After watching Ramon Hernandez perform poorly while playing through tendinitis in his left hand for most of the season the Rockies have placed the veteran catcher on the disabled list.
Hernandez played well enough for the Reds in 2010 and 2011 that the Rockies gave him a two-year, $6.4 million contract at age 37, but he’s hit just .215 with four homers and a .658 OPS in 27 games, including .146 away from Coors Field.
Wilin Rosario will get an opportunity to be the primary catcher, with veteran journeyman Wil Nieves serving as his backup. Rosario has shown good power in limited opportunities so far, smacking nine homers and eight doubles in 126 career at-bats, but the 23-year-old rookie struggles to control the strike zone and has an inconsistent minor-league track record.
The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.
In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.
Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).
Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.
With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.