Tagged: Adam Warren

Adam Warren should be a relief pitcher once again for the Yankees

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Adam Warren – ESPN

It is currently unknown who will for sure be in the Yankees bullpen beyond the recently signed Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Tyler Clippard, but there is one pitcher who pitched well in his two months with the team last season who should be a relief pitcher again.

Adam Warren should be in the bullpen instead of the rotation this season because the Yankees inability to get the back end of the bullpen many times last year proved how much they need a strong middle relief. Right now on the official depth chart on the Yankees website they have him as a rotation candidate, which means that he will go into spring training as a candidate for one of the two open spots in the rotation.

Warren was selected by the Yankees in the 4th round of the 2009 draft as a starting pitcher out of the University of North Carolina. He pitched in the minors from 2009-2011, spent the 2012 season with Triple-A Scranton except for 2.1 innings with the Yankees and then spent the 2013 through 2015 seasons with the Yankees.

The 6-1, 29-year-old, who was born in Birmingham had his most successful season in 2014 when he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen. He had an impressive 2.97 ERA in 69 games (78.2 innings) in 2014 with a 1.106 WHIP, 76 strikeouts, 24 walks, 23 holds and three saves. He showed he could excel in multiple roles in the bullpen, and improved his stats from the previous year when he was not a starting pitcher for the first time.

In 2015, the righty threw a career-high 131.1 innings since 17 of his 43 appearances were as a starting pitcher. Warren ended up starting the season in the rotation and then was moved back to his bullpen at the end of June. He ended the 2015 season with a solid 3.29 ERA in his 43 games with a very good 1.16 WHIP, a 2.8 WAR, 104 strikeouts, 39 walks and 10 homers allowed. These are solid overall stats but they were improved by the games he pitched in relief.

He made 14 starts to begin the season (and three from the middle to end of September) and had a 3.59 ERA those appearances, which is a quality ERA and about equals that of a No. 3 or 4 starter, but the Yankees have other younger candidates for the No. 4 and 5 spots in the rotation who are capable of that ERA. He has also proven that he can excel in the bullpen as he did last season when he returned to the Yankees.

Before the 2016 season, Warren and Brendan Ryan were traded to the Cubs for Starlin Castro. This was a great trade overall for the Yankees because Castro played well as he had a .270 average, a .734 OPS, 21 homers, 70 RBI, 29 doubles and 156 hits in his first full season as a second baseman, and the Yankees got Warren back at the trade deadline when they traded Chapman to the Cubs.

General Manager Brian Cashman wanted Warren back because even though he had struggled with the Cubs he knew he had pitched well under Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the past and he thought he would improve the bullpen after trading away Chapman and Andrew Miller.

When interviewed after being traded back to the Yankees, Warren blamed not really knowing his role with the Cubs for his subpar performance. It could also be that reuniting with Rothschild helped him pitch like he had in previous seasons. In 29 games with the Cubs, Warren made one start, threw 35 innings, had a 5.91 ERA, a 1.43 WHIP and had 27 strikeouts and 19 walks, which is a high strikeout to walk ratio.

However, after coming to the Yankees just before the trade deadline, his performance was much better than it was during his 29 games with the Cubs. He pitched in 29 games with the Yankees in the last two months (30.1 innings) and had an improved 3.26 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 0.4 WAR, six holds, four wins, 25 strikeouts, 10 walks and 11 earned runs compared to 23 with Chicago.

He makes sense for middle relief because of his drastic improvement in the last two months of this season helping to make the bullpen a strength when it was an unknown after losing Miller and Chapman. In some ways having a very effective middle relief can be just as important as a dominant closer because if the lead is blown in the 7th or 8th the closer will not pitch in the game.

Tyler Clippard is another pitcher who was not on the Yankees in the first half of the season but excelled with the Yankees in August and September. With the Diamondbacks in 40 games last season he had a 4.30 ERA but with the Yankees in 29 games he produced more like he did when he was an All-Star in 2014 as he had a 2.49 ERA with 26 strikeouts in his second tour with the Yankees.

It is likely but somewhat of an unknown if Clippard and Warren can both produce like they did towards the end of the season, which is why Warren should be in the bullpen. Unless the Yankees acquire an established middle relief pitcher, which seems unlikely, everyone in the bullpen besides Chapman, Betances and Clippard would be in their 1st or 2nd year.

