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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Archive for the ‘Misc’

“He’s been really hot and that’s why he’s playing every day”06.27.15

Chris Young

From Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press. I’m heading to a wedding today, so blog content might be rather light this weekend. I’ll be back with the team in Los Angeles on Monday.

HOUSTON (AP) — Two New York Yankees from Houston stole the show against the Astros on Friday night.

Chris Young had a go-ahead, three-run homer among three more hits in his hometown, lifting the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Astros.

Nathan Eovaldi (7-2), who grew up just outside of Houston in Alvin, Texas, yielded five hits and two runs with six strikeouts in six innings to give him a career-high seven wins. He did it just feet away from fellow Alvin native Nolan Ryan, who sat in the front row just behind home plate.

He’s never met the Hall of Famer and didn’t realize he was sitting there until his night was almost done. He hopes to meet him before the series is over.

Nathan Eovaldi“Growing up for me I connected baseball with him,” Eovaldi said. “In our town it was Nolan Ryan everything. You go to any restaurant his memorabilia and everything was there.”

New York managed just three hits through the first six innings. The Yankees trailed 2-0 before Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones had back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh to chase Houston rookie starter Vince Velasquez.

He was replaced by Will Harris (4-1), who was greeted with Young’s shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field to put the Yankees on top.

“Will’s been fantastic,” manager A.J. Hinch said of Harris, who has a 1.03 ERA. “He had one bad pitch in about a month.”

Young, who extended his hitting-streak to a career high-tying nine games Friday, has nine homers, 33 RBIs and 14 multihit games in 25 career games at Minute Maid Park.

“It definitely doesn’t hurt to have some extra support behind your back and a little extra kind of fire up under you when you step to the plate,” Young said. “You always have it under you, but anybody I think will agree that when you have 50 people in the stands, it definitely makes a difference.”

Young’s recent hitting streak has raised his average from .220 to .271.

“He’s been really hot and that’s why he’s playing every day,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Carlos Correa had a run-scoring single in the third inning for Houston and an RBI single by Evan Gattis made it 2-0 in the sixth.

Chasen Shreve struck out the side in the seventh for New York for his 13th straight scoreless appearance and Dellin Betances struck out two in 1 1-3 innings for his fifth save. Betances leads all relievers in the majors with 61 strikeouts.

Velasquez, who was making his fourth career start, allowed five hits and two runs in a season-high 6 1-3 innings.

Colby Rasmus, Mark TeixeiraJose Altuve singled with one out in the sixth inning and stole second base on a strikeout by Luis Valbuena. It was the first time a runner stole a base with Eovaldi on the mound since June 13, 2014, and it was Altuve’s American League-leading 21st steal.

Altuve made it 2-0 when he scored on a bloop single by Gattis that dropped in between Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner in shallow center field as both Drew and Gregorius fell to the ground trying to catch it.

Young singled in the fifth, but the Yankees couldn’t do anything else in that inning. Chase Headley singled with one out in the sixth before Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Jones robbed Colby Rasmus of a hit when he slid on his knees for a catch for the last out of the fourth inning.

Gardner continued his recent hot hitting with a double off the wall in center field with two outs in the third inning, but Velasquez retired Headley to end the threat. Gardner had two hits on Friday night and has three doubles, one triple, four homers and 10 RBIs in his last eight games.

Hank Conger hit a one-out double in the third inning and scored on a single by Correa with two outs to make it 1-0.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out since May 19 with a sprained right knee, was traveling to Houston on Friday. Girardi said he’ll work out on Saturday and the team would decide whether he’s ready to go on a rehabilitation assignment. Girardi said the Yankees need to see him run at 100 percent before he can be sent out.

Astros: Placed right-handed reliever Chad Qualls on the disabled list on Friday with a pinched nerve in his neck. … RHP Scott Feldman, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on May 29, felt good after throwing off the mound in a bullpen session on Thursday. “Actually he felt better than he expected and that’s a positive sign,” Hinch said. “He’s making strides.”

UP NEXT

New York’s Masahiro Tanaka (4-3) opposes left-hander Brett Oberholtzer (2-1) when the series continues on Saturday. Tanaka will be pitching on extended rest of five days after tying career highs by allowing seven runs and 10 hits in a loss to Detroit on June 21.

