Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been on the disabled list since May 20 with a right knee strain, will return to the roster on Wednesday. It is important that he is returning from the DL because Carlos Beltran, who been productive offensively since the beginning of May, is on the 15-day disabled list as of July 3 due to a left oblique strain.
He played in four games for High-A Tampa (Florida State League) during his minor league rehab stint and had a .154 average in 13 at-bats. His health is more important than his average in Florida and the minor league games are for getting him back in playing shape.
He was supposed to play in another game for High-A Tampa on Monday, but he was held out of the game due to “wet fields” in Tampa. This makes sense because those conditions could potentially cause a setback.
“We scratched him because the fields were wet,’’ GM Brian Cashman said of the playing surface Monday in Tampa, where Ellsbury was on a rehab assignment with the Single-A club. “He did some simulated stuff [Monday] and will do it again Tuesday and be activated Wednesday.’’
In 37 games (148 at-bats) before going on the disabled list, Ellsbury had a .324 average with six RBIs, four doubles, 29 runs scored and 14 steals. He is currently tied for fifth in the American League in steals even though he has not played in the previous 42 games.
Ellsbury, who will likely return to the leadoff spot, will make the top of the lineup even better because he will combine with Brett Gardner, who will bat in the No. 2 spot and is having an All-Star caliber season, to add a player who gets on base often and can easily get into scoring position with his speed. With Beltran on the disabled list, the outfield will consist of Ellsbury, Gardner and Chris Young.
Ellsbury will be activated for the second game of the series at Yankee Stadium against the Oakland Athletics, who are currently 38-47 and 11 games out of first place in the AL West. The Yankees (44-38) and Athletics will play the first game of the series tonight at 7:05 p.m.
On Friday afternoon, the Yankees placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 1. He is on the DL due to a left oblique stain. Taylor Dugas who was surprisingly called up to the Yankees on Wednesday, was sent back down to Triple-A Scranton.
Beltran now joins Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list, which means that two out of their three Opening Day outfielders are on the DL. They will need Chris Young to continue hitting like he has been. In Beltran’s 66 games played this season (242 at-bats), he has a .260 average with seven homers, 18 doubles, 21 runs scored and 30 RBIs.
He has really improved over the last two months as he only had a .162 average at the end of April. After not hitting any homers and only driving in 12 runs in his first 26 games of the season, he went on to hit seven homers and drive 14 runs in his next 31 games. Beltran, who is 38, is batting .306 with a .500 slugging percentage and .883 OPS in his last 21 games.
The Yankees have recalled both middle infielder Gregorio Petit and outfielder Ramon Flores from the Scranton RailRiders. Flores, who has a very strong arm in left field, threw out a few runners at home while appearing in 10 games earlier this season. He had a .250 average with three runs scored and a double in his 28 at-bats. In his 225 at-bats this season with the RailRiders (59 games), Flores has a .289 average with six homers, 24 RBIs and 32 runs scored.
Petit, who has gone back and forth between the Yankees to Triple-A this season, has played second and third this season. Petit, who is 30 and in his first year as a back-up infielder with the Yankees, has a .184 average with five RBIs and six runs scored in 38 at-bats this season. However he has hit much better while playing for Scranton this season as he has a .333 average in 42 at-bats with four RBIs and eight runs scored. He will mainly be relied upon to provide solid defense.
Neither Flores or Petit will get the start tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, as the Yankees will play the same lineup as they did during Wednesday’s win against the Angels. The Rays and Toronto Blue Jays are both one game behind the Yankees (42-37) and Baltimore Orioles, who are both tied for first place in the very competitive AL East.
After this series, the Yankees will play three games against the Oakland Athletics (37-45) and then three games against the Red Sox (37-44) before the All-Star break. It is important that the Yankees win six or more games in this nine-game stretch because all three teams are either struggling or at least seven games under .500.
Here are the pitching matchups against the Rays, who have lost eight of their previous 10 games.
