Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the Tigers-Yankees series tonight:
DETROIT TIGERS NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Austin Jackson, CF 1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Magglio Ordonez, RF 2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Delmon Young, LF 3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Victor Martinez, DH 5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Alex Avila, C 6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B 7. Jorge Posada, DH
8. Jhonny Peralta, SS 8. Russell Martin, C
9. Brandon Inge, 3B 9. Brett Gardner, LF
SP Justin Verlander, RHP SP CC Sabathia, LHP
Pretty standard lineup against left-handed pitching for the Tigers, with Brandon Inge starting over Wilson Betemit at third base and Magglio Ordonez starting over Andy Dirks in right field. Ryan Raburn is at second base with Carlos Guillen injured. It’ll be interesting to see if sticking with Delmon Young in the third spot pays off for Jim Leyland, because in theory he wants as many runners on base as possible for cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera and Young has a .302 on-base percentage this year.
Joe Girardi announced earlier this week that Jorge Posada will be the Yankees’ designated hitter versus right-handed pitchers and the Tigers don’t have a left-handed starter going in the ALDS, so Jesus Montero will serve as a bench bat. Girardi is also sticking with his late-season batting order switch that moved Robinson Cano into the No. 3 spot and slid Mark Teixeira into the No. 5 spot. In all six of the Yankees’ nine hitters will bat from the left side versus Justin Verlander.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.