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Giancarlo Stanton

Mar 11, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Zack Granite (8) at bat at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 11, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Zack Granite (8) at bat at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees made a move to potentially improve their outfield depth on Friday evening.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Yankees have signed outfielder Zack Granite to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to spring training.

Granite, a Staten Island native and former Seton Hall Pirate, was originally a 14th round pick of the Twins in the 2013 amateur draft. The left-handed-hitting outfielder made his MLB debut for Minnesota on July 8, 2017 and went on to play 40 games for the Twins that year. A .237 hitter, Granite hit one home run and drove in 13 runs that season. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So Theo Epstein is open for business, seemingly determined to shake up a roster that has fallen short of expectations since the Cubs' curse-busting championship in 2016.

He told reporters at the GM Meeting in Arizona this week that "change is not always easy but it's necessary," and declared "there are no untouchables" when it comes to the possibility of a trade this offseason.

Yes, with his once-youthful core of position players now speeding toward free agency, and a payroll that went over the luxury-tax threshold this season, Epstein apparently is ready to consider any and all deals that could save the Cubs some money while still giving them a shot in 2020 at another championship.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So Theo Epstein is open for business, seemingly determined to shake up a roster that has fallen short of expectations since the Cubs' curse-busting championship in 2016.

He told reporters at the GM Meetings in Arizona this week that "change is not always easy but it's necessary," and declared "there are no untouchables" when it comes to the possibility of a trade this offseason.

Yes, with his once-youthful core of position players now speeding toward free agency, and a payroll that went over the luxury-tax threshold this season, Epstein apparently is ready to consider any and all deals that could save the Cubs some money while still giving them a shot in 2020 at another championship.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to the media during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to the media during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli narrowly beat out Aaron Boone to take home the 2019 AL Manager of the Year Award.

The voting was extremely close, as both Baldelli and Boone finished with the same amount of first-place votes, but Baldelli received four more second-place votes to swing things in his favor.

There's no denying Baldelli had an excellent debut season as the Twins' manager. Taking over for a team that won just 78 games in 2018, Baldelli led the Twins to a 101-win season and a trip to the ALDS.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees quickly retained Brett Gardner after the 2018 season and it seems like they could strike quickly on him again.

Gardner, who is an unrestricted free agent, is in talks with the Yankees about a potential return in 2020, Jon Heyman reported on Thursday.

It would not be a surprise if a deal for Gardner got done similarly quickly to the one-year deal the Yanks agreed to with CC Sabathia during last year's GM Meetings, SNY's Andy Martino noted, calling a reunion a "no brainer."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Clint Frazier, his "legendary bat speed" and all, has been a magnet for attention in his young career. That doesn't figure to change this winter when the Yankees probably have to determine once and for all whether he's a trade chip or a promising cog in their outfield. 

Trouble is, there isn't an easy answer. 

Frazier, who's still only 25, was the headliner in GM Brian Cashman's widely-praised deal that sent ace reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians at the 2016 deadline. He was the fifth pick in the 2013 MLB Draft and most believed he'd morph into an offensive force. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony McCarron
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Gerrit Cole/Clint Frazier
Gerrit Cole/Clint Frazier

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In trying to predict what the Yankees might do this off-season, only one question really matters for a team that is loaded in so many areas:

Are they ready to open the vault for the best pitcher in baseball at the moment? 

I believe they are, even if it's partly as a response to public pressure to win another championship. Other than that, it looms as a fairly quiet winter for a team coming off back-to-back 100-win seasons. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, John Harper
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

In a move that was expected, the Yankees have declined the $20 million option on Edwin Encarnacion for the 2020 season, making him a free agent.

The option for 2020 contained a $5 million buyout.

The 36-year-old Encarnacion was acquired by the Yankees from the Mariners in June in exchange for 19-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Juan Then. The Mariners also paid down a significant portion of Encarnacion's remaining salary for 2019.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees enter the 2019-20 offseason looking to add to a team that came up just short of reaching the World Series this past season. They don't have many big decisions to make (more on that below), but have been both first and second-guessed about their continued lack of reliable ace-level starting pitching.

