New York Yankees News/Rumors: Postseason trade rumors run wild for the Yankees

New York Yankees, Yankees, Luke voit

The New York Yankees are coming off another disappointing season where they lost again in the ALCS. The Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2009.  The Yankee brass and the Yankee fans alike are tired of not winning and waiting for that elusive 28th World Championship. After this short season, when the Tampa Bay Rays beat the pants off the Yankees, the talk about changing up the team so they can win is far more active than ever.

Trade talks suggestions are going on for many New York Yankees players, from scouts to former Yankee players. However, no one is talking at this point about trading Miguel Andujar, a player that they really have no use for and should be traded.  Trade talks include Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, Gary Sanchez, Adam Ottavino, and more. All of this in the shadow of the nine Yankee players who have become free agents.  According to how you look at it, next seasons Yankee team could look very different, or the Yankees will continue to believe that they have a great team, and it will improve in a normal 162 game season that may have fans in the stands.

Luke Voit:

The idea behind trading off Luke Voit is that he is at his highest value ever.  By dumping some of the free-agent pitchers, James Paxton and J.A. Happ, that saving and saving from trading off Voit, would give the Yankees the funds to go out and go out get a premium number two starter like Trevor Bauer.  In his prime, Bauer seems to be willing to take a short one or two year contract for big bucks. The short contract might be something the Yankees would be interested in, as long as Gerrit Cole approves.  Cole and Bauer have had a feud for years.

Gio Urshela:

The Gio Urshela trade rumors are brought about by the idea that getting rid of a great player to save a poor player’s job just doesn’t make sense at all but is gaining interest. The idea is to move the poor playing shortstop, Gleyber Torres, to his natural position. But doing that knocks the baseball batting champion off of second base. By trading off Urshela, whose value is high right now, they can move DJ to third base. For this writer, this is the worst trade the Yankees could make.  The fact is that DJ’s fielding percentage in his eleven games at 3rd base was worse than Torres’s fielding percentage at short.

Adam Ottavino:

The Adam Ottavino trade rumor makes sense for the New York Yankees. Ottavino is a good relief pitcher, but he has failed two years in a row for the Yankees by losing gas when it is most important, at the end of the season. Ottavino might be able to return to the pitcher he was with new scenery. The problem with moving Ottavino is his big salary. To make it happen it is likely that the Yankees would have to absorb part of his salary for the next two years.

Gary Sanchez:

The Gary Sanchez problem is complicated. The New York Yankees have been supporting him and putting him on a pedestal for several years as their catcher of the future.  But this year there was a sign that that support has developed some big cracks in it as he was sat down as the season wanned, and for several games in the postseason, in favor of backup catcher Kyle Higashioka who has become Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher. Cole is going to be around for 9 years, so Higgy might be as well.

But there is a problem with Higashioka taking the main catching role, that would move Sanchez to back up. Sanchez is due a big raise in arbitration this year. He will make somewhere between $6-8M and that’s too much to spend for a backup catcher. The answer is to trade him to some team that sees his home run power as a plus. Sanchez hasn’t been good for the Yankees since 2017, and this year was his worst, hitting .147 with regressing defense.

The Yankees could then go out and get a real catcher like J.T. Realmuto, whose lead leading batting average and excellent defense would make him a perfect fit for the Yankees. But it would cost dollars to get J.T. But the Realmuto, Higashioka catching twosome certainly is interesting.

Among the other trade, rumors include bringing back Didi Gregorius that the Yankees let walk in the last postseason, causing the Gleyber Torres problem. Did had a great season with the Phillies, hitting .284 with 10 home runs. So the Yankees have all these trade opportunities to consider along with what to do with all the free agents. It should be an exciting postseason as the Yankees try to improve the team so they can win another Championship.

 

 

 

New York Yankees News: Luke Voit and Clint Frazier to get big raises, others not so much

Eight New York Yankees players have become arbitration-eligible now that this baseball season is over. A few Yankees will get a nice raise, while others will receive less than they may have been expected. Every year some players reach arbitration, some for the first and some in their second year. With this past pandemic season, how much players will get paid in question? Teams, including the New York Yankees, don’t have the money they normally would have for this responsibility and money needed to improve the team.

Arbitration amounts will be figured differently this year, in a complicated formula of performance this year .vs what that performance would look like in a normal 162 game season.  For non-first time eligible players, they will get a raise they would get in a 162 game season and receive something less than 40% of that raise. However, you figure it; the pandemic will affect the raises giving to all players.

