Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, currently in the process of appealing his 2013-14 seasons-ending suspension from Major League Baseball, made his much-anticipated season debut at Yankee Stadium tonight against the Tigers. Prior to seeing the first pitch from starter Rick Porcello in the first inning with a runner on second base and two outs, Rodriguez received a chorus of applause and boos. He quickly fell behind in the count 0-2, then fouled off a pitch before striking out swinging. The Yankee Stadium crowd showered him with boos.
You can watch A-Rod’s first at-bat here, courtesy MLB.com:
Rodriguez has hit safely in each of his first three games since making his season debut on August 5 in Chicago against the White Sox. He will look to continue that streak tonight in support of Yankees starter Ivan Nova.
Update: With a runner on third base and one out in the bottom of the third against Porcello, Rodriguez worked a 2-2 count before striking out again. Had he gotten a base hit or a productive out, Rodriguez would have moved into a sixth-place tie with Stan Musial at 1,951 career runs batted in.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.