With Gerrit Cole about to hit the free agent market (the Yanks are expected to at least try to sign him) and other enticing starting pitching options expected to be available, the Yanks have a chance to drastically improve their rotation.

As they look to improve, the Yanks already have a lot committed to payroll for 2020 -- a number that will likely hover right around the luxury tax threshold. Their payroll obligations drop significantly starting in 2021. Here'a a deep dive...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jacoby Ellsbury, James Pazos, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : 

Gary Sánchez might be the most polarizing Yankee not named Giancarlo Stanton. He's a slugging wunderkind but went so cold both at the plate and behind it during the Postseason that he's sparked public debate over whether he should be in pinstripes next year.

But if GM Brian Cashman's comments Thursday are any indication, Sánchez isn't going anywhere. Cashman, a longtime defender of Sánchez, says the 26-year-old is a fixture who is "part of the solution" in Yankeeland.

"I thought Gary Sánchez had a great season, obviously outside of the injuries," Cashman said during his season wrap-up press conference at Yankee Stadium.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Pete Alonso, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Astros were a little better than the Yankees in all phases, yet with just a few clutch hits from some of their best players, as well as more dominance from the ballyhooed bullpen, the New Yorkers could have prevailed in the ALCS.

It doesn't mean Brian Cashman should overhaul this team by any means. The Astros are looking more and more like a potential dynasty: they're on the verge of winning two championships in three years, and they might well have won it all last year had Jose Altuve and a couple of other key players not been playing through injuries in October.

Mostly the Yankees need to keep knocking on the door, while hoping that Gerrit Cole leaves the Astros as a free agent and Justin Verlander starts looking his age.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON - The sense of devastation was acute in the Yankees clubhouse on Saturday night, in the minutes after Jose Altuve shocked Aroldis Chapman with the home run that ended their season.

Teams lose in October all the time, of course, and typically take it as a normal part of the game - but the hugs, tears and downcast glances marked this one as different.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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The Yankees rode a wave of emotions during the ninth inning of Saturday's 6-4 ALCS Game 6 loss to the Astros.

Down to their final three outs, the Bombers got the tying run to the plate against Astros closer Roberto Osuna, and just as he's done time after time this season, DJ LeMahieu came up with a massive hit, ripping a two-run homer to right to tie the game 4-4. 

LeMahieu's blast gave the Yankees' new life, but in the bottom of the inning, Jose Altuve took it away. 

After George Springer worked a two-out walk against Aroldis Chapman, Altuve jumped all over a 2-1 hanging slider, lifting a home run to left, and ending a Yankees season that had so much promise.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Giancarlo Stanton
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Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (30) hits a ground ball into a triple play in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (30) hits a ground ball into a triple play in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

When the Yankees announced their starting lineup prior to Saturday's ALCS Game 6 in Houston, the most notable change came at the DH spot. 

One night after it was Giancarlo Stanton called upon to serve that role, Edwin Encarnacion is back in the lineup for Game 6, batting out of the fifth spot. 

During his pregame press conference, Aaron Boone explained that his decision to start Encarnacion over Stanton was not an easy one.

Tags: Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) throws against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) throws against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Down 3-2 in the series, the Yankees take on the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the ALCS from Minute Maid Park, with first pitch set for 8:08 p.m.

Yankees notes

Aaron Boone has elected to put Edwin Encarnacion back into the lineup at DH, replacing Giancarlo Stanton. ... Encarnacion has looked lost at the plate during the ALCS, hitting just .067 (1-for-15) with eight strikeouts and three walks. ... After his dramatic three-run home run in Game 5, Aaron Hicks was moved up one more spot in the lineup, now batting cleanup behind Gleyber Torres. ... DJ LeMahieu continues to be the engine that drives the Yankees offense. He's hitting .381 in the series, and his leadoff home run in Game 5 helped put the momentum back in the Yankees' favor.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Carlos Torres, Chad Green, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 13, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 13, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

The Yankees lost 8-3 to the Astros at home in Thursday's Game 4 of the ALCS, falling down 3-1 in the series. They will try to keep their season alive in Game 5 on Friday at 7:08 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees lost to the Astros 8-3 on Thursday night, and now trail 3-1 in the ALCS. Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wasn't his best during Game 4, allowing a three-run homer to George Springer in the third inning. Relief pitcher Chad Green came in for Tanaka in the sixth inning, and gave up a three-run home run to Carlos Correa that made the score 6-1.