Some players will get more and some will get less. For instance Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will be among those getting less. They will both receive raises of only slightly more than 10% over their 2020 base salary.  Those that will get the most money are the ones that played the best in 2020. Luke Voit who earned $636k in 2020 is projected to get a huge raise, as much as $5M to $8M. Clint Frazier is next, he earned just $588K in 2020 and is expected to get a raise that will put him at about $2M a season.

Gio Urshela got $2.475 million last year and is expected make around $4M this year. Gleyber Torres is another New York Yankee player that will receive a good size raise. In 2020 he earned $675K, he will likely earn about $3M. Other players, including Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Jordan Montgomery, and Chad Green, will get smaller raises and will all earn in the $1 to $2 million area.

What is unclear is with will happen with Tommy Kahnle who missed most of this year and Domingo German, who was suspended for the year. Kahnle will most likely earn a similar amount next year compared to what he earned this year. Domingo German is in a different situation, at this point it’s not even clear if the Yankee organization will accept him back into the fold.

These raises are only projected and could change for many reasons. One of those reasons is what the Yankees will do with their free agents, most notibly DJ LeMahieu who the club will likely want to keep. The future of Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ is less clear. The Yankees will also have to make the annual decision to keep fan favorite Brett Gardner who has an option for 2021. The team can buy out the 37 year old  for $2.5 and lessen the outfield gut. They will also have to decided what to do with Miguel Andujar which for the most part they have no particular use.

 

Yankees News Wrap Up: 10/17/20: Gio Urshela trade, Moving Torres, Yankees budget and more

New York Yankees, Giovanny Urshela

The New York Yankees Postseason Budget

Going into the postseason, no one knows what the New York Yankees budget will be to solve some of the club’s problems. In a postseason news conference, General Operating Partner Hal Steinbrenner said that the club had lost a monstrous amount of money this season. The Yankees didn’t have a single paying fan in the stands throughout the 60 game season. They also lost all of their concession revenues. Without that revenue coming in, they still had to pay for ground crews, security, and a myriad of other expenses.  They did get a break in paying the players’ full salaries, but that saving pales compared to the losses.

With these huge losses, it is questionable how much money the Yankees will have to pay another ace type starter, building up the bullpen and solving the shortstop problem. Steinbrenner has not tipped his hat as to what the Yankees might do or not do.

Trade-off Gio Urshela

The has been a lot of foolish talk about trading our Gold Glove type 3rd baseman Gio Urshela. Andy Martino of SNY.tv Martino explained that the best path to improve the Yankees’ infield defense would be trading Gio Urshela. Others have also chimed in on the same idea. This writer believes that you don’t solve a problem by getting rid of a player that is a clutch hitter with a .298 batting average and a .992 fielding percentage.

Mark Teixeira says to trade Luke Voit

Mark Teixeira, the former Yankee first baseman, has suggested that the Yankees trade off Luke Voit while his value is highest. He suggests the move will solve the problem of moving Gleyber Torres to his natural position at 2nd base, thus moving DJ LeMahieu to first base. I have a lot of respect for Teixeira, but this is another brainless suggestion. You don’t get rid of a player that is just showing his immense promise. This year he hit .277 with a team and baseball leading 22 home runs and 52 RBI’s. Those stats translate into a regular-season of 60 home runs, just one short of Roger Maris’s Yankee record and 140 RBI’s. The bottom line is that you don’t get rid of your lineup power to save the job of a sub-par player.

Yankees look to solve a pitching problem

There is no question that the New York Yankees have some pitching deficiencies, and they are about to worsen. Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ have all reached free agency. The Yankees need a co-ace to be number two behind last season’s signing of Gerrit Cole. None of these pitchers that are at free agency is that number two starter. The Yankees prospects also can’t fill that position, except possibly Deivi Garcia, but he too is unproven. The answer is that the Yankees first have to get that co-ace. The most likely person available is Trevor Bauer.  After that decision is made, the Yankees can then look at their free agents and decide who to keep.

The Yankees must prioritize extending DJ LeMahieu

Other than signing a premium starting pitcher, the New York Yankees must re-sign DJ LeMahieu. These two moves are a necessity. DJ has been with the Yankees for two years and has been everything the Yankees could have wanted, and much more. Last year he batted .327 with 26 home runs and was the only player with over 100 RBI’s. He also won the coveted Silver Slugger Award while playing excellent defense at 2nd base. This year, he won the baseball batting title, being the first player to win both leagues’ title. This year he also hit .364 at age 32, with no signs of slowing down. The Yankees will have to pay him at least 50% more, or more likely near twice what he earned in his present contract. Because of his age, the new contract will probably be limited to four years. Whatever they do, they must nail LeMahieu down for the next few years.

