Could rain disrupt the Yankees' master plan?

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Aaron and Matthew have both noted how a superfluous offday is going to allow the Yankees to go with a three-man rotation, thereby giving them an advantage.  When people plan, Mother Nature says “Ha!”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the possibility of showers affecting Games 1 and 2 is playing into the decision-making process regarding New York’s starting rotation for the second round . . . New York plans to pitch CC Sabathia in Game 1 and A.J. Burnett in Game 2. A potential rainout would likely force the Yankees to use a fourth starter, setting up Joba Chamberlain or Chad Gaudin to pitch Game 4 at Anaheim.

Given how he’s gone recently, pressing Joba into service harms both the Yankees’ rotation and their bullpen.  In contrast, the Angels have depth in their rotation.  Unless rain showers make old man Guerrero’s trick knee act up, a postponement helps Anaheim.

At press time, the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain tomorrow, with the high a delightful 45 degrees.  There’s a 70% chance of the same business Saturday and a 40% chance on what would be makeup day, Joba Chamberlain-start Sunday.

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

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Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

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Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.