(Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The New York Yankees are in the midst of a transformation in how they build their roster. The club still spends plenty of money - they will open the season with a payroll approaching $220 million - but they have begun to preach and follow through on getting younger and more athletic throughout the roster. This was abundantly clear in the offseason when they did not sign a single player to an MLB free-agent contract. The Yankees did however take on more salary by adding three quality players, and considering the returning players, the club has improved on paper and has a chance to return to the postseason in 2016.

Rotation

Nathan Eovaldi took the first step to becoming a dominant starter in 2015. After a slow start, Eovaldi went through a stretch during the summer in which he went 10-2, with a 2.93 ERA across 12 starts (73 2/3 innings). Eovaldi worked hard at mastering a split-finger fastball, while honing in on the location of his fastball. Eovaldi's season came to an abrupt end when sidelined with an elbow injury, but it seems a non-issue as he pitched well this spring.

Michael Pineda is an enigma. He owns fantastic stuff, but fails to deliver it on a regular basis. He looks like a Cy Young contender at times and a run-of-the-mill pitcher on others. The Yankees need Pineda to work deeper into games in 2016 and reach the 30-start mark; something he has never done. If he can do both, there is a chance Pineda rises to the top of the rotation.

Luis Severino enters his first full season in the big leagues and it is difficult to tamper expectations for his sophomore season after a fabulous freshman campaign (62 1/3 IP, 2.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 22 BB, 56 K). Severino will be working without an innings limit and if he is able to continue on the path he started last season, he could lift his name near the top of the list of the young up-and-coming pitchers in baseball.

Masahiro Tanaka's chance to show he is the best starter on the club is dwindling. Tanaka made 24 starts in 2015 and in all pitched well (24 GS, 154 IP, 12-7, 3.51 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 27 BB, 139 K). Tanaka has great stuff, but he is not entirely consistent and still allows too many home runs (25 in 2015). Tanaka pitches with a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, but if he can manage 30-plus starts this season, it will provide a boost to the rotation.

The competition for the fifth starter in the rotation remains unsettled with CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova awaiting word from the club at press time. Sabathia was not especially good early in spring, but his last two outings (four earned runs in nine combined innings) might be enough to make the club believe he can keep the team in games he starts. Nova finished the spring with a six-inning scoreless start, but that followed two disastrous outings.

In my opinion, the option of putting Sabathia in the bullpen seems to be a risky prospect for someone who has NEVER worked out in relief in his 15 major league seasons and might not fully embrace the role from a mental perspective. Nova has just over 17 innings of relief pitching in his MLB career, but his repertoire seems like a better bet to succeed out of the bullpen compared to Sabathia's offerings. When it comes down to it, I believe the Yankees will peg Sabathia as the fifth starter, but with an incredibly short leash.

Bullpen

The relief crew might look like nothing like we expected Monday. With Aroldis Chapman out until May 9 due to his domestic violence suspension, the Yankees got a big scare when a line drive drilled Andrew Miller on Tuesday, resulting in a chip fracture to his right wrist. Miller wants to pitch through the injury, but if he is unable to be ready for Opening Day, Dellin Betances takes over the closer role until one of the southpaws return.

Betances is a dominant pitcher, one who has soared to the top-tier of the relief pitcher rankings in all of baseball. The Yankees were hoping to throttle back on Betances' usage in 2016, but that desire might take a back seat due to the injury problems.

As for Chapman, he will have to work with minor leaguers for the next several weeks. He is not allowed to participate in game action while suspended, so the team will have to replicate that as much as possible to keep Chapman's arm fresh and ready to step right in May 9.

Behind the Big Three, Chasen Shreve seems to be the next in line to receive significant high-impact innings. Shreve was fantastic for much of 2015, and has been great this spring. With one more season under his belt, Shreve is an important reliever, especially with the potential loss of Miller.

Johnny Barbato and Luis Cessa, both newcomers to the roster, will join the loser of the fifth starter competition. That leaves one spot (or two depending on Miller's availability). Barbato is hard-throwing righty with a good curveball. Cessa impressed the Yankees from the start of spring and should be one of the swingmen in the bullpen. Both pitchers might find themselves getting some important innings early on with news that the Yankees will be without Bryan Mitchell for at least three months due to a broken big toe and turf toe.

The remaining slot looks to be going to another fresh face in Kirby Yates as he's the last reliever left in camp, although the club could opt to sign someone left off another club's roster. Branden Pinder, James Pazos or Nick Rumbelow -- all of whom were recently sent down to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre -- could get a shot if Miller hits the disabled list. Again, going outside the organization is always an option to sub for Miller as well.

What to expect from Yankees' pitching

In my view, everything revolves around the starting rotation, even more so because of the bullpen injuries. Yankees' starters absolutely have to pitch deeper into games in an effort to not overuse their best relievers and so that the younger relievers are not overly exposed.

The Yankees might not have a true ace, but I see Eovaldi and Severino taking the next steps in their careers, and one or the other of Tanaka and Pineda finally having a full season of starts. Finally, I expect Sabathia and Nova to trade off and on with the fifth starter role throughout the season, with the team going with the hot hand.

As for the bullpen, if Miller can pitch through the injury and not make things worse, the club will have avoided a big issue. Once Chapman comes back from the suspension, the Yanks will be tough to beat when they have a lead after six innings. However, the squad cannot rely on those three names alone; Shreve will need to continue his assent and at least one more reliever will need to step up his game so the backend of the pen remains strong in September.

