Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Yankees-Tigers series, scheduled for 8:37 p.m. EDT tonight:
NEW YORK YANKEES DETROIT TIGERS
1. Derek Jeter, SS 1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF 2. Ramon Santiago, 2B
3. Robinson Cano, 2B 3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B 4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B 5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Nick Swisher, RF 6. Don Kelly, RF
7. Jorge Posada, DH 7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Russell Martin, C 8. Alex Avila, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF 9. Wilson Betemit, 3B
SP A.J. Burnett RHP SP Rick Porcello, RHP
The only changes from Game 3 are in Detroit’s lineup, with Kelly playing over Magglio Ordonez and Betemit starting over Brandon Inge. Kelly gets the nod in the sixth spot even though he hit .245/.291/.381 this season. He is 2-for-4 in the postseason, though.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.