Tags: Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) fields balls in the outfield during batting practice before game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) fields balls in the outfield during batting practice before game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will return to the starting lineup for Game 5 of the ALCS against the Astros. Stanton has been out since Game 1 of the ALCS when he injured his quad.

He will DH and bat fourth in the Yankees lineup for Game 5, while Edwin Encarnacion will be on the bench.

Prior to Game 4 on Thursday night, Stanton was seen attempting to run bases during warm-ups. However, his strained quad prevented him from playing in the game.

Tags: Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Injuries finally catching up

All year, the Yankees have overcome injuries. This became a point of pride for the team, and even spawned the Aaron Boone motivational phase "next man up."

But the missed time finally appears to be catching up to the offense, in a number of ways. Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks -- a full third of the lineup -- missed significant time late in the season, and do not appear sharp.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Masahiro Tanaka (Troy Taormina )
Masahiro Tanaka (Troy Taormina )

The Yankees fell 4-1 to the Astros at home in Tuesday's Game 3 of the ALCS, and after Wednesday's game was postponed due to rain, the series continues at Yankee Stadium for Game 4 on Thursday at 8:08 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Astros took a 2-1 lead in the ALCS on Tuesday after beating the Yankees 4-1. Luis Severino struggled on the mound, allowing two home runs in 4.1 innings of work. Astros star Jose Altuve got his team ahead early with a first inning homer, and then outfielder Josh Reddick added on to the lead with a second inning blast.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )
Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )

Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton has remained on the team's ALCS roster despite not seeing the field since Game 1. He has been dealing with a strained quad, and though manager Aaron Boone has said he's available off the bench, he hasn't been used. 

As the Yankees prepare for a crucial Game 4 mathcup with the Astros on Thursday night, Stanton was out on the field attempting to run. Here he is running to first base, and it doesn't look too promising...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Mike Tauchman (Bob DeChiara)
Mike Tauchman (Bob DeChiara)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman dropped some news on Tuesday when he said OF Mike Tauchman was fully healthy. He had been dealing with a calf injury, but has since rehabbed himself back into the conversation of a roster spot. 

But, with the Yankees already three games into the ALCS, Tauchman may not be able to be considered until a potential World Series berth. However, there is one reason why the Yanks may consider placing him on the roster right now. 

Giancarlo Stanton has been dealing with a strained quad after Game 1, and he had to sit the bench in the past two contests because of it. Little is known about how bad the strain is, but Aaron Boone has noted Stanton being available off the bench. He also said on Wednesday during his presser that no decision has been made on him just yet. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Scott Thompson
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

With Game 4 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Astros rained out, there is an extra day of rest before the series resumes. But the status of injured Giancarlo Stanton was still cloudy when Aaron Boone spoke on Wednesday afternoon.

Boone said he wasn't sure if Stanton would be available to start on Thursday, adding that he believes he'll be available as a bench bat -- as he was in Games 2 and 3. Stanton did not pinch-hit in either game.

"I do believe we have his bat off the bench right now, Boone said.  "We'll continue to evaluate this as smartly as we can moving forward"

Asked at what point the Yankees would need to consider replacing Stanton on the ALCS roster, Boone responded by noting that since Stanton is available to hit, they don't feel like they're playing a man short.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Mike Tauchman (39) walks off the field after an apparent injury during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Mike Tauchman (39) walks off the field after an apparent injury during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

In the wake of Giancarlo Stanton's strained quad and possible insertion onto the IL, the Yankees may have another option to go to as they battle the Astros in the ALCS.

It was reported by Joel Sherman of the NY Post Tuesday that Mike Tauchman may be available to return from a left calf injury for the Yankees if they decide to downgrade Stanton's availability. Sherman spoke with Yankees GM Brain Cashman prior to Game 3: "He is healthy and eligible," Cashman said. "That is why he has been down in Tampa doing all his stuff."

