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.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.