The Yankees need to solve the shortstop situation

There is no question that Gleyber Torres is not the ideal player to have at short. He, this year, had the second-most errors at the position. The obvious move if the Yankees choose to keep him is to move him to his natural position at 2nd base and replace him with Didi Gregorious, who we know can play at Yankee Stadium or go out and spend big bucks for Franciso Lindor.  This, like any other move, causes additional problems. What to do with DJ LeMahieu.

Under my plan, there are certain issues, but I put it forth anyway. Move Torres to second and make DJ LeMahieu a utility player. He has proven he can play all of the infield positions equally well. This would keep DJ in the lineup most days as he filled in at all four infield positions; he could also be an occasional DH. Should any infielder become injured, there will be an automatic replacement. I know this is not an ideal plan, but there is no easy solution to the Torres problem.

Aroldis Chapman has thrown the losing pitch two years in a row

Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner expressed his support of Aroldis Chapman, even though he has thrown the losing pitch two seasons in a row. He stated that he is “extremely comfortable,” giving him the ball with victory at hand. Aaron Boone also echoed the same support. This writer is never comfortable with the Chapman on the mound when the score is tied or with only a one-run lead. Chapman is not Mariano Rivera. Even in his saves, he often struggles and keeps fans on pins and needles. The previous Baltimore closer, Zack Britton, saved 8 games in a row while Chapman was out with the coronavirus.

New York Yankees need to beef up the bullpen

The two hot arms in the bullpen this year were Chad Green and Zack Britton. Outside of those two, there isn’t much dependability. Jonathan Holder was off and on, and Adam Ottavino faded this season just like he did last year. The only difference is that he became undependable much sooner this year than last.  The other dependable arm is Tommy Kahnle, but he had Tommy John surgery, and likely won’t be back to the team until the All-Star break at the earliest. The Yankees need another good arm to strengthen their bullpen. The Yankees might consider Daren O’Day, who has the lowest ERA of 1.10 of any free agent; he would also be a cheap purchase. There are 18 free agents on the market.

MLB announces the best 2020 umpire of the year

The Yankees fans surely know the names of Angel Hernandez and CB Buckner, both of which have cost the Yankees runs and much drama with managers and coaches being thrown out of games when they became upset by the erroneous calls of these two umpires. They are, without a doubt, the two worst umpires in baseball.

If the worst needs to be named, then so does the best. Pat Hoberg has been named the best and most accurate umpire of the 2020 season.

 

New York Yankees: Luke Voit eager to avenge the postseason defeat

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees were convinced that they could defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. First baseman Luke Voit even said “we are going to win it,” after the Bombers took Game 4 behind a good start from Jordan Montgomery. However, the offense wasn’t there and they fell short 2-1, losing the best-of-five series.

On Thursday, Voit appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter and talked about the disappointing loss, one that has been tough to swallow for the New York Yankees’ players and the fanbase. “It was really tough on us, but we will get them next year,’’ he said.

The Rays were very problematic for the Yankees. In the regular season, they won eight of the ten matchups between the two teams. And later, in the postseason, they sent the Bombers packing with the series victory in San Diego.

They beat the Yankees fair and square

Even still, Voit wasn’t being a sore loser. He praised Tampa’s talent, he just wants next season to get here already so the Yankees can avenge the defeat.

“They are a feisty bunch of hitters. They kind of play small-ball, find a way to get guys over, bunt and going first to third,’’ Voit said. “Their pitching depth is unbelievable. You have to give them some credit. They will bring their closer in the fourth inning just to get through the part of our lineup. It’s a different philosophy, but it is working.’’

“They took it to us, but you know what? We are going to be back next year and get after it,’’ Voit said. “But at the end of the day, you have to tip your cap even though it is frustrating and not what we want as Yankee nation.’’

The Rays are currently up 3-2 against the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. They held a 3-0 lead, but the Astros have fought back and are now about to even the matchup if Tampa doesn’t close it out.

Yankees trade rumors: Could Luke Voit and Gio Urshela be on the way out?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

With the rumor mill starting to fire up as we head closer toward the hot stove months, the New York Yankees will once again be a focal point among negotiations and discussions. The Bombers are always involved with some of the biggest names in baseball, but this time they could elect to be sellers and make some significant changes.

While manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman were non-committal toward big off-season moves, the Yankees need to make some changes to bolster their team. Ranging from the starting pitching rotation to their defensive efficiency in the infield, there are a few ways the Yankees can improve their chances of success in 2021.

Now, I would never recommend trading away your best players, but the Yankees have an opportunity to sell high on two of their more efficient ones in 2020.

Personally, I think Gio Urshela is un-tradable at this point, given his rise to stardom and defensive qualities on the hot corner. However, I don’t necessarily hate the idea of selling high on Luke Voit and moving DJ LeMahieu over to first base. That would allow Gleyber Torres to play his more comfortable position at second and open up the idea of signing another shortstop for the time being.

The Yankees need to think long-term dominance, as they continue to fail with their current model:

While it hurts to write the word “trade” and “Voit” in the same sentence, sometimes you have to do what’s best for the team’s long-term appropriation. His breakout season this year re-affirms that he is a solid MLB player and that the St. Louis Cardinals should’ve never parted ways with him.

However, the Yankees have their future at first base with LeMahieu if they want to go that route, and they can’t continue to commit to Torres at shortstop given his inability to make routine throws.

Given the Bombers’ lack of elite pitching prospects, aside from Deivi Garcia, trading Voit for a few notable names could be of value. Buying low and selling high is ultimately how you build a strong team for the future, and Brian Cashman did a fantastic job targeting specific players to fit his mold. Voit is exactly what they want in a slugging first baseman, but their infield issues might force their hand.

One former Yankee, Mark Teixeira, thinks that treating him is a good idea.

“As good as Luke Voit is, and as popular as he is, his value has never been higher,” said Teixeira.

Urshela is another player that was traded for cash considerations (25K) from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018. The Yankees could easily sell him for a sizeable return, and doing so while his value is still high makes sense. Again, I personally don’t think they should give Urshela away, considering the value he’s brought to the team and cementing third base, but nothing is impossible.

New York Yankees: Luke Voit Injury Update

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

In Brian Cashman’s year-end press conference, he gave an injury update on New York Yankees first-baseman Luke Voit. He said that Voit had a PRP shot for the plantar fasciitis he’s been dealing with all season.

Although he was hobbling all season, Voit refused to be put on the IL. The team saw extensive injuries once again this season, and they couldn’t afford to put him on the IL.

Voit had an all-star caliber season, although it might never get recognized due to the short season and the absence of an all-star game. In 213 at-bats, Voit bat .277, hit 22 home runs and drove in 52 runs. His OPS was just shy of .950 while he sustained a 1.5 WAR on the season.

He was one of the few players to stay off the IL for the entirety of the season and was one of the best players on the team. They got Voit in 2018 in a trade that saw Giovanny Gallegos go to St. Louis with cash considerations for him. He immediately made an impact, batting .333 and hitting 14 home runs. 2019 saw Voit hit .263 with 21 home runs, a season where he battled injuries and landed on the IL.

Voit’s proven to the Yankees that he’s the franchise first-baseman. They’ve experimented with several first-basemen since the Mark Teixeria era, such as Greg Bird, Chris Carter, and Matt Holliday. But, Voit’s performance over the last few years have shown that he deserves the role.

One of the only good things about the Yankees being eliminated from the postseason is that it allows the team to get healthy. Voit was battling an injury all year, and his perseverance went unnoticed. Now, he can 100% recover to have an even bigger 2021 season.

Yankees’ Luke Voit opens up about foot injury that plagued him all season

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees ended their season in game five against the Tampa Bay Rays in game 5 of the ALDS on Friday night. Despite Gerrit Cole lasting 5.1 innings and allowing just one earned run, the Yankees simply couldn’t bail him out with their inconsistent offense.

The story for the Yankees this year has been their inability to put runs on the board consistently. One day they will post 15 on any given team and then go on a five-game streak of three runs or less. Losing two consecutive games in the middle of the series to the Rays was always going to be tough to come back from, and questionable pitching decisions in game 2 set the Yankees back significantly.

However, injuries were the main storyline for the Yankees this year, who lost Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton for the majority of the season. That is not to mention starting pitcher James Paxton also going down with a flexor strain, forcing him out of the postseason.

If Paxton would have been available, the Yankees might have had a better chance of winning game 2 and moving onto the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Of course, that wasn’t the case, and the Yankees are now looking forward to 2021 free agency and who they can pick up to bolster the rotation.

