After punching their ticket to the ALCS on Wednesday, manager Joe Girardi set the starting rotation already on Thursday. Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Masahiro Tanaka will start Game in Houston against the Astros, followed by Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, and Sonny Gray.
Tanaka was brilliant in his Game 3 start against the Indians in the ALDS, tossing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. It’s no surprise that he gets the Game 1 nod given that the other three have struggled at least once this postseason.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced on Wednesday that Dallas Keuchel will start Game 1 followed by Justin Verlander, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reported.
The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.
Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.
Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.