Holy crap, there’s going to be Yankees baseball soon. There’s some rain in the forecast, but we’ll see how that goes. For now, let’s plan on watching some baseball at 7.
The Yankees come back strong. Over his last five starts, A.J. Burnett has been the Yankees best pitcher, tossing 33.2 innings to a 1.34 ERA. He hasn’t pitched since July 8, which is a shame. Hopefully the long layoff doesn’t affect how he tosses tonight. The Yanks could use a good one.
He’ll be opposed by rookie Lucas French. A 2004 8th-round pick, French made two scoreless relief appearances in May before heading back to Toledo. The team recalled him in early July, and he’s recorded two starts since. The first, against Minnesota, wasn’t very good, as he lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing two runs. The second was much better, as he held the Royals to one run over 6.1 innings. Zack Grienke gave up three runs over six, and the Tigers prevailed.
Lucas was never a strikeout guy in the minors, setting down just a hair under six per nine. We’ve seen plenty of minor leaguers accomplish that feat and see an enormous drop-off when coming to the majors, because their stuff just doesn’t translate. Still, French has kept his walks and home runs in check, and once his hit rate took a dip, he found success at AAA Toledo this year.
It’s tough to get a read on French’s repertoire through pitch f/x. During his start against Kansas City it appears he threw 41 changeups to 21fastballs. Considering the max speed on the change is 87.7 mph, it’s easy to see that some of those are misclassified. He had a similar problem in his first start against Minnesota, where his slider was recorded as a cutter. We do know that he’s a fastball-slider-changeup guy who barely touches 90 with his max velocity.
Yanks trot out the A-lineup tonight (Gardner and Cabrera are interchangeable in the A-lineup, IMO). Pray for no rain.