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-3, 3.88)
RHP Chris Archer (9-5, 2.31)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
RHP Michael Pineda (8-5, 4.08)
RHP Nathan Karns (4-4, 3.26)
1:05 p.m., FS1
RHP Ivan Nova (1-1, 1.50 ERA)
RHP Erasmo Ramirez (6-3, 4.01)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
After losing to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4-1, in the series opener in Anaheim, the Yankees (41-36) and Angels will play Game 2 at 10:05 EST on Tuesday. Ivan Nova will get his second start of the season for the Yankees after throwing a shutout in 6.2 innings last week and Andrew Heaney will also get his second start of his season.
CC Sabathia allowed four runs in 7.1 innings in Monday’s loss. He has now allowed four earned runs or more in three out of his last four starts to raise his ERA to 5.59. He would have a better ERA this season but his 19 homers allowed lead the American League.
He allowed one run respectively in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings, which is different from many of his starts because he has usually been victimized by many runs in one inning. In the first inning, Albert Pujols hit a double to right to score Johnny Giavotella to give the Angels a 1-0 lead. The Yankees tied the game in the third inning when Alex Rodriguez hit a grounder between first and second, off of C.J. Wilson, to score Didi Gregorius for his 45th RBI of the season.
Mike Trout‘s homer just over the wall near the rocks in center gave the Angels all the runs they would need. That homer gave him four 20 plus homer seasons before the age of 24, and he is now one of six players to accomplish that feat. Kole Calhoun hit an RBI double to right in the fifth and then C.J. Cron hit his second homer of the season in the seventh inning.
The Yankees actually out hit the Angels, 8-6, but were only 1-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Chris Young was 0-4 and Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner were all 0-1. Young would have had two RBI doubles in this game, but Trout made two outstanding Gold Glove caliber running catches in center field on two of his line drives.
Trout was the MVP last season for a reason as he can dominate the game offensively and defensively.
“Mike showed you his talent in every phase tonight,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Ivan Nova will look to dominate tonight just like he did in his first start after coming off of the disabled list. Against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 24, he pitched 6.2 shutout innings while only allowing three hits. He was able to throw his fastball effectively and he was able to locate his curveball after his extra minor league start.
Heaney, who was the Angels No. 1 prospect after the 2014 season according to Baseball America, had a 4.71 ERA in 14 starts at Triple-A Salt Lake City before being called up before his start on June 24. He only allowed one earned run in six innings while striking out six in his major-league debut. He relies primarily on a sinker (92mph), curve (80mph) and changeup (84mph).
The Angels have a more powerful offensive lineup than the Phillies, which means that this will be a true test to see if Nova is all the way back. In 2013, which was Nova’s last healthy season, he had a 2.44 ERA at home and a 4.40 ERA on the road leading to a very good 3.10 ERA. Tonight’s game will be played in Anaheim, which means that those splits are not in Nova’s favor, but their lineup is not very strong outside of Pujols and Trout.
Chris Young, who is hitting .370 in the last seven days, will be batting second for his second consecutive game. Before the last three games, he had four consecutive multi-hit games. This is the lineup for tonight’s game against the Angels, who have a 40-37 record:
Brett Gardner CF
Chris Young LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
After winning Game 3 of their series against the Astros, 9-6, the Yankees play the Astros at Minute Maid Park at 2:10 p.m. EST in the series finale. In Saturday’s game, the Yankees had a 6-0 lead and then Masahiro Tanaka allowed two runs in the second, one in the fourth and then three in the fourth including a two-run homer by rookie Carlos Correa to tie the game. Tanaka had his second consecutive subpar performance to raise his ERA to 3.88 and is not being consistent enough right now to be considered the No. 1 starter.
The Yankees won the game as a result of Mark Teixeira’s two-run double to deep left center in the eighth to score Brett Gardner and Chris Young. Chase Headley hit a solo homer in the ninth to give the Yankees an insurance run. Teixeira’s two RBIs in the eighth gave him 53 for the season, which puts him in a three-way tie for first in the American League.
In today’s game Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees. He will look to rebound from his previous start as he allowed eight runs on 11 hits in only 3.1 innings. He did not have command of his slider during that start against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Carlos Beltran, who has a .320 average with four doubles in his last six games, will get the day off. He needs more rest days than some players because he is 38 years old. With Beltran out of the lineup, Alex Rodriguez will be the DH and Garrett Jones will get the start in right field.