This is a big development for a New York squad that has been riddled with injuries all season, and that had just gotten Aaron Hicks back from injury just in time for the ALCS as well.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

After the Yankees split Saturday and Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, New York returns home Tuesday to the Bronx at 4:04 p.m. from Yankee Stadium for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros.

Yankees notes

Sunday's Game 2 of the ALCS alone made the series live up to the hype. After the Yankees dominated Saturday's 7-0 win to grab Game 1, the Astros got New York back in Game 2 with an 11th-inning leadoff home run by SS Carlos Correa against LHP J.A. Happ. Correa starred for the Astros at the plate and in the field, highlighted by his sixth-inning throw home when he caught 1B DJ LeMahieu rounding third base by three steps.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )
Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )

Giancarlo Stanton remained out of the Yankees' lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday after missing Sunday's Game 2 due to a quad injury, with manager Aaron Boone updating Stanton's clouded status before the game.

Before reaching the podium for his pregame press conference, Boone told reporters including Lindsey Adler of The Athletic that Stanton would "probably" be on the IL if it was the regular season.

Talking before the game about his injury, Stanton said he can hit but that playing the outfield is "the biggest question."

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )
Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )

After Giancarlo Stanton missed Game 2 of the ALCS in Houston due to a quad injury, the Yankees are still in wait-and-see mode on him, manager Aaron Boone said on Monday.

Boone noted that there probably won't be a decision on Stanton's availability for Game 3 until Tuesday.

Stanton hit in the batting cage before Game 2 and that "went pretty well," Boone said, adding that he wasn't sure what kind of activities Stanton would participate in on Monday.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell 3-2 to the Astros on Saturday in Game 2 of the ALCS, evening the series at 1-1.

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1.) For all the talk about the bullpen edge the Yankees have in this series, Game 2 proved that too much of a good thing can have its consequences.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees look to extend their series lead in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros on Sunday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the series after beating the Astros 7-0 in Game 1 of the ALCS. Gleyber Torres was the star of the night, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBI thanks to a double and home run. Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, but injured his quad and will not start Game 2. Starter Masahiro Tanaka allowed just one hit over six innings, striking out four batters and walking just one in the win. Gio Urshela put the nail in the coffin with his solo home run in the ninth inning, he finished the game 2-for-4 from the plate.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will not start in Sunday night's Game 2 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros after injuring his quad in Saturday's Game 1.

Manager Aaron Boone spoke before Game 2, and said Stanton could pinch hit or play the field in an emergency.

"Yeah, kinda injured his quad last night," Boone said. "Hoping that it's something that with today and the off day he'll be back and play for Game 3. We'll see how these next 48 hours unfold. He would be available tonight to hit or go in an emergency situation... Didn't feel like he was good to start."

 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The right call to remove Tanaka

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 68 pitches through six innings, allowing just one hit and dominating the Houston offense. Because of that, the knee-jerk response when Adam Ottavino trotted out of the bullpen to begin the seventh might have been outrage.

But one simple fact made it the right call: Opponents have a .387 wOBA (weighted on-base average) against Tanaka the third time through the lineup this year, which was where the Astros found themselves after six.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Carlos Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Astos 7-0 on Saturday in Game 1 of the ALCS, taking a 1-0 series lead. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) So who said the Astros have the advantage in the starting pitching in this ALCS, anyway?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Gleyber Torres put the Yankees on the board first in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. 

In a tight-knit game that has both Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Greinke dealing early, Torres hit an RBI double with one out in the top of the fourth inning to bring DJ LeMahieu in for the first run of the game.


Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia
Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia

Both the Yankees and Astros finalized their ALCS rosters on Saturday, and both CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks will be available for the Bombers as they battle Houston for a World Series berth.

The Yankees, who went with a 12-man pitching staff in the ALDS, have opted for 13 pitchers against the Astros. Rather than have Sabathia replace a different pitcher on the staff, the team left both Tyler Wade and Luke Voit off the ALCS roster. Additionally, David Hale was designated for assignment to make room on the team's 40-man roster for Hicks, who had previously been on the 60-day injured list.


