 6-3 victory over the Royals on Monday, and Girardi said that he has been battling the issue for some time. Teixeira did not take pre-game batting practice on Tuesday as he received treatment.
He is batting .202 (21-for-104) with three homers, 11 RBIs and 19 walks in 30 games.
“Your neck is fairly important in a swing, because you have to be able to turn your head and sometimes players can’t work the way they want to work because they’re dealing with some stuff,” Girardi said. “I think he’s been patient. I don’t think he’s gotten fully on track this year but I think he will.”
The injury is the latest in a rash that has seen Jacoby Ellsbury not starting for a fourth straight game due to tightness in his right hip, sustained on an aggressive turn around third base.
If Ellsbury is not able to resume sprinting at full speed by the end of the Kansas City series, Girardi said that Ellsbury could be placed on the disabled list retroactively.
The Yankees also remain optimistic that Alex Rodriguez (strained right hamstring) can return from his 15-day disabled list stint in the minimum amount of time. Rodriguez has run on a treadmill but not yet on grass.
Take away Tanaka’s 2.29 ERA, and the rest of the Yankees rotation has posted a 5.03 ERA (76 ER, 136 IP) so far this season.
With his two homers Monday, Carlos Beltran is now just two homers shy of 400 for his career. Teixeira is at 397 career homers. The only switch-hitters to have reached 400 career homers are Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504), and Chipper Jones (468).
ON THIS DATE
1936: Joe DiMaggio hits his first Major League homer (off George Turbeville) in the Yankees’ 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia A’s.
Happy Mother’s Day! The Yankees have a chance to celebrate their first sweep of the season tonight on national television, sending right-hander Luis Severino to the mound against the Red Sox at 8:05 p.m. ET. Boston will counter with knuckleballing right-hander Steven Wright, which will be a challenge for the Yanks hitters.
“It’s hard,” Joe Girardi said. “You’ll see switch hitters hit the opposite because they don’t want to feel like they’re going to messed up. It’s hard. The thing that you try to do is you look for the ball up and try to square one up.”
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
#RedSox 5/8 Lineup at NYY:
Bradley Jr. CF
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 8, 2016=
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 8, 2016
Aroldis Chapman met the media this afternoon and said that he is “super excited” to be installed as the closer, beginning tomorrow against the Royals, now that his 30-game suspension for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy is set to expire. Chapman’s arrival will bump Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller into setup roles.
“I learned a lot from [the suspension],” Chapman said through an interpreter. “Like any human being, we learn every day. It’s just part of life. You keep on learning. The good thing is it’s something that’s behind me now. I want to focus on baseball, being here with my teammates and having the opportunity to contribute and hopefully win.”
There is still no timetable for Jacoby Ellsbury (right hip tightness) to return to the field, but it won’t be on Monday. Girardi said that if Ellsbury isn’t improving in five or six days, the Yankees would consider the disabled list, but Ellsbury is hopeful that he can avoid that.
“I was able to get on the light bike today,” Ellsbury said. “Basically, a bunch of treatment throughout the day. Same as yesterday. It’s made some progress since yesterday, so that’s obviously good news. We’ll see how it feels later on today but we’ll pretty much do as much treatment as we can.”
There’s lots and lots of pink in the Yankees clubhouse. The interlocking ‘NY’ and the numbers on the back of tonight’s pinstriped uniforms are pink, and many players will be wearing pink undershirts and cleats in addition to using the pink bats.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“What do you want me to do? You want me to throw a fit? The goal here is to win. I think if you go around and ask, there’s 25 lockers in here and I think everyone is going to say that. We haven’t gotten off to the start that we want to. I think we’ve played well in the last couple of days, and the goal is to keep that going. Wins are what’s fun at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter if you’re saving games for a last-place team.” — Miller, on yielding the ninth inning to Chapman
Yankees pitchers have a 2.75 ERA (52.1 IP, 16 ER) in six games this month, third-lowest in the Majors. Only Toronto (1.97) and San Diego (2.32) have been better. Bombers hurlers logged a 4.62 ERA in April.
ON THIS DATE
2010: Mark Teixeira became the second player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a single game against the Red Sox, joining Lou Gehrig. Teixeira homered in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings of a 14-3 win at Fenway Park.