Associated Press photos

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Game 74: Yankees at Astros06.26.15

Carlos BeltranYANKEES (39-34)
Brett Gardner CF
Chase Headley 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran DH
Garrett Jones RF
Chris Young LF
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 4.95)
Eovaldi vs. Astros

ASTROS (43-32)
George Springer RF
Carlos Correa SS
Jose Altuve 2B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Evan Gattis DH
Colby Rasmus CF
Chris Carter 1B
Preston Tucker LF
Hank Conger C

RHP Vince Velasquez (0-0, 4.15)
Velasquez has never faced the Yankees

TIME/TV: 8:10 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Temperatures in the 70s with some chance of rain.

UMPIRES: HP Kerwin Danley, 1B Rob Drake, 2B Ben May, 3B Joe West

HOMETOWN KID: Chris Young, a graduate of Houston’s Bellaire High School, is batting .433 with seven runs, three doubles, a home run and five RBI during his season-high eight-game hitting streak. The streak has raised his season batting average from .220 to .259.

FOREVER YOUNG: The hot streak might have tempted Joe Girardi to give Young this start against a right-handed starter, but Young’s really struggled against right this season (.177/.202/.323). Against lefties, though, Young has been a real force. He least A.L. hitters (and ranks second in the Majors) with a .379 batting average vs. left-handed pitchers this season.

ON THIS DATE: On June 26, 1944, the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants played a three-way exhibition game at the Polo Grounds to promote the purchase of war bonds. Each team batted six times and played the field six times, while a crowd of 50,000 fans bought $5.5 million in war bonds. Brooklyn wons by a score of 5 to 1 (Yankees) to 0 (Giants).

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Pregame notes: Ellsbury getting closer to starting rehab assignment06.26.15

Just a few quick things before the Yankees get started tonight in Houston.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Rene Rivera• I’m assuming this comes from Joe Girardi’s pregame media session: Andrew Marchand reports that Jacoby Ellsbury will workout tomorrow in Houston and could start a rehab assignment as early as Monday. If that happens, I would think he could be back with the team when they get home on Friday. I wouldn’t think the Yankees would have Ellsbury rehab Monday and Tuesday and then fly cross country to play that last game in Los Angeles, but who knows?

• Predictably this is just a day off for Alex Rodriguez. Might be assuming this is a good chance to rest Rodriguez against a kid who was called up straight from Double-A earlier this month. Trusting the rest of the roster to actually have some success against him. Chris Young is the only right-handed hitter in the lineup (and Young’s been brutal against righties, but he’s also been hot lately).

• Getting a turn at DH in place of Rodriguez is Carlos Beltran, who’s hit .357/.438/.821 in his past seven games, and he’s hit .313/.378/.537 in the month of June. He’s actually been quite good at the plate since the end of April.

• If you’re curious about Astros starter Vincent Velasquez, he’s a part of the team’s massive youth movement. He was picked as the system’s No. 4 prospect this offseason, and he was called up just a few weeks ago. He’s made three big league starts this season. He’s walked a lot of guys, but the Astros have won two of his three starts. The only one they lost was his last start, in which he pitched five scoreless innings. He has yet to go more than five innings since reaching the majors.

• Good stuff from our good friend Bryan Hoch. Back in spring training, Hoch talked to Nolan Ryan about Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi. Those two are from the same town, so Ryan’s actually followed Eovaldi’s career since high school. Kind of cool. Ryan now works for the Astros, so he might be there to watch Eovaldi tonight.

Associated Press photo

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A-Rod out of the lineup; Beltran at DH06.26.15

Brett Gardner CF
Chase Headley 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran DH
Garrett Jones RF
Chris Young LF
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B

RHP Nathan Eovaldi

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Minor league notes: Mitchell finally getting a look Yankees’ bullpen06.26.15

Bryan Mitchell

our up, four down. That was the Wednesday outing that seems to have solidified Bryan Mitchell’s case for at last getting a real chance to play a role in the Yankees’ work-in-progress bullpen. He’d been called up to yet again serve as an extra long man, but Mitchell wound up delivering a relatively short but no-doubt impressive inning and a third. After the game, the Yankees sent two short relievers back to Triple-A, and they kept the guy they’d been passing over time and time again his season.