Catcher

Brian McCann set career highs in home runs (26) and RBIs (94) in 2015, regaining much of the offensive prowess he displayed while with the Atlanta Braves. Behind the plate, McCann suffered a downturn in framing skills according to StatCorner, but threw out 36 percent of potential base stealers, which surpassed the league average of 32 percent. Similar offensive stats and a return to elite level pitch framing that McCann had been know will be a certain advantage the Yankees have over other teams.

First Base

The Yankees are virtually relying on a repeat performance from Mark Teixeira after the 35-year-old smashed 31 home runs in just 462 plate appearances in 2015. Teixeira faltered as the calendar changed to August after reviving his career over the first four months of the season. Worse for Teixeira, he suffered a season-ending injury after fouling a ball off his shin causing a fracture. Teixeira was able to sustain health until the freak injury, but has not played more than 123 games in a season since 2011. Teixeira looked agile at first base and saved plenty of errors around the diamond, something I expect to continue again this season.

Second Base

One of the major trades the Yankees made this offseason was for 26-year-old Starlin Castro. Castro has enjoyed a very good spring, which is a continuation from his superb offensive finish to the 2015 season. In my opinion, Castro has the most upside of this group from an offensive standpoint and remains young enough to flourish. Castro is still learning the position, but he has shown good range and his powerful arm will aid him make up the difference if he finds himself out of position at times.

Third Base

Chase Headley is coming off what has become an average season from him from an offensive standpoint, and as such, expecting much more is likely a mistake. Headley had an impressive two-month summer stretch in 2015, so the ability is still there, but he slumped offensively along with almost everyone else as the season wound down. Hitting toward the bottom of the lineup, Headley's bat is not as important as the necessity of his fielding efforts bouncing back to form after making an uncharacteristic 23 errors in 2015.

Shortstop

Didi Gregorius grew as a hitter in 2015, and since he is just 26 years old, there is still a chance he can grow further at the plate. Gregorius, who was expected to provide above-average fielding, failed to do so from the onset. He seemed to be pressing and it was affecting much of his defensive game. Once Gregorius felt comfortable in pinstripes, he showed the slick fielding and strong arm many proclaimed he possessed. Once the fielding came back to form, Gregorius began to hit.

Left field

Brett Gardner was the consummate top of the order hitter for the first half of the 2015 season, helping him earn his first All-Star appearance. Unfortunately, Gardner's production fell off the map over the season's final three months. Worse, it was the second straight season in which Gardner suffered a second-half slump. The Yankees absolutely need Gardner to utilize his speed on the bases and in the outfield this season. Gardner has professed to want to steal more bases and it is imperative that he does so when he finds himself in a good running situation. In the field, Gardner defense is diminishing according to advanced metrics, something that must improve in spacious Yankee Stadium.

Center field

The Yankees desperately need Jacoby Ellsbury, along with Gardner, to have banner and complete seasons in 2016. Ellsbury got off to a great start in 2015, helping to catapult the Yankees into first place after the first month-plus of the season. Unfortunately, Ellsbury was hobbled with a knee injury in May of which he never fully recuperated. The Yankees hope Ellsbury's offensive decline was due to the balky knee, because if it was simply about age the team will be dreading the moment they signed him to a seven-year, $153 million before the 2014 season. Provided he is healthy, Ellsbury is still a decent fielder who can cover enough ground in center field, albeit with a weak arm.

Right field

Carlos Beltran looked old and overmatched during the first month of the 2015 season. His bat was slow, and his feet were like cement in the field. The work in the outfield never really improved for the 39-year-old, but his bat was the most consistent on the roster from May 1 on. Beltran was an incredibly productive hitter, and I have no reason to believe he cannot duplicate that this season. I do think Beltran will be given more rest in 2016 and might be removed for defense in tight games, but his swan-song season in the Bronx could be one to remember.

Designated Hitter

No one knew what to expect from Alex Rodriguez when he returned to the field after a full season off; certainly 33 home runs and 86 RBIs was seemingly out of the picture. Rodriguez's late-season doldrums likely stemmed from extensive playing time after missing the entire 2014 season. Like Teixeira, A-Rod will require some extra rest this season and the club has a host of players who can grab a half-day off when the 40-year-old veteran sits.

Bench

The Yankees will likely rest Teixeira more often in 2016, using Dustin Ackley as the primary backup at first base. Ackley, a left-handed hitter who can also play the corner outfield positions, has some pop in his bat so there will not be too much of a drop in offensive production when he is in the lineup. The Yankees might give away some defense when Ackley is covering first, but he is athletic enough to be a fair defender.

Aaron Hicks is expected to play at least three or four days per week in an effort to keep the starting outfielders strong. Hicks can play each of the outfield positions quite well, and he may have yet to reach his offensive potential. Hicks feasts on left-handed pitching so it would make sense to see him face as many southpaws as possible this season. If Hicks can pick it up from the left side of the plate, he could be a special addition to the club.

Austin Romine deserves a lot of credit for making it back to the major league club as the backup catcher. While he might be passed by Gary Sanchez at some point this season, Romine showed a good deal of perseverance by improving his hitting skills and sticking to learning the craft behind the plate. Romine will be perfectly fine as McCann's backup for as long as the club feels Sanchez needs in Triple-A.

Ronald Torreyes was a member of five clubs during the last two seasons (including two stays with the Yankees) and finds himself as the club's utility infielder. Torreyes beat out Rob Refsnyder and Pete Kozma in the process. Torreyes is a strong defender, who can play second base, shortstop and third base. Torreyes' ability to spell Gregorius at shortstop, along with his solid on-base skills, it helped push him to the role.

What to expect from the Yankees' offense

The Yankees offense seeks to remain one of the top run-scoring units in the league and I believe they can approach their numbers from last season as a group.

