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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.