Yesterday Joe Girardi admitted that, based on how the Yankees spring rotation has been set up, CC Sabathia would be on short rest for Opening Day, making him unlikely to start that day. Who is in line: Masahiro Tanaka.
Sabathia has started the past six Opening Days for the Yankees. Before that he started the previous three for the Cleveland Indians. The last time he didn’t start an Opening Day game was 2005. But he did in 2003 and 2004, meaning that the big guy has started 11 of the past 12 openers in his 14 season-career.
I wonder if all of the people who are mad that the Mets are starting their big old dude on Opening Day are going to be mad that the Yankees aren’t.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.