Even the best pitching plans…
The Yankees entered the American League Division Series hoping they would be able to mount their top three starters.
It could still happen, but Mother Nature might have thrown a curveball at them that could also affect their bullpen.
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he wasn’t going to think about how Thursday’s rain from Game 2 and its subsequent push through Friday at 1:07 p.m. could be a bad thing for the Bombers.
“Both teams have to live with it. You have to deal with different things that happen all the time in the regular season and certainly in the playoffs, that’s how you deal with those things,” Boone said on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York radio.
A few concerns:
What does this mean for Game 2? In fact, it helps. It gives scheduled starting pitcher Nestor Cortes an extra day to rest, and it gives Clay Holmes an extra day to rid himself of any pain he may have felt after pitching in Game 1. Holmes received an injection of cortisone in his right shoulder and did not pitch for the last week of the regular season.
What about the Game 5 starter? This is where it gets tricky. The Yankees were hoping to use Gerrit Cole in Game 1, Cortes in Game 2, then Luis Severino in Game 3. That’s still the plan. They wanted to bring Cole back into Game 4 on regular rest. They can do it too. But they won’t be able to start Cortes in Game 5 on Monday as he will only have two rest days instead of three. They would probably need to turn to Jameson Taillon. Boone said he would expect Taillon to still be available on Friday and then have the team adjust their bullpen for Saturday and beyond. “‘I’d like to think Nestor would be available at some level (for Game 5),'” Boone continued, “especially for some of the southpaws in their roster to give you another southpaw even if it’s for a round. important or something like that. .” Cortes has experience coming out of the bullpen. On the good side of the Yankees, that will also mean Cleveland ace Shane Bieber can’t start with a short rest in Game 5.
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What about the bullpen? The Guardians and Yankees could play games in four straight days if there are five games. That could tip the scales in terms of the advantage of throwing even more to the Guardians, who have the top bullpen. The Yankees probably want nothing to do with using the last man in the bullpen Miguel Castro in key spots, but injuries to Scott Effross (Tommy John surgery) and Ron Marinaccio (stress reaction from the shin) and the absence of Aroldis Chapman put them in a tough place.
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Brendan Kuty can be reached at [email protected].