The Yankees will look to win the series 3-1 before going to Anaheim to play the Angels. Here is the lineup against the Astros:
Brett Gardner CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Garrett Jones LF
Chris Young RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
With the Yankees losing 2-0 in the seventh inning, Young hit a three-run homer off of Will Harris over the 19-foot wall in left field at Minute Maid Park to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Young’s game-winning homer, which was his ninth of the season, drove in Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones.
“That is huge,” Joe Girardi said. “We had not done much up until that point. He (Young) has been really hot and that is why he is playing everyday.”
He is from Houston and always enjoys playing at Minute Park based on how well he plays and that his friends and family can watch him person.
Young said after the game that he left 50 tickets for friends and family to attend the game. He began his career back in 2006 and has been playing games as a visitor in Houston ever since. In 105 at-bats at Minute Maid Park he has hit nine homers with a remarkable .409 average.
“I’m sure it’s something to it,” he said of playing in his home park. “I mean it definitely doesn’t hurt to have some extra support behind your back, a little extra little fire when you to the plate.”
Young, who struggled in May after his hot start to the season, is on a nine-game hitting streak with four consecutive multi-hit games to raise his average to .271. He has been playing very well the previous seven games with Jacoby Ellsbury still on the disabled list and if he continues hitting like this he will deserve to split time with Beltran when Ellsbury returns.
“To be able to do it in front of your family, your home town, and the city you grew up coming to baseball games in and now you’re one of the players on the field, it’s a little special for me,” Young said.
The Yankees were only 1-5 with runners in scoring position, but Young came through when it counted as he hit his third homer in June.
Eovaldi (7-2, 4.81 ERA) is from nearby Alvin, Texas, which is well known as the hometown of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Eovaldi looked up to Ryan growing up and said that he didn’t know that the all-time leader in strikeouts was sitting behind home plate until the fifth inning.
“Growing up, for me, I connected baseball with him,” Eovaldi said of Ryan.
He allowed two earned runs in six innings and this was his second consecutive start limiting the opposition to two runs scored. This means that he has bounced back very well from allowing nine runs in two thirds of an inning to the Miami Marlins on June 16.
Eovaldi, who had six strikeouts, used his splitter very effectively against the Astros according to Girardi. “I think his curveball was important for him tonight and the command of his fastball,” Giradi said. “He was able to elevate it at times and go down and away at times. I thought they mixed the pitches very well and kept them off balance.”
He has improved his stuff and has kept hitters off balance a lot more in his last two starts since he has allowed five and three hits respectively in his last two starts after allowing a combined 17 hits in his previous two starts.
“Tonight I was just trying to take it pitch by pitch,” Eovaldi said.
According to the Yankees PR Department and Fangraphs, Eovaldi’s fastball has the highest average velocity (95.9) in the Majors this season. He can be an effective starter when he locates his secondary pitches and throws his fastball at the right time, but he just needs to avoid starts when he completely loses his command.
After Eovaldi was taken out of the game after throwing 100 pitches, Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances combined to throw three innings and not allow a hit. Shreve, who has not allowed a run in his last 13 games to lower his ERA to an impressive 1.76, had three strikeouts in his inning pitched, and Betances struck out two of the four batters he faced.
After winning the game on Friday in Houston with big contributions from hometown players, the Yankees will play the Astros at 4:10 EST and will try for their first winning streak since they won straight from June 17-20. Masahiro Tanaka will make his first start against the Astros and will hit for the second game this season.
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
Willie Randolph and Mel Stottlemyre, who both received plaques in Monument Park on Saturday, both wore No. 30 as a Yankee, which makes it fitting that Nathan Eovaldi (No. 30) got the start against the Tigers since he is No. 30 as well. He made them proud as he only allowed one earned run in six innings in the Yankees 14-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, which was a complete turnaround from his previous start.
Randolph was overjoyed that he got a plaque in Monument Park after growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn. “It is all about my legacy,” Randolph said. “They embraced me. I grew up in this town. Thurman Munson taught me how to be a winner. I grew up learning the Yankee way. We felt like we were part of the legacy and wanted to teach the young kids how to lead.”
Randolph was a 5-time All-Star as a Yankee (six overall), won two World Series as a player with the Bronx Bombers, four as a coach and had a .276 career average (.373 on-base percentage) with 1,239 runs scored, 2,210 hits & 271 steals. He played 13 of his 18 major-league seasons with the Yankees.