When Ellsbury and Gardner are at their best, it allows for the Yankees middle of the lineup batters to reach their max potential. When Ellsbury and Gardner struggle to get on base, it forces the run-producing bats to press and leads to the complete downfall of the offense.

Expecting both Teixeira and Rodriguez to reach the offensive metrics they achieved in 2015 might be a stretch, but they certainly have the ability to come close provided they receive ample rest. With McCann and Beltran, the Yanks can withstand occasional slumps from Teixeira and Rodriguez.

The bottom third of the Yankees lineup will generally consist of Headley, Gregorius and Castro in what will probably be a fluctuating order. Expect Hicks to get his fair share of plate appearances, and prosper in his role.

What to expect from the Yankees' defense

I believe the Yankees defense is solid. I am not sure if they will be spectacular, but I also do not see defense dragging the team down. A lot depends on how Castro grows in his position, and if Headley can return to the dependable fielder, he was when he arrived in New York in 2014. The Yankees will benefit from having Hicks on the bench to spell any of the outfielders, especially on days in which he plays in right field for Beltran.

Manager

Joe Girardi continues to find it difficult to command respect from Yankees fans. Some of this he brings on himself, but it is also part of the fans desire to win - all the time.

Girardi owns a reputation as a manager with his binder full of statistical information and being unable to remove himself from what the numbers suggest. At the same time, many claim Girardi sticks with veterans too often and fails to develop young players.

A lot of that remained the same in 2015, but Girardi has shown some signs of change. He benched Ellsbury for last season's wild card game. He allowed Severino to prosper in the rotation versus sending him down when the other starters were healthy. He named Mitchell a part of this season's bullpen instead of relegating him to the Triple-A squad. Barbato and Cessa will get a chance to show their abilities.

The list of "unconventional for Girardi" moves continues to grow; maybe he finally sees the need for some balance. This season will once again test his abilities to get the most out of an aging roster and a group of talented and inspired young players.

Front Office

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and his brain trust deserve some credit for the offseason they put together. Without damaging their farm system, and in dealing two relievers, the club upgraded in spots of need, and put a stamp on the backend of the bullpen.

The Yankees turned a 28-year-old lefty with control problems into two young promising pitchers, with one (Cessa) already making the club. They lost an important piece in swingman Adam Warren, but gained a boost at second base with Castro. This was especially important, as the keystone has been a black hole since Robinson Cano left for Seattle. Finally, the Yankees jumped on a bargain basement price for the hardest throwing closer in the game in Chapman.

Expect the Yankees to continue to hone their system by moving pieces from one aspect of the club for another. The Yankees will have some decisions to make with young players this season such as Sanchez, Refsnyder and Aaron Judge. When is it the right time to bring them up and let them stick? Alternatively, will a player from another team, one that is young and cost-controlled become available?

What does it all mean?

The Yankees have the benefit of going through this transformation phase with plenty of talented players filling the roster. Are they the favorites to win the American League East among the national baseball media? Hardly. Should the teams in their division take them seriously? Absolutely.

The Yankees, as all clubs, need to stay healthy. It is hard to quantify how a team will perform without believing each of the players charged with the task of winning is on the field 90-100 percent of the time. In my view, if they avoid major injuries along the way, the club has enough to succeed to reach the postseason in 2016.

Part of the reason the Yankees have a chance to win the AL East is because they play in a division without a superior team. Each club has its flaws, and its strengths. Teams with a potent offense have a suspect rotation (Toronto, Boston and Baltimore), and another team possesses a collection of good arms, but fails to scare opponents in the batter's box (Tampa Bay).

The Yankees on the other hand seem to be the most balanced team in the division. Yes, they are older in spots. It is true that they are more susceptible to injuries because of past issues. Nevertheless, if the rotation has three members rise to their abilities, the backend of the bullpen pitches to the back of their baseball card, and if the Yankees can manage to be in the top-5 offenses in the league, (they scored the second most runs in the AL in 2015) they can certainly be a force in the division.

I believe that the Yankees will finish with a record of 88-74, which might be enough to win the division considering I fully expect a good deal of cannibalism among the AL East teams. I feel 88 wins gets the Yankees back into the postseason, and if they can, they will have as good of a chance of reaching the World

Tags: Ivan Nova, Alex Rodriguez, Andrew Miller, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Chase Headley, Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury, Luis Severino, Mark Teixeira, Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi, Christopher Carelli
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Sep 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Sep 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

With just two and a half weeks until the playoffs get underway, Jordan Montgomery and Dellin Betances have little time to shake off the rust if they want to appear on the Yankees' postseason roster.

But both pitchers took the next step in their journey to fully recover from injury on Sunday, appearing on a big league mound for the first time in the 2019 season.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Jordan Montgomery
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 (Nick Turchiaro )
(Nick Turchiaro )

The Yankees dropped the final game of their three-game series with Blue Jays on Sunday, losing by a final score of 6-4. >> Box Score

Four takeaways from Sunday's game...

1) The Yankee pitching staff struggled early on Sunday, as four pitchers combined to give up six runs over the first five innings. Chad Green was effective as the opener, but Jordan Montgomery's 2019 debut was a battle, as the left-hander allowed three runs on four hits over two innings. Dellin Betances also made his first appearance of the season and he was excellent, striking out both batters he faced. But Betances gave way to Nestor Cortes Jr., who allowed a three-run homer to Randal Grichuk, the outfielder's second home run of the game.

 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Jordan Montgomery, Nestor Cortes Jr
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Apr 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (98-52, 9.0 GA in AL East) wrap up their three-game series with the Blue Jays (58-91, 39.5 GB in AL East) at 1:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre on Sunday.

