Shoulder inflammation sends Masahiro Tanaka to 10-day DL

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

1:03pm ET: Joe Girardi described the injury as fatigue, or a dead arm. There’s no structural damage and the Yankees are essentially planning to give Tanaka a ten-day break. He won’t throw for five days before getting back to it. That’s not so bad, as long as that’s all it really is.

12:24pm ET: The Yankees are down another starting pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation, the Yankees announced. Gio Gallegos was called up to fill the roster spot for the time being. The Yankees are already without CC Sabathia (knee) and Michael Pineda (elbow). Pineda is done for the season with Tommy John surgery.

Perhaps the shoulder issue explains Tanaka’s rough start in Toronto three days ago, when he allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings plus two batters. Overall, this has been a poor season for Tanaka (4.92 ERA and 4.65 FIP), though he’s been much better over the last two months or so. He has a 3.33 ERA (3.64 FIP) in his last eleven starts after pitching to a 6.55 ERA (5.68 FIP) in his first 12 starts.

Tanaka’s next start was scheduled for Monday against the Mets, and the Yankees do have plenty of options to replace him. Bryan Mitchell is already stretched out and on the 25-man roster. Caleb Smith and Luis Cessa are sitting in Triple-A, as is Domingo German. All three of those guys are on the 40-man roster and eligible to be called up. None are within the ten-day send down window.

Chance Adams is a possibility as well, though he just started for Triple-A Scranton last night, so he’s not an option for Monday. The Yankees have an open 40-man roster spot. Adding Adams and calling him up at some point in the future would be a piece of cake. For what it’s worth, Smith is lined up to start tomorrow for the RailRiders and Cessa is lined up for Monday. That’s convenient.

There’s no word on how long Tanaka will be sidelined yet. I imagine he’s already had an MRI and all that. Sabathia received cortisone and lubrication injections in his troublesome right knee yesterday, and he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. It’s possible he could be activated as soon as his ten days on the DL are up, meaning the Yankees would only need someone to make one spot start to fill in for Tanaka before Sabathia returns.

The Yankees called Jordan Montgomery back up yesterday and he’s going to replace Sabathia. Montgomery is on a 180-ish innings limit this year, giving him roughly 60 more innings to go this year. That seems like plenty to get through the season, no? Hopefully. For now, the Yankees are down yet another starting pitching. Good thing they got two at the trade deadline, huh?

Saturday Links: Jeter, Postseason Schedule, Players Weekend

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

The Yankees and Red Sox continue their three-game weekend series with the middle game later today. It’s a 4pm ET start. Here are some links and notes to check out until game time.

Jeter agrees to purchase the Marlins (again)

A few weeks after his agreement to purchase the Marlins with Jeb Bush fell through, Derek Jeter has another deal in place to buy the team, reports Barry Jackson. Jeter teamed up with rich dude Bruce Sherman and several other minority investors (including Michael Jordan) to buy the team. The sale price is $1.2 billion — that’s the second most ever paid for an MLB franchise, behind the $2 billion the Dodgers sold for a few years back — and Jeter is kicking in $25M.

Jackson says Sherman will be the “control person” while Jeter will run the business and baseball sides of the organization, so he’s going to have a lot of responsibility. The sale is not yet final — two other potential Marlins sales have already fallen through this year, so this isn’t a formality — but Jeter and Sherman do have all the money in place and everything else is order. Now MLB needs to give their approval and the other 29 owners have to vote. That’s going to happen at the quarterly owners meetings in October, apparently.

2017 postseason schedule announced

It’s getting to be that time of year. Earlier this week MLB announced the 2017 postseason schedule, and since the Yankees are in the race this year, this information is pretty damn relevant. Much better than being on the outside looking in like three of the last four years. Here is the full postseason schedule and here are the dates potentially relevant to the Yankees:

  • AL Wild Card Game: Tuesday, October 3rd
  • ALDS (both of ’em): Thursday, October 5th through Wednesday, October 11th
  • ALCS: Friday, October 13th through Saturday, October 21st
  • World Series: Tuesday, October 24th through Wednesday, November 1st

The regular season ends Sunday, October 1st, so there’s only one off-day between the end of the regular season and the AL Wild Card Game this year. That could cause some headaches for teams trying to line up their ace for that winner-take-all game. The NL has two off-days between the end of the regular season and the Wild Card Game this year.

