CLEVELAND – The Yankees have set their rotation for the ALDS, with Sonny Gray going in Game 1, followed by CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino.
Joe Girardi’s most interesting decision seems to be putting Severino in Game 4 after the 23-year-old recorded just one out in Tuesday’s AL wild-card game.
“I was asked, ‘Could you bring him back Friday (in Game 2)?’” Girardi said. “I just think, with his workload and what he’s done this season, its’ probably not in his best interests, and the full rest will probably do him some good.”
Severino had thrown only 29 pitches on Tuesday after recording a 2.98 ERA during the regular season over 193.1 innings. It’s hard to imagine workload would’ve been a factor had Severino been effective and gone deep in the game, as the organization hoped he would.
Girardi said Severino would definitely not be used out of the bullpen in Game 1.
Tanaka makes sense to start in Game 3 at home given that he posted a 6.48 ERA on the road compared to a 3.22 ERA in the Bronx.
Sabathia, 37, has been the team’s stopper all season, going 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 11 starts following a loss.
Gray gave up four runs (two earned) in six innings in his Yankee debut against the Tribe on Aug. 3, though he was doomed from the start due to three first-inning errors.
He also threw six shutout innings versus Cleveland on July 14 when he was still with Oakland.
“If you look at some of the outings against them, he’s fared as well as any pitcher that we have,” Girardi said of Gray.
Asked if he thought the relievers who pitched multiple innings on Tuesday – David Robertson, Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle – would be available for Game 1, Joe Girardi responded, “probably not real available but I would think after that they should be pretty good.”
The manager will perhaps have to lean on the inconsistent Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, who returned in to the final regular-season game after being DL’d due to a back injury.
“I could get two innings out of Dellin and two out of Warren (Thursday),” Girardi said.
It was interesting that Girardi opted to stick with Kahnle for the eighth on Tuesday over Betances, a four-time All-Star who has struggled with his control at times in 2017.
“I’m going to use him,” Girardi said. “He’s going to be used in important situations. We need him. His issues this year have been walks. Those have been issues. I’m telling you, he’s going to be important in this. If we’re going to win, he’s going to be extremely important.”
Said Betances: “I’m going to be ready whenever they call my name.”
It’s possible Chase Headley could be back in the lineup for Game 1, as he’s hit .278 in his career against Trevor Bauer. It could once again come down to two guys for three spots between Headley, Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury. … The Yankees’ ALDS roster must be in by 10 a.m. Thursday. … Joe Girardi said he plans to carry more pitches in light of what happened on Tuesday.