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.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.