Also, homefield advantage in the World Series is no longer decided by the All-Star Game. That’s good. I hated that. (Even though the AL won this year.) Now homefield advantage will go to the pennant-winner with the best regular season record. That’s how it should be, I think.

MLB releases Players Weekend jerseys

A few weeks ago MLB announced that, later this month, the first (annual?) Players Weekend will be held from August 25th to the 27th. The Yankees will be home playing the Mariners that weekend. Teams will wear unique uniforms (hats, jerseys, socks, etc.) and the players will be allowed to wear nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. It’s pretty awesome. Here are the Yankees:

yankees-jerseys

This is so great. All-Starlin! A-A-Ron! Head and Toe! Aaron Judge told Erik Boland he was originally planning to put “AJ” or “Judge” on his jersey, but Todd Frazier talked him into All Rise, so here we are. Love Judge, but he could use a little more personality. Maybe pimp a homer every once in a while. (Looking at you too, Brett Gardner. “Gardner” on the jersey? Really?)

Anyway, as someone who may or may not have already purchased KRAKEN 24 and SIR DIDI 18 shirts, I love this whole Players Weekend idea. It’s fun. Baseball’s supposed to be fun. I couldn’t be any more tired of hearing about tradition and the way things have always been. Give me Players Weekend, The Judge’s Chambers, Clint Frazier‘s bright red hair, finger points into the dugout, give me all of it.

Yankees have not pursued Granderson

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have not pursued Curtis Granderson this month. He cleared trade waivers last week. The Yankees did try to acquire Jay Bruce from the Mets a few days ago, though that didn’t work out because the Mets wanted full salary relief. Granderson, like Bruce, is a left-handed power hitter, but he can only play the outfield. Bruce has some first base experience.

Granderson, 36, is in the final season of his four-year, $60M contract. He’s making $15M this year and it stands to reason the Mets will look to unload his salary at some point. Granderson is hitting .221/.327/.452 (105 wRC+) with 16 home runs overall this season, but since May 1st, he’s put up a .261/.384/.548 (143 wRC+) batting line with 15 of those 16 homers. The Yankees have an opening at designated hitter and could really use another lefty power bat, which Granderson would provide. Doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen though.

Hicksie to the rescue: Yankees come back late for 5-4 win over Red Sox in series opener

Best win of the season? Best win of the season. If not the best, then certainly the biggest. Led by Aaron Hicks and his healthy oblique, the Yankees mounted a remarkable eighth inning comeback against the Red Sox to earn a 5-4 win Friday night. See? Baseball is actually extremely good.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Five In The Eighth
For the first seven innings Friday night, the offense was completely lifeless. They couldn’t muster much of anything against Eduardo Rodriguez through his six innings. The Yankees scattered three walks and two doubles through the first seven innings of the game. That’s all. Their best chance to score came right in the first inning, when Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge drew one out walks. Two fly outs later, the inning was over.

Everything changed in the eighth inning. The Red Sox went to trade deadline pickup and new Eighth Inning Guy™ Addison Reed to protect what was then a 3-0 lead. Six straight Yankees reached base to start the inning and eventually that 3-0 deficit turned into a 5-3 lead. He really Mets’d it up. A lot happened that inning, so let’s annotate the play-by-play:

yankees-red-sox-play-by-play

(1) It all started with a hit-by-pitch. Reed nicked Brett Gardner in the toe, and because home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth missed it, the Yankees had to challenge. The review took about 15 seconds and that was that. The Yankees were in business with a leadoff baserunner. That was Reed’s first hit batsman since Opening Day 2014, if you can believe that. He’d gone 1,003 consecutive batters between hit batters. Huh.

(2) HICKSIE. So good to have Aaron Hicks back. He dominated Friday’s game on both sides of the ball. Hicks held Mookie Betts to a single in the third inning on a ball that had double written all over it. It was hit toward the line, Hicks rushed over, picked it up, and fired to second to hold Betts at first. Great play that likely saved a run since the next batter, Andrew Benintendi, ripped a single.

