Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the ALDS between the Orioles and Yankees, in Baltimore:
BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Nate McLouth, LF 1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. J.J. Hardy, SS 2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Chris Davis, RF 3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. Adam Jones, CF 4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Matt Wieters, C 5. Nick Swisher, RF
6. Mark Reynolds, 1B 6. Mark Teixeira, 1B
7. Jim Thome, DH 7. Russell Martin, C
8. Manny Machado, 3B 8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Robert Andino, 2B 9. Eduardo Nunez, DH
SP Wei-Yin Chen, LHP SP Andy Pettitte, LHP
Despite the Yankees throwing back-to-back left-handers manager Buck Showalter is using a different lineup against Andy Pettitte than he had against CC Sabathia. Lew Ford is benched, with Jim Thome replacing him at designated hitter. Left-handed-hitting Chris Davis slides up from seventh to third, moving everyone else down. Pettitte held lefties a .202 batting average and .516 OPS, compared to .245 and .681 from righties, so on paper at least Showalter’s changes look … well, let’s say interesting.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are facing left-hander Wei-Yin Chen instead of right-hander Jason Hammel, so manager Joe Girardi flipped Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin in the 7-8 spots and benched Raul Ibanez in favor of Eduardo Nunez. Nunez as a starting designated hitter in a playoff game is pretty weird considering his .384 career slugging percentage, although he’s been slightly better versus lefties.
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.