Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the ALDS between the Orioles and Yankees, in New York:
BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Nate McLouth, LF 1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. J.J. Hardy, SS 2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Chris Davis, RF 3. Alex Rodriguez, DH
4. Adam Jones, CF 4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Matt Wieters, C 5. Nick Swisher, RF
6. Jim Thome, DH 6. Mark Teixeira, 1B
7. Mark Reynolds, 1B 7. Curtis Granderson, CF
8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B 8. Russell Martin, C
9. Manny Machado, 3B 9. Eric Chavez, 3B
SP Miguel Gonzalez, RHP SP Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
Facing right-hander Hiroki Kuroda instead of left-hander Andy Pettitte, manager Buck Showalter flipped Jim Thome and Mark Reynolds in the 6-7 spots, dropped Manny Machado down one spot, and benched Robert Andino in favor of Ryan Flaherty at second base.
Joe Girardi is keeping Alex Rodriguez in the No. 3 spot despite fans calling for a demotion in the batting order, although he does have A-Rod at designated hitter instead of third base. Eric Chavez is playing third base and batting ninth, where Eduardo Nunez was used as the DH in Game 2. Raul Ibanez sits versus a right-hander, which is uncommon, and with a righty on the mound Girardi flipped Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin in the 7-8 spots.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.