It would be ideal to have Warren in the bullpen and only moved to the rotation in an emergency because that is where he is most valuable. If Warren is in the bullpen once again then the team’s bullpen can be top three in the league and will be a definite strength. The UNC product combining with Clippard to pitch the 7th would mean that young pitchers like Johnny Barbato, Chasen Shreve and Nick Goody’s role wouldn’t be as important.

According to Brooks Baseball, Warren relied on his fourseam fastball (93 mph) and slider (88 mph), while also mixing in a circle change (85 mph), knuckle curve (80 mph) and sinker (93 mph) this season. Many relief pitchers use a fastball and slider but his ability to throw three more pitchers makes him different.

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The Yankees signed Aroldis Chapman to a five-year and $86 million contract, which is the highest ever for a reliever

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Aroldis Chapman – USA Today

Late on Wednesday, it was reported by Ken Rosenthal that the Yankees had signed the free agent elite closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. He has an opt out after the third year, a full not trade clause in the first three years and for some reason has a partial no trade clause in the last two years to all of the California teams.

Every since the Yankees traded Chapman to the Cubs before the trade deadline for top shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres and three other prospects the Brian Cashman had been interested in signing him again. When Chapman played for the Yankees in the first half of the season after his 30-game suspension for domestic abuse the previous October, he proved that he could excel playing in New York as he had a 2.01 ERA in 31 games (31.1 innings) with 20 saves, 44 strikeouts, 20 hits allowed, only eight walks and an excellent 0.894 WHIP.

Including his time pitching with the Yankees and Cubs last season, Chapman had a great 1.55 ERA (1.42 WHIP), with 40.5 percent strikeouts and 8.1 percent walks in 58 innings pitched. According to River Ave Blues, he walked 11.7 percent of batters faced from the 2013 through the 2015 seasons, which means that based on his 8.1 percent walk rate last season his control is getting better and this trend could be here to stay.

The Cuban Missile has been an All-Star in four out of his six full seasons and his stats in his seven seasons overall are a 2.08 ERA in 383 games (377 innings) with 182 saves, 1.88 FIP, 19 homers allowed, 636 strikeouts, 201 hits allowed and a very good 0.92 WHIP. In 2012, when he was an All-Star and finished eighth in Cy Young voting, he had an outstanding 1.51 ERA in 68 games (71.2 innings) with 122 strikeouts, 23 walks allowed, a 1.55 FIP and a 0.809 WHIP, which is the lowest of his career.

Chapman’s five-year contract is the first five-year contract for a reliever since the Blue Jays gave B.J. Ryan a five-year deal that they regretted in 2005. Chapman, who has a fastball that can go up to 105 mph and a very good slider, is a much better pitcher than Ryan but the signing could be a little risky because Chapman would break down three or four years from now since he throws faster than everyone else. He is the only pitcher who can throw 105 mph in all of Major League Baseball.

He does have character issues as the Yankees were able to acquire him for much lower rated prospects based on his domestic abuse where he choked his girlfriend in a domestic incident. Also, in 2012, Chapman was arrested after being clocked going 93 mph on a suspended license. Hopefully he will not have another incident similar to his previous ones. The domestic violence incident is not defensible, but he has served his punishment and if the Yankees didn’t sign him another team would have.

Chapman was the best reliever available this offseason and Brian Cashman was intent on upgrading the bullpen. The bullpen that the Yankees have now, if their current pitchers perform like they did last year, is likely better overall than it was in the first half of last season when they had Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances and Chapman pitching the last three innings Now, in addition to Chapman and Betances, they also have Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren as proven commodities.

They also have a situational lefty, Tommy Layne, who is 32 and had a solid 3.38 ERA in 29 games (16 innings) after coming over from the Red Sox. Young relief pitchers who have come up through the system and spent some time in the majors last season who could be in the bullpen on Opening Day include Johnny Barbato, Nick Goody, Ben Heller, Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder.

Signing Chapman and not Kenley Jansen, who could have made sense because his stats are not that much different and Jansen will likely break down later than Chapman, meant that the Yankees will not lose a first round draft pick like they would have if they signed Jansen. The team is now trying to develop as many high draft picks as possible.