Yankees notes

James Paxton won his ninth straight game in Saturday's 13-3 win over the Blue Jays... The Yankees hit four homers in Saturday's win, courtesy of Brett GardnerGleyber TorresLuke Voit and Mike Ford. Every Yankee starter had a hit in the game, as they collected 19 in total... With 37 home runs, Torres is tied with Nelson Cruz for third in the American League.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luke Voit
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New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton goes to the dugout after a strike out against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton goes to the dugout after a strike out against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

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.  


10-day IL: David Hale, Aaron Hicks, Jonathan Holder, Thairo Estrada, Mike Tauchman

60-day IL: Jacoby Ellsbury, Luis SeverinoDellin BetancesGreg Bird, Jordan MontgomeryMiguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton

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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 (Nick Turchiaro )
(Nick Turchiaro )

Rewind the tape to the beginning of this season. 

The Yankees entered the year with a starting outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge, from left to right. 

Brett Gardner, in his age 36 season, was thought of as a role player, someone who could start in the outfield every now and then, and maybe enter the game as a pinch runner or a defense replacement. 

Fast forward to the present day, where Gardner has set a career high with 25 home runs and a .483 slugging percentage in 129 games played of the Yankees' 150.

Tags: Brett Gardner
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The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 13-3 on Saturday afternoon in Toronto. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Sunday's game...

1) 

2)

Tags: Brett Gardner, Carlos Torres, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luke Voit
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 (Joe Nicholson)
(Joe Nicholson)

The Yankees (97-52, 9.0 GA in AL East) continue their three-game series with the Blue Jays (58-90, 38.5 GB in AL East) at 3:07 p.m. inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Yankees notes

The lineup shuffles for the Yankees after they suffered their 6-5 loss in 12 innings to the Blue Jays late Friday night. Among the notables, RF Aaron Judge is back in the two spot after he sat out -- until a pinch-hit strikeout in the top of the 12th inning -- as a precautionary move following his collision into the right-field wall during Thursday's doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers. Cameron Maybin, who replaced Judge in Friday's starting lineup, slides back to LF in favor of Clint Frazier after an 0-for-5 night in RF. Without Gary Sanchez until -- likely -- the end of the month as he recovers from his pulled left groin Thursday, the Yankees give C Kyle Higashioka the nod behind the dish after Austin Romine spent all 12 innings as the team's backstop Friday. Didi Gregorius gets the day off, sliding SS Gleyber Torres in the middle infield and giving 2B Thairo Estrada his first start since Aug. 17 before he suffered a calf injury.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Kyle Higashioka, Luke Voit, Thairo Estrada
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Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) in the dugout prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) in the dugout prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

RF Aaron Judge was available to play Friday against the Blue Jays as the Yankees started the weekend's three-game series at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, but manager Aaron Boone erred on the side of caution before first pitch.

The Yankees replaced Judge with Cameron Maybin in New York's 6-5 loss (12 innings) to the Blue Jays, giving one of the team's top bats the night off until the final frame.

Pinch-hitting for Tyler Wade, who was the pinch-runner for Luke Voit after the DH's two-out walk in the top of the ninth inning, Judge struckout.

Tags: Aaron Judge
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The Yankees fell to the Blue Jays 6-5 in 12 innings on Friday night in Toronto. >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Friday's game...

1) With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning, Tyler Lyons allowed a solo home run to Bo Bichette, giving the Blue Jays a walk-off 6-5 win. For Bichette, the blast was his 11th of his impressive rookie season. 

2) Masahiro Tanaka breezed through the first inning, striking out two, but the Blue Jays took the first lead of the night in the second, as Randal Grichuk blasted his 26th home run of the season to put the Yankees in an early 1-0 hole. Tanaka then allowed two more runs in the fourth inning and another run was charged to him in the fifth. His night came to an end after five. His line was not very inspiring, as he allowed four earned on eight hits through five.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aug 27, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Aug 27, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Yankees (97-51, 10.0 GA in AL East) start a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays (57-90, 39.5 GB in AL East) at 7:07 p.m. at the Rogers Centre.

Yankees notes

The Yankees won both ends of their doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. They won the first game 10-4, thanks to two two-run homers from Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion. In the second game of the day, the Yanks won 6-4 after CC Sabathia and Domingo German both struck out five batters. Encarnacion left the first game with a strained left oblique, while J.A. Happ left with bicep tendinitis. Then in the second game, Gary Sanchez left with left groin tightness, and RHP Tommy Kahnle injured his finger in a dugout incident.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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Near the end of a year in which the Yankees have been decimated by injuries, including three during Thursday's doubleheader sweep over the Detroit Tigers, New York nearly experienced another one.

After the Yankees' 6-4 victory against the Tigers in the second game Thursday, RHP Tommy Kahnle needed to meet with the Yankees' trainer.

Kahnle entered for RHP Domingo German in the bottom of the eighth inning and worked the Yankees out of trouble, getting Christin Stewart to line into a double play before returning for the following frame.

Tags: Tommy Kahnle
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

Despite sweeping their doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, the Yankees suffered a couple tough losses.

Three, to be exact.

Edwin Encarnacion left the first game with a strained left oblique, while J.A. Happ left the same game with bicep tendinitis.

Tags: Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ
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Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

The Yankees got out to an early lead thanks to an Aaron Judge home run in their 6-4 win over the Tigers in Game 2 of the team's doubleheader. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Thursday's Game 2...