The New York Yankees had one player rise above the rest in 2020:

One player that rose to the occasion was Luke Voit, who finished the regular campaign with a .277 batting average and 22 home runs, the most in his four-year professional career. He hit home runs at nearly double the rate this season, keeping the Yankees afloat when their other sluggers were missing time due to injury. Voit, though, was also dealing with issues of his own, specifically on his foot.

“The plan is for me to go back and get it looked at,” Voit said told reporters after the game. “I think it’s just your classic case of plantar fasciitis. But, again, I don’t know. Plan on getting something done on Sunday like an MRI and see what the problem is. I really don’t know. I wasn’t trying to be secretive about it. We just didn’t know.”

Voit has been visibly limping for weeks but decided to play through the injury because his team needed him. His toughness and grit were exactly what the Bombers needed, while other players dropped out of the starting lineup for minor issues. He was their saving grace and has cemented himself as the starting first baseman moving forward.

“I feel like I let my team down,” he said. “I feel like I had a terrible five games against those guys and they’ve got good pitching and we’ve got to do better. It’s frustrating. It sucks. Just fuel for the fire for next year.”

He added, “I hate this feeling. It sucks. it’s the third year in a row going through it. Going to use it in every workout, every (batting practice) session, cage session I have and be ready for spring training next year.”

The Yankees have the talent to compete and win a World Series, they just have inconsistencies in there most influential units. Their starting rotation is weak, and they don’t have enough contact hitters. We can expect two things this off-season, one, they will re-sign DJ LeMahieu for at least four years, and they will go out and sign a true No. 2 starting pitcher to pair with Gerrit Cole.

Yankees’ Luke Voit has challenging words for Rays heading into game 5

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

In a must-win game 4 against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS on Thursday evening, the New York Yankees came storming back to tie the game at 2-2. Thanks to a solid offensive performance, the Bombers were able to push the series one more game, but their pitching was the catalyst all evening.

Starter Jordan Montgomery was magnificent, lasting 4.0 innings and allowing just one run and three hits. On the other hand, the bullpen was also tantalizing, not allowing a single hit over five innings.

However, following the victory, slugger Luke Voit had challenging words for the raise, stating, “we’re gonna win it.”

Voit finished game two with a solo home run in the second inning, getting the Yankees started and activating their offense once again. Voit has been the catalyst this season in the lineup, playing through a foot injury and noticeably limping around the field.

His will to fight on has been admirable, while players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have missed significant time with their own individual issues.

Nonetheless, the Yankees and Rays will have a legendary matchup on Friday evening. With Gerrit Cole on the mound, posting six innings of work and allowing three runs in game one, Tampa Bay will be utilizing Tyler Glasnow, who is only on two days of rest after pitching five innings and 93 pitches on Wednesday.

This is Cole’s biggest game in pinstripes up to this point, and exactly why the Yankees gave him a $324 million deal over nine-years. He needs to show up in this contest and lead them to victory, bringing the team one step closer to the World Series. Facing off against the Houston Astros in the ALCS just seems like destiny at this point.

New York Yankees Postseason Recap: Yankees bounce back with 5-1 win, evening the series (video)

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Last night in San Diego, the New York Yankees facing elimination in the ALDS, bounced back with a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The got reliable pitching from Jordan Montgomery, Chad Green, and Zack Britton. Aroldis Chapman closed it out for the Yankees, and the win was accompanied by a few home runs.

The Yankees won the ALDS’s first game at Petco Park against the Rays but then lost two games in a row when pitching and hitting both failed. In game one, Gerrit Cole didn’t have his best stuff but held back the Rays for the 9-3 Yankee win.  In-game two, and attempt to have an opener game backfired. Deivi Garcia started the game giving up one run and was replaced by J.A. Happ, who didn’t have it giving up four runs for the eventual 7-5 loss.  On Wednesday night Masahiro Tanaka failed miserably in the Yankee 8-4 when the bullpen doubled the damage.

In both of the New York Yankees losses, the big bats were relatively silent, and hitters left the player on base, contributing to the losses. The only Yankee player that was hot, was Giancarlo Stanton, who hit two homers in the first loss and a two-run long ball in the second loss.  That all changed last night Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres both hit home runs.

Jordan Montgomery started the night out by throwing only eight pitches in the first inning and striking out the incredibly hot Randy Arozarena. Ryan Thompson, the Tampa Bay Rays starter, matched Montgomery in the bottom of the frame by striking out he equally hot Giancarlo Stanton. Montgomery got through the first two innings throwing only 19 pitches.