The signing of the 6’4″ Cuban lefty who will be 29 in February means that Dellin Betances will go back to pitching in the eighth inning. It is possible that Betances could be an effective closer but he has been one of the best set up men in the American League the last three seasons as he was an All-Star in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Having Chapman in the 9th inning means that Joe Girardi will be able to put Betances, who throws a high 90s fastball and a knuckle curve, into the game in the 7th or 8th inning depending on matchups and who else is available. In the 2014 season, when Betances was a set up man the whole season and a rookie, he had a 1.40 ERA in 70 games (90 innings) with a career-high 135 strikeouts, a career-low 24 walks, a 1.64 FIP and an outstanding 0.778 WHIP.

This past season, after Andrew Miller & Chapman had been traded, the 28-year-old struggled as the closer. He had an excellent 2.05 ERA on September 5 but at the end of the season his ERA climbed all the way up to 3.08. He allowed 10 runs in his final nine games, which means he might be better suited for the 7th and 8th innings right now. He also would make a lot of sense to replace Chapman if he opts out of his contract in three years.

 

The Yankees won after trading away Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova

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Carlos Beltran – ESPN

After trading away Carlos Beltran, who was the team’s best offensive player in the first four months of the season, and Ivan Nova, who had been a pitcher with the Yankees since 2010 and was signed when he was 16, on Monday, the Yankees beat the Mets 6-5 in 10 innings.

The Yankees made the right decision in trading away their most valuable assets before the trade deadline because they had to improve the minor league system. They now have likely the best collection of prospects in baseball and those prospects will either be part of the next championship team or can be traded for players who can help the team win.

The Yankees had a middle of the pack farm system before trading Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Beltran but their minor league system has now vaulted to the top. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner hit the reset at the right time because the team did not have a realistic chance at making the playoffs and in making these trades they are closer to winning their next World Series. If they didn’t make these trades the team would have been in contention for the second wild card spot for the next few seasons, which is not the goal that the Yankees have.

In return for Beltran, who should make it to the Hall of Fame when he retires, and two of the top five relievers in baseball in Miller and Chapman, the Yankees received a total of 10 prospects and Adam Warren. For Beltran, they received two lower profile prospects and Dillon Tate, from the Rangers, who is a pitcher that was the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft. For Miller, they got back highly rated outfield prospect Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Ferereisen.

Frazier’s “bat speed and raw power are among the best in the Minor Leagues and suggest the ceiling of an All-Star” according to his MLB Pipeline scouting report. Frazier will be in Triple-A Railriders lineup on Tuesday, and Heller, a relief pitcher, has also been assigned to Triple-A.

Chapman is the only pitcher in baseball who can throw 105 mph. When the Yankees traded him the Cubs, who needed a closer, last week, the Yankees got back Warren, the Cubs top shortstop prospect in Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford.

In addition to those trades, Cashman also traded Nova just before the 4 p.m. trade deadline for two players to be named later. This made sense because Nova had struggled this season (4.90 ERA) and they likely would not have signed him in the offseason anyway. They also reacquired Tyler Clippard from the Arizona Diamonbacks for Vicante Campos. Clippard and Warren are not as talented as Miller and Chapman, but those two pitchers will be able to be valuable in the 7th and 8th innings and were important to get back since they lost so much production in the bullpen.

Cashman was able to get back a lot of top prospects for Miller and two players who might be rentals for the Cubs and Rangers. The Yankees had help from players who will be part of their present and future when they beat the Mets on Monday.

Didi Gregorius hit a two-run single in the 8th inning to tie the score at five. He has an impressive .291 average and is only 12 RBI away from setting a career-high. Starlin Castro was 0-3 but his sacrifice fly to right in the 10th that scored Jacoby Ellsbury ended up winning the game for the Yankees.

Dellin Betances, who is now the closer, recorded his first save of the season after James Loney, who owns the Yankees, doubled to leadoff the 10th. Betances was able to execute his pitches after that as he struck out Curtis Granderson to end the game after throwing two batters out at first.

The Yankees attempted to run more on the bases than before all of these trades. Austin Romine had his first steal of the season, Castro had his third steal of the season and Brett Gardner was thrown out at home attempting an inside the park home run.

Jacoby Ellsbury scored the first run of the game for the Yankees on a wild pitch and then the Yankees scored their second and third runs in the 5th. Brett Gardner had an RBI double and Ellsbury’s single drove in Gardner.

