Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the ALCS between the Tigers and Yankees, in New York:
DETROIT TIGERS NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Austin Jackson, CF 1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Omar Infante, 2B 2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B 3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B 4. Mark Teixeira, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH 5. Raul Ibanez, DH
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS 6. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
7. Andy Dirks, LF 7. Nick Swisher, RF
8. Avisail Garcia, RF 8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Gerald Laird, C 9. Russell Martin, C
SP Doug Fister, RHP SP Andy Pettitte, LHP
Jim Leyland has seven right-handed batters in his lineup against southpaw Andy Pettitte. Avisail Garcia is playing right field over Quintin Berry while Gerald Laird will start behind the plate rather than Alex Avila. While this is Leyland’s standard lineup against southpaws, the Tigers had a pretty tough time getting anything going against Tommy Milone and Brett Anderson during the ALDS. They’ll hope for more production this time.
As we mentioned earlier, Alex Rodriguez is back in the starting lineup tonight after he was benched for the decisive Game 5 of the ALDS against the Orioles yesterday. However, he’ll slide down to the sixth spot. He batted third in the first three games of the ALDS and fifth in Game 4. Raul Ibanez remains in the DH spot with the right-hander Doug Fister on the hill for the Tigers. Meanwhile, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin all move down a spot in the order.
First pitch is slated for 8:07 p.m. ET. Feel free to discuss the game in the comments section.
Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.
We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.
Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.
The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.
Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.
In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.
Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.
He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.
Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.
At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.
Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.
Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.
He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.