At the bottom of the second inning, the Yankees erupted for two runs. Luke Voit first struck by hitting a solo shot, for his first home run of the postseason. Voit was the regular-season home run leader in all of baseball. DJ LeMahieu delivered a sac fly driving in Brett Gardner for the second run of the inning. At the top of the third inning, “Monty gave up a walk, and Brandon Lowe got an RBI, as the Rays scored a run. The game then remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning.

Montgomery went four innings giving up just the one run while striking out four Rays. Chad Green came in in relief and pitched two shut out innings. He was replaced by Zack Britton who pitched 1.2 innings, striking out three.  At the bottom of the sixth with Brett Gardner on, Gleyber Torres stepped to the plate and homered into the fourth deck of the Western Metal Supply Company that Petco Park is built around. Yankees 4 and the Rays 1. The final run of the game for the Yankees was scored by Torres when catcher Kyle Higashioka drove him in the bottom of the eighth. Aroldis Chapman closed it out for the Yankees throwing fastballs at 101 mph.

The winner was Chad Green, the loser Ryan Thompson and Chapman got the save. The New York Yankee win saved them from elimination and forced a winner take all game tonight at Petco Park. The Yankees will send out ace Gerrit Cole on three days rest, and the Tampa Bay Rays will, on only two days rest, send Yankee killer Tyler Glasnow to the mound.  It is doubtful either starter will go very deep into the game, and the bullpens of both teams may decide the 2020 ALDS.

 

 

New York Yankees Postseason Preview: Facing elimination tonight the Yankees have to get two more wins

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

The New York Yankees are coming off two poorly hit games that were equally poorly pitched.  On Tuesday night, Deivi Garcia gave up one run and was replaced by J.A. Happ, who pitched poorly and blew the game. Last night the usually dependable Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have it and couldn’t locate his pitches; he gave up five runs in five innings.  If the Yankees pitch and hit like that have in the last two games against the Tampa Bay Rays, they will be going back to Yankees Stadium to clean out their lockers and call it another failed season.

Tonight will be possibly a deciding game at Petco Park between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS. The game at 4:10 pm PDT (7:10 pm EDT) will be played with a setting sun in San Diego. Like last night the sun may cause some issues early in the game.  I will be a near-perfect night for baseball with temperatures right about 70 degrees, with no chance of a shower. The game will be broadcast on TBS.

Tonight’s game will be as much a chess game between two managers with big decisions to be made as much as it will be a baseball game. The Tampa Bay Rays, out of starting pitchers, will start Ray’s reliever, Ryan Thompson vs. the Yankee’s Jordan Montgomery, who hasn’t pitched in nearly two weeks. Neither team is happy about their starters in the game, and both will be on a short leash in this huge game for both teams.

At the top of the first, Jordan Montgomery will take the Yankees’ mound, having not pitched at all in the postseason.  Tremendous pressure will be on “Monty” not to screw up because if he does, the Yankees season may be over. Montgomery, on the regular season, was 2-3 with an elevated ERA of 5.11. Jordan gave up seven earned runs in his last to starts of the regular season.

The Tampa Bay Rays will send out reliever Ryan Thompson to start their half of the first inning. The Rays will treat this as an opener game, something they are very experienced with.  Thompson is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.44. He hasn’t pitched more than two innings in any game this season. He pitched 2 clean innings in the game the Ray’s lost on Monday. This will be the first postseason start of his career.

Tampa Bay will come out tonight energized by their last two wins and ready to take the series from the Yankees. The Yankees have to come out with that same energy and conviction if they will have any chance of winning this game four.  The Yankees will pull out all the stops; they will use premium reliever Zack Britton, who they haven’t taken advantage of in the first three games of the ALDS. Deivi Garcia, who only pitched one inning, may be brought in in relief. Don’t be surprised to see Aroldis Chapman in earlier than expected. The Yankees will have to use every trick in the baseball book to prevent elimination tonight.

In the Wild Card Series, the Yankees looked like the Murder’s row.  They are going to have that same energy and offense exhibited in those games.  They have the talent, they have the power; they have to go out there and do it.

For the Yankees lineup, Giancarlo Stanton has been carrying the load pretty much by himself; he had hit a single and a homer last night, and two homers the night before.  Meanwhile, Yankee stars Aaron Judge, baseball’s batting champion DJ LeMahieu and home run leader Luke Voit have not contributed in any substantial way. They must find it and perform tonight to support the Yankee pitchers, as there is no tomorrow to work it out if the New York Yankees are to advance.

If the New York Yankees can win it tonight, they have a chance to win the ALDS when Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitches on short rest on Friday night, probably against Blake Snell, who the Yankees have already bested.