1) CC Sabathia threw 56 pitches in just 3.1 innings during his first start since returning from the IL. The lefty allowed only two earned runs on three hits, ands struck out five batters. Domingo German then came in and struck out five batters on two hits, as he threw 50 pitches in four innings of work.

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Gio Urshela
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The Yankees (96-51, 9.0 GA in AL East) take on the Detroit Tigers (43-101, 45.5 GB in AL Central) at Comerica Park for the second game of a Thursday doubleheader.

Yankees notes

Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion both homered for the Yankees in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader, a 10-4 Yankees win. ... Encarnacion was pulled from the first game due to a left oblique strain, with the team announcing that he would head back to New York for more tests. ... DJ LeMahieu went 0-for-6 with strikeouts in Game 1. ... The Yankees moved ahead of the Twins for the most home runs hit as a team this season (278).

Tags: CC Sabathia, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (45) hits a double in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (45) hits a double in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

The Yankees jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, taking down the Tigers on their home field, 10-4, in Game 1 of the team's doubleheader. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Thursday's Game 1...

1) J.A. Happ was looking to continue his hot streak on the mound lately, and though it wasn't the scoreless innings he posted in his last two outings, it was a decent start for the lefty. Over 4.2 innings, Happ allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. He also let up one homer in his 99-pitch start. 

Tags: Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Gardner, Chance Adams, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Luis Cessa, Tyler Wade
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After Game 1 of last year's division series loss to Boston, Aaron Boone had some cleaning up to do with his starting pitcher.

J.A. Happ, who had been removed with no outs in the third inning, was in Boone's office, and he was angry. He felt he should have had the chance to turn his performance around and save the bullpen.

But as Happ sat in a chair in the tiny room at Fenway, Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild calmly explained their rationale: They had a strong relief corps, were unwilling to let the game get away from them, and preferred other matchups in that inning. Happ left the office satisfied, and appreciative of the open exchange.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Wilson Ramos, Andy Martino
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Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Back in spring training, Yankees bigwigs noticed that Gleyber Torres was "really launching the ball," as GM Brian Cashman puts it. But not even the most optimistic Torres observers expected the infielder's power surge this season.

Entering Thursday's doubleheader in Detroit, Torres has 36 home runs, the most of any middle infielder in baseball. But slugging is only part of what's, ahem, launched the 22-year-old into the conversation about the best young stars in baseball.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Anthony McCarron
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Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees (95-51, 8.5 GA in AL East) take on the Detroit Tigers (43-100, 45.0 GB in AL Central, 41.0 GB for second Wild Card) at Comerica Park for the first game of a Thursday doubleheader at 1:10 pm.

Yankees notes

The Yankees are 7-3 in their last 10 games. ... The Yankees slammed six home runs in their 12-11 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday. ... The Yankees are not starting Gary Sanchez or Gleyber Torres in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader. ... Edwin Encarnacion and Luke Voit both have one career home run off of Tigers starter Matthew Boyd.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit
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Jul 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees injured starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws in the outfield before the first game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees injured starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws in the outfield before the first game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yankees RHP Luis Severino is finally set to make his season debut on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium against the Angels, according to Aaron Boone.

Severino has been on the IL all season, dealing with shoulder and lat issues. He has been progressing really well in his rehab recently, and after checking off all the boxes, the Yankees are ready to bring him back to the Bronx. 

The 25-year-old pitched in his last rehab start last night with Double-A Trenton, where he was solid. Four runs may have been on the board, but only one was earned and he recorded four strikeouts over 64 pitches (47 strikes) in 2.1 innings. Reports also had Severino's fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s with it topping out at 98 mph. 

Tags: Luis Severino
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General view of a tarp on the field as the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium informs fans of a rain delay before a game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
General view of a tarp on the field as the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium informs fans of a rain delay before a game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Game 2 of the Yankees' three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Wednesday has been postponed, the team announced. The two teams will push the missed game back to Thursday and play a doubleheader.

Prior to the game, thunderstorms were already forcing the Tigers to request fans to leave their seats and head for cover with storms projected to hit the area for an extensive time period on Wednesday evening. 

The two sides were already scheduled to meet on Thursday.

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Sep 10, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) take the ball to relieve relief pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. (67) in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Sep 10, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) take the ball to relieve relief pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. (67) in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

The Yankees (95-51, 8.5 GA in AL East) jumped out to a six-run lead before a back-and-forth game ensued, ultimately suffering a 12-11 loss to the Tigers (43-100, 45.5 GB in AL Central, 40.5 GB for second Wild Card) Tuesday at Comerica Park in Detroit. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Tuesday's game

1) Pitching ultimately failed the Yankees. LHP Nestor Cortes Jr. (5-0, 5.23 ERA) initially came out strong as the Yankees' opener, pitching a pair of scoreless innings in his first career start before he went back out for the third frame and ran into trouble. The Tigers caught up and tagged Cortes, who struckout two and walked one, for four runs (two earned) on six hits before manager Aaron Boone made the move to remove the southpaw with one out in the third inning and the Yankees leading 6-2.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Chance Adams, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Encarnacion , Gleyber Torres, Luis Cessa, Nestor Cortes Jr, Tyler Wade
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Sep 9, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) walks off the mound at the end of the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 9, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) walks off the mound at the end of the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

When James Paxton handed the ball off to manager Aaron Boone after yet another solid start on Monday, he may have walked off the Fenway Park diamond as the Yankees' Game 1 ALDS starter. 

Of course, Boone and the Yankees still have time to think about that, but with the way Paxton has been pitching -- and how the Yankees hit when he's on the mound -- it seems like the right choice to make. 