“I’ve been called up several times as kind of a backup and not pitched,” Mitchell said. “So I’m just happy to be getting some time out there on the mound.”

Mitchell’s pitched well most of the year in Triple-A. He’s had a few notable bumps in the road — he walked seven in one weird scoreless outing earlier this month; he also allowed six runs in just a third of an inning during a start in May — but all told he’s pitched to a 2.79 ERA with a .219 opponents’ batting average. He’s walked a lot of guys, but he’s also allowed more than three earned runs only once in 13 starts.

Despite that success, he’s gotten into only two big leagues games — one runs in 4.1 innings –mostly because the Yankees have treated him as a sixth starter, not as a real bullpen candidate. They’ve cycled through a long list of right-handed relievers, and all have come and gone with little more than a cup of coffee. Now Mitchell just might have a chance to stay. Why else keep him after Wednesday’s appearance?

“I mean, at this point I’m kind of ready for whatever,” Mitchell said. “Obviously I’d rather be here, so whatever they want me to do, I’m not against it. I’m just going to be ready for anything. … There’s only so many spots. I mean there’s, what, seven starters as it is? You’ve got to take what you can get sometimes.”

A few other notes from the minor league system:

Severino• Top pitching prospect Luis Severino starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight. It will be his sixth Triple-A start. So far, he’s 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. His last start was tremendous (7.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K on 97 pitches), the one before that was underwhelming (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K on 103 pitches). His strikeout rate is lower than it was in the lower levels, but the overall results are obviously encouraging.

• If the Yankees choose to keep Mitchell in the big leagues, it looks like they’ll have a Triple-A rotation of Severino, Kyle Davies, Esmil Rogers, Jaron Long and Jose De Paula (that last spot in the rotation has changed a lot, but De Paula cleared waivers and will likely fill the spot). Rogers was knocked around in his first Triple-A start after the outright assignment, but he went five scoreless innings last time out. Long had finally gotten on a roll before allowing 11 runs in a total dud of a start last night. In that one game Long’s ERA jumped from 4.04 to 5.11.

• Still an up-and-down year for top second base prospect Rob Refsnyder. His defense seems to have improved — last night’s error was his first since June 9 and only his second since May 22 — but his bat has fluctuated. Refsnyder hit .259/.302/.333 in April, rebounded to hit .304/.413/.435 in May, and has so far hit .247/.343/.366. It certainly hasn’t been a bad year at the plate for Refsnyder, but he hasn’t put up the overwhelming numbers that might force the Yankees to give him an everyday job in the big leagues.

Aaron Judge hit his first Triple-A home run last night. Through his first four games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Judge has hit just .154, but that’s a 13 at-bat sample size, so it’s hard to make much of it. He’s walked three times and struck out four times. With Judge on the roster, that Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team suddenly has an overloaded outfield again (for a while it was the infield that looked crowded). Ramon Flores and Tyler Austin are obviously priorities as well, and Ben Gamel been impossible to ignore. Overshadowed by some of the other left-handed outfielders in this system, Gamel opened the season as kind of the fourth outfielder in Scranton, but he’s taken over as the leadoff hitter and regular center fielder while hitting .301/.361/.450. It will be interesting to see how Gamel’s handled once Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott are healthy.

Ruth• Last season it was Jaron Long and Mike Ford who made a name for themselves as undrafted prospects. This year, it’s Double-A starter Eric Ruth who’s beginning to stand out. Signed in 2013, he was used primarily as a reliever until this season when he’s pitched to a 2.03 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP out of the Trenton rotation. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start only once — never more than four runs — and he hadn’t lost a game until this week. If he had enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title (he wasn’t a constant on the roster until May) he’d be fourth in the Eastern League right now.

• While Ruth’s ineligible for the ERA title, it’s currently his teammate Brady Lail who ranks fourth in the Eastern League with a 2.48 ERA. An 18th-round pick back in 2012, Lail’s becoming one of the better pitching prospects in the system. He was pretty good in A-ball last season, and this year he’s pitched to a 1.22 WHIP in Trenton. In his past two starts he’s gone 14 innings with two runs, two walks and 12 strikeouts. He has a 1.90 ERA since the end of April.

