Yankees announce playoff rotation, Ivan Nova to start Game 2

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Last night Joe Girardi revealed his plans for the Yankees’ playoff rotation, announcing that CC Sabathia will start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Tigers followed by rookie Ivan Nova in Game 2 and veteran Freddy Garcia in Game 3.

Not exactly how the Yankees’ brass saw their October pitching shaking out back in spring training.

Because of the scheduling Sabathia and Nova will likely both be able to make a second start in the opening round, meaning the Yankees can rely on a three-man rotation while demoting A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, and Phil Hughes to the bullpen.

Last season the Yankees had Sabathia atop the rotation, followed by Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes, and Burnett in the fourth starter role started just one of their nine playoff games.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.