Paxton pitched to the tune of no runs allowed on four hits and three walks while striking out seven over 6.2 innings of work. His previous outing was even better with just one hit allowed with 12 strikeouts over seven innings against the Rangers in the Bronx. 

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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May 11, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. (67) throws a pitch at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
May 11, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. (67) throws a pitch at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

After they took their four-game series against the rival Boston Red Sox last Friday through Monday, the Yankees (95-50, 9.0 GA in AL East) hit the middle of their 10-game road trip with Tuesday's 6:40 p.m. start vs. the Detroit Tigers (42-100, 45.5 GB in AL Central, 41.0 GB for second Wild Card) at Comerica Park.

Yankees notes

Since they dropped three straight games in an Aug. 20-22 sweep against the Athletics in Oakland, the Yankees have won their past five series. The Yankees dropped last Friday's series opener to Red Sox but then proceeded to bury their rivals as they won the past three games by a 20-6 margin and eliminated Boston mathematically from AL East contention. They did their damage in Monday's series finale, a 5-0 shutout, behind a pair of solo home runs to get on the board -- Austin Romine's fifth-inning shot down the right-field line and Gio Urshela's seven-inning bomb over the left-field Green Monster -- before DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres tacked on a run apiece in the seventh and Luke Voit added another in the ninth.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Carlos Torres, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gio Urshela, Nestor Cortes Jr, Tyler Wade
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Sep 9, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 9, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

James Paxton held the Red Sox off the scoreboard as the Yankees coasted to a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Monday's game

1) James Paxton tossed his second consecutive scoreless outing and won his eighth straight start on Monday with another fantastic performance. He allowed just four hits over 6.2 innings, walking three and striking out seven. He hasn't lost a game since July 26, and in the eight starts since has seen his ERA drop from 4.72 to 3.96. His streak of scoreless innings now stands at 15.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luke Voit
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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 (94-50, 8.5 GA in AL East) round out their four-game series against the Red Sox (76-67, 17.5 GB in AL East, 8 GB of second wild card) Monday at 7:10 p.m.

Yankees notes

With three home runs in Sunday's win, the Yankees set a franchise record with 268 homers on the season. They surpassed the mark they set just last season with 18 games remaining on the schedule... Gleyber Torreshit his 35th homer of the season, breaking a tie with Gary Sanchez for the team lead... The Yankees are 64-12 when hitting multiple home runs this season and 35-4 when they have three or more... Gio Urshela returned to the active roster on Sunday and will re-join the starting lineup in Monday's game.

Tags: Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton
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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)

The Yankees' outfield may see yet another player hit the Injured List, as Mike Tauchman had to leave Sunday night's game against the Red Sox early with left calf tightness. 

Tauchman had been dealing with soreness there in the days prior, but it got to the point where he couldn't run any longer -- with head athletic trainer Steve Donahue helping him off the field. 

"I felt it grab up on me," Tauchman told The Post's Dan Martin. "It's incredibly disheartening."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton
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Trenton Thunder pitcher Deivi Garcia throws a pitch during a game against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin' Donuts Park. (Matt Eisenberg/SNY)
Trenton Thunder pitcher Deivi Garcia throws a pitch during a game against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin' Donuts Park. (Matt Eisenberg/SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On July 12, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told our pal Jim Duquette on Jim's Sirius/XM radio show that top prospect Deivi Garcia was "putting himself in the mix" to help the team this year.

When Cashman made that comment, Garcia had just pitched a scoreless first inning in the Futures Game and earned a promotion to Triple-A. The notion that he could emerge as a 20-year-old phenom and contribute to a World Series run tantalized both the team and its fans.

But in reality, player development is usually a slower burn. The Yankees still see a bright future for Garcia -- their refusal in July to trade him for Zack Wheeler, Marcus Stroman and others is proof of that --  but the righty's numbers for Scranton hardly screamed for an immediate callup: In 40 innings as both a starter and reliever, Garcia was 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 45 strikeouts against 20 walks.

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Sep 28, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski talks to a reporter prior to a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 28, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski talks to a reporter prior to a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

Less than a year after helping to guide the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series title, Dave Dombrowski was fired late Sunday as president of baseball operations, according to multiple reports.

The firing came hours after Boston's 10-5 loss to the Yankees that dropped them to 76-67 -- 8.0 games behind the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot in the American League and 17.5 games behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East.

With 19 games remaining in their season, the Sox are promoting Raquel Ferreira -- who previously served as SVP of major league and minor league operations -- and assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Brian O'Halloran and Zack Scott to lead their baseball operations department on an interim basis, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan

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Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the fifth 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 right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

The Yankees homered three times en route to an 8-5 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday night at Fenway Park. >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Sunday's game

1) In what has already been a historic season in terms of home run production, the 2019 Yankees put themselves in the franchise record book once again. Aaron Judge's home run in the fifth inning gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead, but was also the team's 268th homer of the season, surpassing the franchise record they set last season. They still have 18 games in the season left to increase that mark.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Masahiro Tanaka
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New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka pitches to Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka pitches to Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees (93-50, 8.0 GA in AL East) play the the third game of their four-game wraparound series against the Red Sox (76-66, 16.5 GB in AL East, 7.0 GB for second Wild Card) Sunday at 8:05 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Yankees notes

Edwin Encarnacion hit his second homer since returning from the IL on Saturday and also added a double, going 2-for-5 with three RBI... Gary Sanchez already has a career high in home runs and after two RBI on Saturday, needs 14 more to eclipse his career-best of 90... At .328, DJ LeMahieu is second in the American League in batting average, trailing Tim Anderson of the White Sox... Gio Urshela has been activated from the injured list, though he is not in Sunday's starting lineup. 