• For good reason there’s been a lot of focus on the Triple-A relievers bouncing back and forth to the big leagues, but there are a few guys putting up good numbers out of the Trenton bullpen as well. Best of the bunch might be Nick Goody, a legitimate relief prospect who was slowed by injuries in previous seasons. Now he has a 1.12 WHIP with 45 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. He allowed a homer on Wednesday, but that was on the second he’d given up this year, and the first time he allowed more than one run in an outing. Mark Montgomery and Caleb Cotham — a couple of somewhat forgotten prospects — have also pitched well out of the Trenton pen, while putting up even better numbers in limited Triple-A opportunities. Worth noting that Kyle Haynes was also dealing out of the bullpen before being converted to the rotation.

• Acquired in that David Carpenter trade earlier this month, second baseman Tony Renda has hit .244/.326/.293 since joining the Trenton lineup. He’s also made a whopping seven errors already. He’s been labeled as a solid defender, but he’s obviously run into a rough stretch.

Fowler• With Mark Payton, Danny Oh and Matt Snyder promoted to Double-A, the High-A Tampa lineup is filled with pretty underwhelming numbers so far this season. Third base prospect Miguel Andujar is hitting just .215/.258/.332, and first baseman Mike Ford — after hitting his way onto the radar last season — is hitting .228/.312/.285. Even Dante Bichette hasn’t hit much since coming down from Double-A. Might get a boost from center fielder Dustin Fowler, who was just promoted to Tampa after hitting .307/.340/.419 in Charleston.

• Not a lot of offense coming out of Tampa these days, but Jordan Montgomery (2.89 ERA and 0.80 WHIP since coming up from Charleston) and Rookie Davis (77 strikeouts and 1.17 WHIP) have been outstanding out of the Tampa rotation. Jonathan Holder has also pitched very well this season (2.53 ERA and 1.05 WHIP) has also been excellent, but he’s currently on the disabled list.

• Tampa shortstop Tyler Wade has finally hit a slump in the month of June. After hitting .338 in April and .307 in May, Wade’s hit just .169/.272/.211 in the month of June. He’s made 17 errors this season, but he’s made only one in his past 16 games.

Foley • It only lasted four innings, but Low-A starter Jordan Foley really gave Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a really nice spot start on Wednesday. The Triple-A team needed an arm, and Foley jumped three levels to give them a solid one-run outing. Hard to ask for more than that out of a guy who was in way over his head at that level. Foley’s having a solid year down in Charleston. He was the Yankees’ fifth-round pick last year, and he’s had more than a strikeout per inning with a 3.77 ERA. Too many walks, but not a bad year so far. Also on that pitching staff, Joey Maher has pitched well in various roles with a 0.94 ERA in eight starts and seven relief appearances.

• Interesting to see right fielder Austin Aune starting to be productive down in Charleston. He was a second-round pick back in 2012, and he’s always struck out way too much, but this year he’s hitting .273/.310/.508 with five homers in the month of June. He’s still striking out a ton, but he’s done enough when he’s made contact to actually provide some production.

• After he hit .161 through 39 games with Charleston, second baseman Gosuke Katoh has emerged on the roster of short-season Pulaski (the new minor league affiliate). Katoh was the second-round pick in 2013, and last year the Yankees gave him a full year in Charleston depite a .222/.345/.326 slash line. This year, they’ve moved him down. Looks like they’re trying to get something going. Hasn’t shown much since that first half season of pro ball.

• Returning from Tommy John surgery, Vicente Campos made his season debut with a Gulf Coast League start on Monday. Campos struck out five, walked none and allowed three runs through 4.2 innings. We’ll see how the Yankees use him moving forward. He was in Charleston in 2013.

Associated Press photo of Mitchell; headshots of Severino, Ruth, Fowler and Foley

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Lohud Yankees chat begins at noon06.26.15

If you cannot view the chat above, find it here.

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“It’s too bad we didn’t get him some runs”06.26.15

Mark Teixeira, Joe West

First, a quick reminder that we’ll be doing a chat today at noon. Stop by if you can. Solid way to spend an hour or so before we all head into the weekend. Until thing, here’s the Associated Press account of last night’s shutout loss in Houston. I thought Adam Warren was perfectly good, the strike zone was definitely questionable and Dallas Keuchel was absolutely excellent regardless of the zone. 