Warren and Clippard were big contributors out of the bullpen as they combined to pitch three innings, only allow one hit, not allow a run and strikeout four. This was Warren third appearance out of the bullpen since the trade and after struggling with the Cubs he has pitched like he did the previous few seasons with the Yankees, as he has only allowed one hit and no runs in four innings pitched.

The Yankees are now a game over .500 and can now play like they have nothing to lose since there is not much pressure after all of the trades thad were made. The Yankees recalled Ben Gamel and Nick Goody on Monday and will could bringing up catching prospect Gary Sanchez on Wednesday. Outfielder Aaron Judge, who is about to be reinstated from the disabled list and has performed well this season, and Tyler Austin, will both likely be called up in the next few weeks to continue the youth movement.

Since Sanchez will be coming up to the Yankees will have to decide what they will do with Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has not hit at all recently (one hit in his last 16 at-bats) so they could cut him, but they might decide to have him DH until he hits his 700th homer (he is at 696). However, the Yankees don’t really want him taking at-bats away from a younger player.

 

Pitching matchups for the series between the Yankees and Rangers at Globe Life Park

Ivan Nova during spring training in 2011 during a game against the Orioles.

Ivan Nova during spring training in 2011 during a game against the Orioles.

The Yankees, who are 55-42, have a 6.5 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays and 7 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East. They will continue their road trip with a four-game series in Arlington at Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers. The Yankees have gone 8-3 in their last 10 games and have the second best record in the American League.

The Rangers are a mediocre team this year as they have a 47-50 record and are 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot. There are rumors that the Rangers could look to add Cole Hamels before the trade deadline. Jayson Stark has reported that the Rangers and Dodgers are in the lead to acquire Hamels. However, the Rangers still don’t know who will start in Wednesday or Thursday’s game.

Texas is reportedly considering an extra left-handed starter for this series to match up with the many left-handed bats that the Yankees have. The Yankees have not announced a starter for Tuesday’s game. The plan is for either Adam Warren or Chris Capuano to throw three or four innings, according to Joe Girardi, and then to have the other come on in relief.

Today is Alex Rodriguez‘s 40th birthday and he has performed better this year than anyone could have expected. He hit three homers in a game for the first time since 2010 during Saturday’s win over the Twins and is seventh in the league with his 23 homers, is tied for 10th in the league with his 58 RBIs and his .914 OPS is fifth in the league. He has been a key offensive force in the middle of the lineup and the Yankees will need him to stay healthy and productive the rest of the season.

Rodriguez’s OPS is higher right now than it has been since the 2008 season. He is also having his best season overall offensively since the 2009 season, which is the last time the Yankees won the World Series. Part of his return to form is due to being a full-time DH and part of it is due to him being completely healthy this season.

The Yankees will look to win their seventh consecutive series before ending their long road trip against the Chicago White Sox. Here are the pitching matchups for this series.

Tonight
RHP Ivan Nova (2-3, 3.34)
vs.
LHP Matt Harrison (1-1, 5.40)
8:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

Tuesday
TBA
vs.
LHP Martin Perez (0-1, 4.91)
8:05 p.m., FS1

Wednesday
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-3, 3.64)
vs.
TBA
8:05 p.m., YES Network

Thursday
RHP Michael Pineda (9-7, 3.97)
vs.
TBA
8:05 p.m. YES Network

Brett Gardner, Cole Figueroa and Masahiro Tanaka led the Yankees to a 6-2 win over the Athletics

Cole Figueroa (Getty)

Cole Figueroa (Getty Images)

Adam Warren struck out Billy Butler on three pitches to end the game and give the Yankees a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics in the series finale. Masahiro Tanaka pitched like an ace as he threw 7.2 innings and retired the final 19 batters that he faced.

Tanaka threw 114 pitches, which is more than any Yankee pitcher had thrown this season, and only allowed one earned run (two overall) on two hits while striking out six. He struggled in the second but bounced back very well after that.

“I thought he used his slider well and thought he used his split well,” Joe Girardi said. “His split is really important for him and he used it effectively today. The second inning was long and he became pretty economical after that. I like where he is at physically.”

Billy Butler and Mark Canha hit RBI doubles off of Tanaka in the second, but after Canha’s double to deep right center, Tanaka’s improved location of his pitches led to him retiring the next 19 batters that he faced, which included retiring the final two on strikeouts. He will now go into the All-Star break with momentum as had previously made three subpar starts.