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

More reinforcements are on the way from the IL for the Yankees. 

The team announced on Sunday, ahead of the team's 8 p.m. matchup against the Red Sox, that Gio Urshela is coming off the 10-day IL and Thairo Estrada will be reinstated as well. 

Urshela has been out since Aug. 30 after suffering a groin strain. Those injuries are always tricky to work with, so the Yankees were cautious with him here. 

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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 5-1 on Saturday at Fenway Park. >> Box Score

Four takeaways from Saturday's game

1) Saturday's start was exactly what J.A. Happ needed. While his 2019 season has been very up and down, Happ was dominant on Saturday. In 6.1 innings, Happ allowed only two hits while striking out seven and walking just one. After his six shutout-inning performance against Oakland his last time out, Happ is now up to 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings. Happ was at one point an afterthought for the Yankees' postseason rotation, but now he may be pitching himself back into a playoff spot. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle
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Jun 13, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Jun 13, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

The Yankees (92-50, 8.5 GA in AL East) continue their four-game series against the rival Boston Red Sox (76-65, 15.5 GB in AL East, 6.0 GB for second Wild Card) Saturday at 4:05 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Yankees notes

After the Red Sox roughed up RHP Domingo German (17-4, 4.21 ERA) for five runs on three hits and four walks to five strikeouts in Friday's 6-1 loss, the Yankees try to bounce back with a better sense of urgency -- on the mound and at the plate. The Red Sox held the Yankees to three hits, with the only run coming on CF Brett Gardner's fifth-inning solo shot. Eight of the 10 Yankees to make plate appearances went hitless. SS Didi Gregorious (1 for 4 with a double) and Gardner (2 for 3) were the exceptions.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luke Voit
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Sep 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German (55) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German (55) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees offense struggled to get anything going in their 6-1 loss to the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park. >> Box Score

Four takeaways from Friday's game

1) Domingo German's night was cut short after 92 pitches in just 4.1 innings, as the righty was unable to get his 18th win of the season. He gave up five earned runs on three hits, while striking out five and walking four. German gave up a three-run homer to Red Sox 1B Mitch Moreland with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, it was his 15th home run of the season.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Domingo German
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Jul 28, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (55) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Jul 28, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (55) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

The Yankees (92-49, 9.5 GA in AL East) hit the road for 10 games as they start their trip with Friday's four-game series against the rival Boston Red Sox (75-65, 16.5 GB in AL East, 6.5 GB for second Wild Card) at 7:10 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Yankees notes

Winners in eight of their past 10 games, the Yankees hit the road through next weekend after they won three-game series against the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers. In each of those sets, the Yankees dropped the opener before they bounced back and took their final two contests. The successful six-game homestand followed the Yankees' road series victories vs. the Dodgers and Mariners, taking two out of three against Los Angeles and sweeping Seattle.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit
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Sep 5, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Sep 5, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

Sonny Gray's season and a half with the Yankees did not go as planned.

In 34 regular season starts as a Yankee, Gray struggled to find consistency, pitching to a 4.51 ERA with a WHIP of 1.416. Gray eventually lost his spot in the starting rotation, and never seemed to be comfortable pitching in Yankee Stadium, where he had a 7.71 ERA during the 2018 season. 

The right-hander was traded to the Reds prior to this season, and it seems as if he's turned things around during his first season in Cincinnati.

Tags: Sonny Gray
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Sep 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches against theTexas Rangers in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches against theTexas Rangers in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Wednesday night was a reminder to Yankees fans why manager Aaron Boone might opt to use an opener this postseason. 

Bullpen arm Chad Green, who has been used in this spot 13 times this season, took the mound for only the first two innings where he allowed just two hits and didn't let up a run before passing things off to Luis Cessa for the next three. 

It's performances like this from Green that makes this a real conversation between Boone and GM Brian Cashman when it's time to put together a postseason strategy.

The Yankees' top three rotation options -- James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and Domingo German -- could be a solid group. But with Tanaka's inconsistency of late and German's postseason inexperience mixed with his potential innings limit, an opener could be an option to fill the gap. 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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Aug 16, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos (65) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Aug 16, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos (65) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

The Yankees found a diamond in the rough when they pried Luke Voit away from the Cardinals in a trade that sent Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos to St. Louis in June of 2018.

While Voit has been a tremendous pickup for the Yankees, Gallegos has turned into one of the best relievers in baseball this season, as MLBTradeRumors touched on earlier this week.

The 28-year-old right-hander has posted a 2.27 ERA (2.76 FIP) and 0.79 WHIP while striking out 84 in 63.1 innings (11.94 per 9) this season for the Cardinals, who are leading the NL Central.

Tags: Luke Voit, Danny Abriano
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Sep 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches against theTexas Rangers in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches against theTexas Rangers in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees used six different pitchers during their 4-1 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night, and improved to 11-2 on the season when using an opener.

After the game, manager Aaron Boone was asked if the team would consider using an opener in the playoffs based off the team's success with that strategy so far this season.

"That kind of scenario is certainly possible," Boone said.

Tags: Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino
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Torres homers in 4-1 win 00:01:11
Gleyber Torres hit his 34th home run this season and is tied for the most on the Yankees. The 22 year old is impressing his manager.