With the stage set for a rematch of the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees took the field at Minute Maid Park on Friday for their team workout ahead of this year's Championship Series.

And while there were no fans in the seats on Friday, the Yankees know that the Astros home-field advantage has been very real over the past few seasons, but it's nothing the team doesn't think they can' handle.

"I think our guys relish in this," said Aaron Boone. "Clearly the Astros have shown that they have a really good home-field advantage here, not only this year but even going back a few years and a lot of us are aware of how loud this place can be, but a lot of our guys will relish in that, embrace that, and hopefully find a way to have success through it all. But I don't worry about that affecting our guys and our performance."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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May 23, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton (53) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)
May 23, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton (53) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)

The Yankees have been decimated by injuries this year, with more than a dozen key players going down. Check back here for the latest updates on the walking wounded.  


October 9, 1:00 PM:

Zack Britton jammed his right ankle on first base during Game 3 against the Twins while making a bang-bang play to record an out. And though he was limping off the mound and into the dugout, it doesn't look like he'll be missing any postseason time. 

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Britton will be on the Yankees' ALCS roster when Aaron Boone puts it together before Saturday's start to the new series. That's great news to hear considering Britton is the Yanks' best lefty reliever, minus closer Aroldis Chapman, out in the pen. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Thairo Estrada
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees could be getting even more help for the ALCS.

Center fielder Aaron Hicks told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he is "definitely ready to go out there and play."

Hicks hasn't suited up for the Yankees since Aug. 3 due to a right elbow flexor strain. He also suffered a setback during his recovery, making it unclear if he would play again in 2019.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Yankees celebrated accordingly from their locker room at Target Field in Minnesota after they swept the Twins with Monday's 5-1 win, but eight more victories are needed for the ultimate goal.

"I think a lot of guys, the older guys, are at a stage in their career where we want to win a ring," said Zack Britton. "(Adam) Ottavino, myself -- a lot of the younger players, too."

Hungry for more, the Yankees enjoyed the 16th straight playoff victory against the Twins, but they already await the winnner of the other ALDS series between the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay, who still have to face off Tuesday in Game 4 at 7:07 p.m. from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, after Monday's 10-3 Rays rout.

Tags: Cameron Maybin, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Zack Britton
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after an out during the fourth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after an out during the fourth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Yankees overmatched the Twins in every way possible, even adding spectacular defense to their championship resume, but by far the most significant development in this ALDS sweep of the Twins was the official return of Luis Severino.

With four shutout innings in the 5-1 win that featured some gutsy escapes from jams, Severino offered reason to believe he can at least be a third potentially dominant starter the Yankees need in this post-season, and perhaps at most the ace he has been at times in his young career.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Cameron Maybin, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, John Harper
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When to lift your starter?

Analytics-driven game planning calls for managers to remove starting pitchers before they start to struggle. This is a major change from the traditional approach, when you waited for the guy to labor before taking him out.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The baseball post-season is supposed to be unpredictable--a crapshoot, as many call it, most famously the sport's movie star GM, Billy Beane. Yet this Yankees-Twins series feels more like a 1-16 matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

And the Twins don't look like the University of Maryland - Baltimore County, taking down Virginia, circa 2017.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Twins 8-2 on Saturday, which gives them a 2-0 lead in the ALDS. >> Box Score

Five Takeaways from Saturday's Game

1) This Yankees' offense looks unstoppable. It led the American League in runs scored, set a new team record with 305 home runs, and now it has put up 18 runs over the first two games of the postseason. Perhaps most significantly, so far the Bronx Bombers haven't had to rely primarily on the long ball, hitting three home runs, including Didi Gregorius' grand slam Saturday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (103-58) look to jump out to a commanding series lead when they host the Twins (101-61) in Game 2 of the ALDS Saturday at 5:07 p.m.

Yankees notes

With Friday's win, the Yankees are now 14-2 all-time in playoff games against the Twins, with wins in 11 straight contests. They've won all five of the series between the two teams, as well... DJ LeMahieu picked up right where he left off in the regular season in Friday's win, going 3-for- with four RBI... Game 1 was as advertised in the power department, as the two teams who both shattered the record for home runs in a season combined for five of them on Friday... In what turned into a battle of the bullpens, Yankee relievers allowed just one run on two hits in 4.1 innings while the Twins surrendered seven runs in the four innings after Jose Berrios left the game.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Max Kepler (26) hits a three RBI double during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Max Kepler (26) hits a three RBI double during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The legend of DJ LeMahieu added another chapter of Friday night.

