Masahiro Tanaka
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Yankees, Twins lineups for ALDS Game 2

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Game 1 of the American League Division Series fell in the Yankees’ favor on Friday. They pummeled the league-leading home run champs by a score of 10-4, backed by a four-RBI performance from DJ LeMahieu and a key two-run double from Gleyber Torres. With the win, they not only gained an advantage over the Twins, but extended their postseason streak to 11 consecutive victories against Minnesota.

So, it’s hardly surprising that the club plans to run with the same configuration they tried in Game 1. Why mess with something that worked so well the first time around?

  1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
  2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
  3. Brett Gardner (L) CF
  4. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
  5. Giancarlo Stanton (R) LF
  6. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
  7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
  8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
  9. Gio Urshela (R) 3B

P: RHP Masahiro Tanaka

The Twins, meanwhile, will shuffle things around a bit in order to avoid a repeat of Friday’s double-digit defeat:

  1. Max Kepler (L) CF
  2. Jorge Polanco (S) SS
  3. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
  4. Eddie Rosario (L) RF
  5. Mitch Garver (R) C
  6. Luis Arraez (L) 2B
  7. Miguel Sanó (R) 3B
  8. Marwin Gonzalez (S) 1B
  9. Jake Cave (L) LF

P: RHP Randy Dobnak

Garver has been bumped from the leadoff spot, while Sanó is down in the no. 7 slot, Arraez is up to no. 6, Gonzalez shifted from left field to first base, and C.J. Cron is taking a breather so Cave can make his first postseason start.

Game 2 of the ALDS is set for 5:07 PM EDT.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).