Joe Girardi and the Yankees moved Andy Pettitte to Game 3 of the ALCS after starting him in Game 2 of the ALDS, and today the manager revealed why: Pettitte was struggling with back and hamstring injuries and they wanted to give him as much time as possible to recover.
Girardi explained that Pettitte pitched through discomfort in Game 2 of the ALDS–which makes his seven innings of two-run ball against the Twins even more impressive–and then had to cut short a bullpen session in preparation for potentially starting Game 5 of the ALDS.
In fact, according to Girardi there’s a chance Pettitte wouldn’t have been able to make his scheduled start versus Minnesota had the first-round series gone five games. Instead the Yankees swept the three-game series and Pettitte got 11 days to rest before starting Game 3 of the ALCS against the Rangers.
He tossed seven innings of two-run ball in that start as well, but took the loss because Cliff Lee shut down the Yankees’ lineup.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.