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.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.