He was surprisingly fired as manager of the Mets in 2008 and pointed out in his speech that when he walks the streets, “Cabbies yell at me, “Willie, you got a raw deal with the Mets! They gave you a raw deal!”
Randolph said that he almost quit when he was in Double-A and told his mom that he wanted to come home to Brooklyn. His mom told him that she would pick him up at the train station but that she didn’t raise a quitter. This made Randolph reconsider quitting and led to him getting to the major leagues.
At the end of spring training in 1996, some in the Yankees front office were not convinced Derek Jeter could be the everyday shortstop, so they were close to trading Mariano Rivera to the Seattle Mariners for a shortstop prospect named Felix Fermin, but Randolph convinced Steinbrenner not to make this trade with the Mariners because he thought Jeter deserved a chance. Randolph obviously made the right call because the Yankees would not have had their dynasty without Rivera and Jeter.
The Yankees lived up to their Bronx Bombers nickname as they scored one or more runs in all but two innings. They slugged five home runs and tied a season-high with 14 runs. They have averaged eight runs a game during their current four-game winning streak after previously losing five of six games when they scored four runs or less in every loss.
Alex Rodriguez was 2-3 with a homer and five of the 14 RBIs and Carlos Beltran had his first multi-homer game since 6/15/2013 when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals.
In reference to A-Rod’s five RBIs, Brett Gardner said, “Our job at the top of the order is to get on base for A-Rod and he makes it seem easy.”
To leadoff the scoring, Rodriguez, grounded into a fielder’s choice in the first to score Gardner. Didi Gregorius hit a homer to the first row in right field to lead off the second inning. That was his fourth homer of the season.
Brian McCann grounded out to first with the bases loaded to end the second after Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly scored Stephen Drew. Defensively, to lead off the sixth inning, Gregorius made an outstanding barehanded play to just barely get Jose Iglesias out at first.
Beltran hit a two-run homer into the bleachers above the DKNY sign in right center field to start the third inning. That was his sixth homer of the season and his fourth hit in his last 11 at-bats (.364). Chase Headley had an RBI single through the infield to right to drive in Chris Young in the third. Alex Rodriguez hit a deep three-run homer with two outs in the third for his 3,001st hit. That was the team’s ninth hit in the first three innings.
Beltran smashed his second homer of the game in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 9-0 lead. The first time he hit one batting left handed and he hit this one above the US Trust sign in right while batting from the right side of the plate.
“We just need to approach it the same way we have been doing, putting good at-bats together,” Beltran said. “We are going to have streaks when we play good baseball and when we don’t, but over last four days we have been hitting and pitching well.” Beltran has hit .296 with seven homers in May in June after having a .162 average at the end of April. This proves that he has a lot left in the tank.
By the time the third inning ended, Brett Gardner, who is fourth in the AL in runs scored (49) and second in steals (15), was a homer away from cycle as he already had a single, double and a triple. He also made a great leaping catch against the wall in left center to get Yoenis Cespedes out to leadoff the fifth.
“Gardner has been really good,” Joe Girardi said. “A lot of times we score a lot of runs and he creates a lot of havoc on the bases. I wanted to pull him out of the game but because he had the opportunity (to hit for the cycle) we left him in there.”
The Yankees scored seven earned runs in 2.2 innings against Alfredo Simon as his slow pace did not work to his advantage.
Detroit, who was losing 13-3 in the eighth inning, had shortstop Josh Wilson pitch, and Young blasted a homer to right for his second RBI of the game and eighth homer of the season.
Nathan Eovaldi rebounded very well as in his previous start he became the only pitcher in Yankee history to allow nine hits and not pitch an inning. Eovaldi’s fastball, curveball and splitter were all much better than in his previous start in Miami. Eovaldi had four strikeouts, allowed a season-low three hits and retired the side in order in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Brian Mitchell, who was called up from Triple-A on Friday, recorded the final nine outs and struck out Andrew Romine to end the game.
The Yankees will have the pitching advantage on Sunday afternoon as Mashiro Tanaka has a 2.49 ERA in his seven starts and Anibal Sanchez has a 4.65 ERA in his 14 starts.