The Yankees hit two home runs in their 4-1 win over the Rangers on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Four takeaways from Wednesday's game

1) The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, thanks to a two-run blast from Aaron Judge. It was Judge's 20th home run of the season and brought his RBI total to 45 on the year. The team then extended their lead to 3-0 when Gelyber Torres hit his 34th home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Gleyber Torres, Luis Cessa
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May 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
May 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Yankees (91-49, 9.5 GA in AL East) wrap up their three-game series with the Rangers (68-72, 22.0 GB in AL West, 12.5 GB for second Wild Card) Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees rebounded from their first shutout in 220 games to beat the Rangers 10-1 on Tuesday night. The team hit a total of five home runs, thanks to two from Gary Sanchez, and one each from Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, and Edwin Encarnacion. It was Encarnacion's 31st homer of the year, and his first game since a fractured wrist that had kept him out since Aug. 3. Starting pitcher James Paxton tossed 7.0 shutout innings of one-hit baseball and tied his season-high with 12 strikeouts.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, James Paxton
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American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)
American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

Down in Triple-A, an insane game between the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and Syracuse Mets Tuesday resulted in the Yankees affiliate fighting all the back for a 14-13 victory to move on to the postseason in a one-game playoff.

And one of the bigger storylines surfacing from that bout was Yankees top prospect Deivi Garcia pitching lights out from the bullpen. 

Garcia has been fast-tracked through the Yanks' farm system this season, starting in High-A ball and moving up to Triple-A now. He has seen some struggles early on in a starting role, but he was moved to the bullpen in preparation for a possible call-up to the bigs. 

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Gary Sanchez broke his own record Tuesday, hitting two home runs -- Nos. 33 and 34 on the season -- in the Yankees' 10-1 win over the Texas Rangers and becoming the franchise's leader for single-season homers by a catcher.

Sanchez set the mark originally in 2017, surpassing Yogi Berra with 33 home runs over 122 games.

Now alongside Berra as just the second Yankees catcher to hit 30 homers in multiple seasons, Sanchez is only getting started.

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Yankees react to dominant Paxton 00:01:07
James Paxton dominated the Rangers in a 10-1 win. Paxton has now won seven straight and tied his season high in strikeouts.

The Yankees blasted six home runs as they avenged their series-opening loss to the Rangers and bounced back with Tuesday's dominant 10-1 win at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Sunday's game

1) After they suffered a six-hit shutout -- the offense's first scoreless performance in 122 games -- in their 7-0 loss to the Rangers on Monday, the result evidently lit a fire under the Yankees. New York pummeled Texas for 10 runs on 11 hits, belting six home runs along the way. The Yankees jumped on the Rangers with C Gary Sanchez's two-run home run to center field, taking a 2-0 lead, before busting the dam entirely later in the game.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga
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Apr 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) reacts during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) reacts during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (90-49, 9.0 GA in AL East) continue a three-game series with the Texas Rangers (68-71, 22.0 GB in AL West, 12.5 GB for second Wild Card) Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees had their 122-game streak without suffering a shutout snapped Monday when the Rangers held them scoreless, 7-0, in a six-hit performance. The last time they were shutout happened June 30, 2018, in the form of an 11-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Against the Rangers, four players went hitless and four others had one hit, while OF Mike Tauchman led the efforts with a 2-for-3 day at the plate. The retun of DH Edwin Encarnacion, whom the Yankees activated from the 10-day IL after a two-game rehab stint in the minor leagues with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, should pack a punch in the lineup. 

Tags: Chad Green, Edwin Encarnacion , James Paxton
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (30) hits a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (30) hits a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees get another healthy bat back in their lineup, as Edwin Encarnacion was activated off the IL and will return Tuesday night against the Rangers. 

Encarnacion, who will serve as the team's DH tonight, has been out for a month due to a fractured wrist. And it was a shame when he went down, as he was red hot at the dish. 

Through his last 11 games, Encarnacion was hitting .386/.481/.591 with a homer, six doubles, and six RBI. Overall, he was hitting .238/.327/.497 with the Yankees since being traded by the Mariners. 

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Do the Yankees have enough pitching to win a World Series title this October? 

That's the burning question we'll soon find out as the regular season comes to a close at the end of September. But, if you're asking former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani if he thinks that's the case, he definitely believes they have what it takes. 

"They wouldn't have the best record in baseball if they didn't have enough pitching," Giuliani said to TMZ Sports.

Tags: Domingo German, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles (Brian Fluharty)
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles (Brian Fluharty)

The Yankees didn't pull off any big deals at the trade deadline, but they reportedly came very close.

On July 31, the Yanks and Blue Jays made "significant progress" on a deal that would've brought Toronto closer Ken Giles to New York in exchange for three prospects, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

According to Rosenthal (who didn't reveal which prospects the Yanks would've sent to Toronto), the deal was so close that the Jays informed other teams that Giles would be getting traded elsewhere. But the Yankees pulled out of the deal late.

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American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)
American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

Every Monday, we'll be taking a look at how the Yankees' top prospects (their MLB.com Yankees Top-30 rankings are in parenthesis) are faring.


Deivi Garcia, RHP, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (No. 1, MLB No. 64) -- ETA 2020

In the bullpen for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since Aug. 22, Garcia's continues to adjust. His second appearance came last Monday when he allowed two runs on three hits, a walk and a hit batter while he struck two out on 42 pitches, battling command issues with 24 strikes to 18 balls. Garcia's latest outing and third overall as a reliever occurred last last Friday with mixed results. He surrendered three runs on two hits, including a home run, plus two walks to two strikeouts on 38 pitches -- 21 strikes.

In three games from the 'pen, Garcia has given up six runs on eight hits (two home runs) and sports a 11.57 ERA. However, his swings and misses are still evident of the power arm that made the 20-year-old rise up the Yankees' list of prospects, striking out nine while walking three.

Tags: Albert Abreu, Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial
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