Adam WarrenHOUSTON (AP) — Adam Warren continued his string of consistent strong outings Thursday night.

The Yankees’ offense just couldn’t back up their pitcher’s efforts.

Dallas Keuchel pitched a six-hitter and struck out a career-high 12 in his second shutout in less than a month to lead the Houston Astros to a 4-0 win over the New York Yankees.

Warren (5-5) allowed three runs — two earned — and five hits with four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for the Yankees.

“I was using all my pitches and I was trying to get into good counts,” Warren said. “I felt like when I got in trouble it was in bad counts. Just trying to take advantage of their aggressiveness.”

The loss was Warren’s first in four starts. He has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts.

“Again, he pitched extremely well again tonight,” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “You know he’s been consistent, really consistent for us. It’s too bad we didn’t get him some runs.”

Warren’s spot in the rotation has been up in the air following the return of Ivan Nova. Warren said he had not been told anything.

“I’m pleased with the way I’ve competed and how much I’ve learned as a starter,” Warren said. “Just trying to take it one day at a time but I’m very pleased with how far I’ve come since the beginning of the year.”

Chris Young and Carlos Beltran each had two of New York’s six hits as the Yankees lost for the fourth time in five games.

Keuchel (9-3) gave up six singles and walked one while topping his previous best of 11 strikeouts in a shutout over the White Sox on May 30.

Chase Headley, Joe Girardi“With that kind of guy, he’s their ace and we hit some balls hard right at people just no luck,” the Yankees’ Stephen Drew said. “At the same time he’s a great pitcher, he’s got good movement and working in and out of the zone. We got to him a little bit in the ninth but it was too late.”

The left-hander retired 18 of 19 during one stretch, including 15 straight before Alex Rodriguez’s single with two outs in the ninth. Mark Texeira then walked and Beltran singled to load the bases, but Keuchel got Jose Pirela to ground into a force out to end the game.

“You’re hoping you get a home run,” Girardi said of the ninth. “You’ve got a short left-field porch and you know that he’s tired. He’s given up a hit and a walk and got behind Carlos and you know that he’s fatigued and you hope you hit one out.”

Keuchel rebounded from his worst start of the season when he allowed five runs and walked four Saturday at Seattle.

Jose Altuve had three hits and scored three times. Evan Gattis had an RBI single in the sixth and an RBI double in the eighth.

Preston Tucker’s RBI double gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the second.

Colby Rasmus’ sacrifice fly scored Altuve to stretch the Astros’ lead to 2-0 in the fourth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, out since May 19 with a sprained right knee, is improving and Girardi hopes that he can return sometime during this road trip which ends July 1. “We need to get him to run 100 percent before we feel comfortable sending him out on a short rehab,” Girardi said. “You want to see him turn it loose and be able to feel good the next day and say … there are no issues.”

Astros: RHP Scott Feldman, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on May 29, threw off the mound on Thursday in a bullpen session. Feldman’s recovery is expected to take about six weeks.

UP NEXT

Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-2) will start the second game of the series against the Astros looking to set a career-high with his seventh win this season.

Astros: RHP Vince Velasquez is still looking for his first career win after three straight no-decisions. Velasquez only allowed a run in his last start but lasted just 3 1/3 innings after throwing 93 pitches.

A-ROD LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING CORREA

Rodriguez was looking forward to getting a good look at Houston rookie shortstop Carlos Correa during this series. Correa, who was the top overall pick in the 2012 draft, is often compared to Rodriguez. He hoped to get to spend some time with Correa, and reminisced about meeting a star shortstop when he was a young player.

“I remember clearly when I broke into the league and we played against the Baltimore Orioles and (meeting) Cal Ripken and to me as an 18-year-old that was one of the biggest thrills of my life,” Rodriguez said. “I had a chance to have a little meet and greet with him for 10 minutes … before batting practice at the old Kingdome and to me that’s still one of the 10 minutes that I cherish.”