Brett Gardner, who was named to the All-Star Game in the middle of the game as a replacement for the injured Alex Gordon, hit a homer in the first inning and was 3-5 during the game. Gardner’s three hits brought his average up to .303, which is 10th in the American League.

His 62 runs scored are fourth most in the league, his .381 on-base percentage is seventh in the AL, his 15 steals are fourth most in the league and his 21 doubles are tied for eighth. This means that he is top 10 in five different categories in the league.

“It was definitely a surprise,” Gardner said. “It looks like I know what I am doing next week. I am looking forward to it. I am excited to go represent the Yankees and represent the American League.”

Gardner, who has 10 homers this season after hitting 17 last season, is hitting with more power thanks to a different approach. “I am being a little more aggressive and trying to be more consistent at the plate.”

“I am really happy for Gardner,” Girardi said. “He is so important for our team. He has learned how to pull the ball, and that is advantageous in our ballpark.”

Cole Figueroa, who was the third baseman today, made his Yankees’ debut as he was called up from Triple-A Scranton to replace Jose Pirela on the roster. The Yankees brought him up because starting third baseman Chase Headley missed his second straight game due to inflammation in his right knee. Figueroa had an outstanding first game with the Bronx Bombers as he was 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored in addition to being perfect in the field.

Mark Teixeira tied the game at two in the third inning with a single to right to score Ellsbury, which was his American League-leading 62nd RBI of the season. In the fourth inning off of Athletics starter Jesse Chavez, Jacoby Ellsbury, who was playing in his second game after coming off of the disabled list, singled to right to score Stephen Drew and Figueroa. That single broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Yankees the lead for good.

In the eighth inning, Figueroa hit his second double of the game on a ball that bounced over the US Trust Sign in right for a ground rule double. Chris Young and Figueroa both scored in the 8th as a result of Marcus Semien’s throwing error to first on Jacoby Ellsbury’s grounder. That was his 28th error of the season, which is eight more than any shortstop in baseball. He has made one error in every game of the series.

The Yankees are 33-6 when scoring five or more runs this season. With the win, the Yankees (46-39, 3-game lead in AL East) won the series 2-1 against Oakland and will go into their weekend series before the All-Star break in Boston against the surging Red Sox with momentum. The Red Sox have won their previous four series and nine of their last 12 games.

The Yankees lost to the Angels 2-1 for their second consecutive loss in Anaheim

Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira

The Yankees only had two hits in their 2-1 loss to the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday night. They are now on a three-game losing streak and have scored only one run in all three of those losses. The Yankees could have moved up in the AL East with a win since the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays all lost on Tuesday.

Against Andrew Heaney, who was making his second start of the season and the seventh one of his career, the Yankees did not get a single runner into scoring position. The only run that the Yankees scored off of the No. 1 prospect in the Angels organization after the 2014 season was a solo homer near the rocks in center in the 2nd inning by Mark Teixeira on a low fastball. That was his 19th homer and 54th RBI of the season.

Heaney pitched seven strong innings while striking out seven and only allowing two hits. Brett Gardner, who is now on an eight-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that span, had the only other hit off of Heaney. Chris Young, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann, who were the No. 2, 3 and 5 hitters in the lineup, combined to go 0-11 with three strikeouts and two double plays.

“I think overall we had some pretty good at-bats,” Rodriguez said. “We hit a lot of balls hard right at people tonight. The kid had good stuff and pitched a good game. He challenged us all night long with a lot of fastballs and today he was just a little better than us.”

Rodriguez thought that the pitching that he saw from Ivan Nova and Adam Warren can be a sign of what is to come. “What I am most encouraged about is tonight we saw a little preview of hopefully what the rest of the year is going to be like for us with Nova, with Warren, we have (Jacoby) Ellsbury coming back soon and Andrew (MIller),” Rodriguez said. “I am really optimistic about the rest of the year.”

Nova was not as effective as he was in his first start this season when he allowed no runs and three hits in 6.2 innings, but he did pitch very well with runners in scoring position, which helped him only allow only two runs in 5.1 innings even though the Angels had eight hits and two walks off of him. Nova had seven strikeouts and the Angels went 0-7 with runners in scoring position against him.