The Yankees defeated the Twins 10-4 in the Bronx, and in a Bombers' lineup that is packed with stars- from Aaron Judge, to Gary Sanchez, to Giancarlo Stanton, among others- it was LeMaheiu who shined the brightest.

Providing a spark out of the leadoff spot, just as he did all throughout the regular season, LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts after hitting a two RBI double during the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts after hitting a two RBI double during the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It was supposed to be different this time. The Twins, fresh off setting a Major League record with 307 home runs, one more than the Yankees hit this season, were going to prove all that postseason history between these teams was meaningless.

And then they went out and played Game 1 like nervous tourists waiting to get mugged in the big, bad city. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, John Harper
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) makes a diving catch during the third inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner )
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) makes a diving catch during the third inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Bullpen decisions

Aaron Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild spent the past several days communicating to their relievers how they would be deployed, and that planning was evident in the explanations for moves that at first seemed surprising.

"He told me exactly how I was going to be used," Zack Britton said of his manager.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Twins 10-4 on Friday night in Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five Takeaways from Friday's Game

1) In what may well be an indication of the way this Yankees-Twins series will go, Game 1 came down largely to a battle of the bullpens, and, as expected, it was no contest. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, John Harper
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (103-58) start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins (101-61) on Friday at 7:07 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees begin the hunt for their 28th World Series title when they take on the Twins in the ALDS. Lefty James Paxton will start in his first career playoff game, and was even called "the best left-handed pitcher in the game" by teammate Aaron Judge. He'll face a powerful Twins offense that had the MLB's best road record at 55-26. They even edged out the Yankees in total team home runs for the regular season, hitting 307 homers compared to 306 HRs by the Yanks. Gary Sanchez (groin) and Edwin Encarnacion (oblique) both had been dealing with injuries in September, but will be in the starting lineup on Friday night. As will slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who batted .286 with two home runs over 28 at-bats in September, after being out since June. It's the first time the Yankees will be starting a lineup with these nine players.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Jun 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (right) talks with left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (left) during batting practice before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jun 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (right) talks with left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (left) during batting practice before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone stepped to the podium Friday ahead of Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins with plenty to say about both Minnesota's roster and his own, in addition to the series history between the two teams. Here's what we learned...

"Tough decision" to leave Ford off of roster

The Yankees announced their roster earlier Friday morning, and Mike Ford was absent from it, despite a .338/.398/.738 slash line over his last 80 at bats. Ford also hit nine home runs over that span. But with Edwin Encarnacion back from injury and expected to get the majority of playing time at designated hitter, it came down to matchups off the bench. Boone felt that there were going to be more options available for Luke Voit than Ford, so the manager opted for the right-handed hitter as opposed to the left-handed hitting Ford.

"It was a tough decision, but there aren't many right-handed hitters I'd pinch-hit for," Boone said.

Tags: Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit
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Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

With Twins-Yankees in the playoffs, there's always a temptation to chuckle and say, "The Yanks own Minnesota. The Twins have no shot."

Insert wisecrack here suggesting Minny will be in a fragile mental state for this latest AL Division Series between the teams, permanently scarred and scared by the past. After all, the Yanks have eliminated the Twins from the playoffs five times since 2003 and beaten them in 10 consecutive postseason games.

There! A fresh-baked hot take on Round 1. Bring on the Astros!

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Sep 27, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) watches his home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Sep 27, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) watches his home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

The Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers 14-7 on Friday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Friday's game...

1) James Paxton was pulled after pitching just one inning against the Rangers, allowing two earned runs. According to the team, the Yankees pulled him due to a tight left glute, saying that his exit was mainly precautionary. The left-hander entered the game looking to come out on the winning side of the decision for the 11th straight time, but it wasn't meant to be on Friday.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Luke Voit
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