Associated Press photos

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Game 73: Yankees at Astros06.25.15

Chris YoungYANKEES (39-33)
Chris Young CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Jose Pirela LF
John Ryan Murphy C
Stephen Drew SS
Gregorio Petit 2B

RHP Adam Warren (5-4, 3.62)
Warren vs. Astros

ASTROS (42-32)
George Springer RF
Carlos Correa SS
Jose Altuve 2B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Evan Gattis DH
Colby Rasmus CF
Preston Tucker LF
Marwin Gonzalez 1B
Jason Castro C

LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-3, 2.35)
Keuchel vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 8:10 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Temperatures in the 70s with some chance of rain.

UMPIRES: HP Joe West, 1B Kerwin Danley, 2B Rob Drake, 3B Ben May

HOME RUN DERBY: This series marks the first meeting between the Majors’ top two home-run-hitting clubs. The Yankees have hit 98 homers and the Astros have hit 107. The Yankees did not homer Wednesday, snapping their six-game multi-homer streak, the second-longest streak in the Majors this season (Houston went eight games earlier this month).

SOME SUCCESS: Obviously Keuchel has taken his game to a different level the past two years, but this group of Yankees actually have had some success against him. Collectively, the current Yankees have actually hit .311/.367/.644 against Keuchel. Chris Young has the most at-bats against him, and he’s hit .308/.357/.615 in 13 at-bats against him.

LAST STAND? Adam Warren has the start tonight, but with the Yankees about to cut down to five starter, this could be his final start before what’s starting to feel like an inevitable move into the bullpen.

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Pregame notes: Pirela in the outfield for the first time in the big leagues06.25.15

Jose Pirela

Just a few quick things before the Yankees get started down in Houston:

• Jose Pirela gets a start in left field. Last time a lot of us saw Pirela in the outfield, he was crashing into a wall in spring training, ruining his chances of breaking camp on the big league roster. But Pirela played more outfield than infield during his Triple-A stint earlier this season. He also played 50 Triple-A games in the outfield last season, and another 20 games in the outfield during winter ball. The outfield is not foreign to him, and his versatility is a huge part of his value.

• Joe Girardi said today’s just a healthy day off for Brett Gardner and Brian McCann. He’s obviously trying to play as many righties as possible. Houston starter Dallas Keuchel is holding lefties to a .141/.180/.200 slash line this season. Righties have only a .565 OPS against him, but that’s a ton better than lefties who are managing just a .380 OPS against the Astros ace.

• Why sit Gardner when he’s red hot? What’s more likely to throw Gardner off his game, a day on the bench or four at-bats against Keuchel? Gardner’s played a ton, and even when he’s hot, might make sense to choose today as the day to give him a break.

• Girardi said Jacoby Ellsbury will join the Yankees in Houston, but he’s not yet ready to play in games. If he’s coming to Houston, he has to be close, right? Why else even bring him on the road?

• Earlier today it was announced that Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will represent the Yankees in next month’s Futures Game. If it seems weird that Luis Severino was left out, remember that he played in the game last year. I don’t think there’s a rule saying a player can’t play in the Futures Game twice, just doesn’t seem to happen very often.

• Speaking of minor leaguers: Andrew Bailey has been activated from the Triple-A disabled list and assigned to High-A Tampa. That’s after he pitched 1.1 innings in a Gulf Coast League game on Monday. Hard to know whether Bailey’s any good at this point, but it’s certainly interesting to think of him as a right-handed possibility at some point.

• As you’ve probably seen on Twitter, Andy Pettitte is with the Yankees today and threw some batting practice. Pettitte lives outside of Houston and pitched the final game of his big league career in that ballpark. He and CC Sabathia remain close friends.

Associated Press photo

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Jose Pirela making a start in left field; Gardner out of the lineup06.25.15

YoungThe Yankees face a left-handed starter two of these first three games in Houston, so that could be an opening for Gregorio Petit to get some playing time these next few days. For tonight, it looks like Brett Gardner is getting a rare day off in this long stretch of games.

I’m not with the team in Houston — going to a wedding this weekend — but don’t forget we’re still doing a chat tomorrow at noon. Stop by if you can.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Chris Young CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Jose Pirela LF
John Ryan Murphy C
Stephen Drew SS
Gregorio Petit 2B

RHP Adam Warren

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