Last night they faced left-hander CC Sabathia and tonight they’re facing fellow southpaw Andy Pettitte, so the Twins are sticking with the same lineup as Game 1 of the ALDS.
However, the Yankees have switched things up with right-hander Carl Pavano on the mound, changing things a bit from the lineup they sent out against lefty Francisco Liriano in Game 1.
GAME 1 GAME 2
Derek Jeter, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B Robinson Cano, 2B
Marcus Thames, DH Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, C Jorge Posada, C
Curtis Granderson, CF Lance Berkman, DH
Brett Gardner, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Marcus Thames and Lance Berkman are basically in a platoon at designated hitter, so Berkman gets the nod against a righty. And while you wouldn’t know it based on his two-run triple off Liriano last night Curtis Granderson is significantly better versus righties, so he moves up from eighth to second in the lineup while Nick Swisher slides down from second to sixth.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.