The Angels won the game because they hit back-to-back homers off of Nova to begin the sixth inning. Albert Pujols, who is a nine-time All-Star and is having his best season since coming to the Angels, hit his league leading 24th homer. Erick Aybar, who is not know for his power, hit his second homer of the season to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Warren, who was making his first appearance out of the bullpen since leaving the rotation due to Nova’s return from the disabled list, pitched 2.2 innings while only allowing one hit. He will add another reliable righty reliever to the bullpen. Warren, who had a solid 3.59 ERA in 14 starts this season, had an impressive 2.97 ERA in 69 games out of the bullpen last year.

In the ninth, with longtime closer Huston Street pitching, Young struck out on a check swing and Rodriguez grounded out to third to set off the fireworks and end the game. Street picked up his 298th save and his 51st with the Angels.

During Tuesday’s loss Carlos Beltran aggravated an existing injury to the left side of his ribcage in the fifth inning. He will likely receive an MRI when the team returns to New York after Wednesday’s game. It was announced that the Yankees will call up outfielder Taylor Dugas to replace Beltran.

The Yankees have one more game in Anaheim before returning home. The Yankees, who are half a game out of first in the AL East, have a 21-14 record at Yankee Stadium and a 20-23 record on the road. In the series finale, Nathan Eovaldi (7-2, 4.81 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Matt Shoemaker (4-6, 5.03 ERA) will get the start for Anaheim.

Brett Gardner and Brian McCann are both out of the lineup for tonight’s game against the Astros

This is a 2012 photo of Adam Warren. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This is a 2012 photo of Adam Warren. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After winning the final game of their series at home against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Yankees (39-33) will play the first game of their four-game series in Houston against the Astros tonight at 8:10 p.m. EST. The Astros, whose 42-32 record is better than anyone could have predicted, lead the American League in homers (107) and are third in slugging percentage and total bases.

Adam Warren will start the first game of the series against the Astros. This could be his last start before going back to the bullpen because Joe Girardi said that he didn’t think the six-man rotation will go past the series against the Angels. Warren, who has a solid 5-4 record with a 3.62 ERA in 13 starts this season, has allowed three runs or less in his previous eight starts.

In Warren’s last start, he had his best performance of the season as he pitched a season-high eight innings while allowing two earned runs and striking out a season-high seven batters. However, he was not as effective in his start on June 14 since he only threw 4.2 innings while allowing three walks, six hits and three earned runs on 92 pitches. He has been an asset to the rotation to this point of the season, and can definitely give the Yankees another quality start against the Astros, but with Ivan Nova’s return he will be more valuable as an impact reliever in the bullpen.

Dallas Keuchel, who is the Astros ace and will get the start tonight, is a lefty who has an 8-3 record with an outstanding 2.35 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. His 2.35 ERA is third in the American League, his pitching WAR is tied for third in the AL and his 0.98 WHIP is tied for second in the AL.

His home ERA (1.62) is much better than his road ERA (3.14), but he has struggled in his previous two starts as he has allowed five and three earned runs, respectively. In his last start, Keuchel gave up a season-high three homers and three walks in his start in Seattle against the Mariners.

Brett Gardner is 16-32 (.500) in his last seven games with 12 runs scored, four homers, 10 RBIs. He is having the best month of his season as those outstanding numbers in the last week have given him a .326 average in June with a .607 slugging percentage, six doubles, 24 runs scored and 17 RBIs. His 55 runs scored are third in the American League and his 15 steals are tied for second in the AL.

Gardner has the game off tonight even though he has hit so well over the last seven games. Joe Girardi has given him the night off because Keuchel is lefty and Gardner has a .239 average against southpaws this season. Gardner has also started every game since May 16 and not had the game off since May 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yankees activated Stephen Drew from the paternity list today and recalled middle infielder Gregorio Petit from Triple-A Scranton. These moves complete their 25-man roster and will mean that the Yankees will have a back-up middle infielder and that Garrett Jones will be the only true back-up outfielder. Jacoby Ellsbury is close to returning from the disabled list, which means that Chris Young will return to his back-up role.

The Yankees lineup will be less powerful than normal because Girardi has also decided to give Brian McCann the night off against the lefty starter. McCann is hitting .421 with two homers and five RBIs in the last seven days and has a .328 (20-61) average with 12 RBIs in June. Jose Pirela, whose best position is second base, will replace Gardner in the outfield.

Here is the lineup for tonight’s game:

Chris Young CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Jose Pirela LF
John Ryan Murphy C
Stephen Drew SS
Gregorio Petit 2B