Indians' Josh Tomlin just the latest to shut down Yanks in debut

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I haven’t done the research, but it’s always seemed to me that patient offenses struggle when facing a pitcher they’ve never seen before. It’s a small sample size for sure, but for what it’s worth, the Yankees have been pretty miserable in facing pitchers making their major league debuts.
That’s not how it should work, right? The Yankees’ lineup has been loaded for 15 years now, and pitchers making their debuts can be overwhelmed by the experience. However, the 11 pitchers since 2000 to make their major league debuts in starts against the Yankees are 7-3. Seven of the pitchers allowed zero or one earned runs and only one allowed more than three. Here’s the list:
Paul Rigdon (Indians, 2000) – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K – Indians win 6-1
John Parrish (Orioles, 2000) – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 9 K – Yankees win 4-3
Brian Sikorski (Rangers, 2000) – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 5 K – Rangers win 5-0
Jake Peavy (Padres, 2002) – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 K – Yankees win 1-0
Eduardo Villacis (Royals, 2004) – 3 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 0 K – Yankees win 12-4
Gustavo Chacin (Blue Jays, 2004) – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K – Blue Jays win 6-3
Anibal Sanchez (Marlins, 2006) – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 2 K – Marlins win 5-0
Daryl Thompson (Reds, 2008) – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 K – Reds win 6-0 (no-decision)
Koji Uehara (Orioles, 2009) – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 K – Orioles win 7-5
Jake Arrieta (Orioles, 2010) – 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 6 K – Orioles win 4-3
Josh Tomlin (Indians, 2010) – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K – Indians win 4-1
Outside of Peavy, it’s not exactly the most illustrious group. Sanchez is the only other pitcher to have a prolonged career as a major league starter, though Arrieta should as well. Villacis, the lone pitcher to struggle, was a bizarre callup in the first place and he never made another appearance in the majors.
Tomlin was a surprise choice to get the ball for the Indians. A 19th-round pick in 2006, he had a record of 51-24 in the minors, with a 3.20 ERA in 87 starts and 57 relief appearances, but he was never taken very seriously as a prospect because he doesn’t throw hard. Next time the Yankees see him — if he does in fact stick around that long — the Yankees could well have his measure and knock him around. However, with nothing but some printouts and maybe some grainy video to go on, they couldn’t do much of anything against him tonight.

Sonny Gray was denied insurance coverage for the World Baseball Classic

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Pitcher Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during photo day at HoHoKam Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.

According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.

Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.

While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.

Report: Josh Hamilton likely to undergo another knee surgery

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.

More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.

Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.