Hicks also doubled for his team’s first hit of the game in the third inning, and in the eighth inning, he made Reed pay for hitting Gardner in the toe with a two-run home run into the short porch that brought Yankee Stadium to life. The offense lulled the ballpark to sleep over the first seven innings. Hicks brought the Stadium to its feet. It was LOUD. Here’s the homer:

A Yankee Stadium cheapie? You bet. The Red Sox have hit their fair share of cheap homers in their home ballpark over the years, so it all evens out. Hicks got the Yankees on the board and cut the deficit to 3-2. He wasn’t done having an impact on the game. More on that in a bit.

(3) It’s too bad the play was scored a wild pitch and not a passed ball, because I wanted to make a “it’s about time Gary Sanchez was the one advancing on a passed wall” joke. Alas. Anyway, good walk by Judge. Reed came after him with nasty sliders and Judge spit on ’em for the walk. He’s been chasing sliders a little too much of late. Okay, a lot too much.

(4) Man, how great is Didi Gregorius? He’s everything the Yankees hoped he would become. Gregorius put an end to the ugly RISPFAIL streak with a line drive single to left-center field to score Sanchez and tie the game. Didi is a heart and soul player for the Yankees. He’s such an important part of the team, both on and off the field. The Yankees need more guys like him. Gregorius went 1-for-4 in the game and is hitting .310/.334/.511 (122 wRC+) on the season.

(5) Welcome to the Yankees, Todd Frazier. He’s been with the team for nearly a month now, but a big hit against the Red Sox makes it official. Todd’s a True Yankee™. He muscled a 99.8 mph two-strike fastball from Joe Kelly into center field to score Judge and give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. One of the biggest hits of the season considering the situation, the standings, and all that. It wasn’t a screaming liner of anything (74.8 mph exit velocity), but it did the job.

(6) Getting that insurance run felt huge and boy did the Yankees need it. I was surprised Torreyes, a big time first pitch swinger, didn’t take a big ol’ hack expecting a first pitch fastball from Kelly. He got a slider inside and let it go for a ball. Neat. Torreyes got the run home with a two-strike sacrifice fly. Hooray for contact. The Yankees have had enough problems simply getting the bat on the ball with men on base lately.

(7) I really hoping Hicks would hit a home run from each side of the plate in same inning. He had a chance. He took the righty Reed deep to open the scoring and then faced the lefty Fernando Abad later in the inning. Alas, Hicks popped up to end the inning. That’s okay. You done good, A-A-Ron. A homer from each side of the plate in the same inning would’ve been cool as hell. When it was all said and done, the Yankees led 5-3.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

The Stressful Ninth
The Yankees broke out and scored five runs in the eighth to take the lead! Hooray! Aroldis Chapman then came in and immediately walked the bases loaded on 15 pitches. With no outs too. Sigh. Larry Rothschild went out to the mound to talk to Chapman after the third walk — “Pitch better,” was the message, I assume — and it wasn’t until after the mound visit that Dellin Betances started warming up. Oy vey.

Okay, so bases loaded with no outs and a two-run lead. Good thing Torreyes got that insurance run in, huh? Benintendi fought off a two-strike pitch and lifted a sacrifice fly to deep left field, plenty deep enough to score Jackie Bradley Jr. from third base, to cut New York’s lead to 5-4. But wait! Eduardo Nunez attempted to tag up on the play and get the tying run to third with one out. Hicks put an end to that nonsense. To the action footage:

Great throw by Hicks. Great, great throw. Don’t sleep on the pick and tag by Frazier at third though. He made a great play too. Nunez was clearly out but the Red Sox challenged anyway because hey, why not? That’s the 26th out in a one-run game and a potentially huge play. Maybe you get lucky with the replay. Here’s how huge that play was:

  • Red Sox win probability if Nunez is safe: 31.3%
  • Red Sox win probability if Nunez doesn’t tag up and stays at second: 28.1%
  • Red Sox win probability when Nunez was thrown out: 6.4%

Huge swing in win probability. From 31.3% to 6.4%. I don’t blame Nunez for trying to tag up there — it took a perfect throw by Hicks and a perfect pick-and-tag by Frazier to get him, and even then the play was close enough to be reviewed — but yeah, a terrible decision in hindsight. Chapman got Mitch Moreland to fly out harmlessly to center field for the 27th out and that was that. Game over. Stressful ninth inning for sure, but a win is a win, and the Yankees needed this win like crazy.

I love this stupid team so much. (Mike Stobe/Getty)
I love this stupid team so much. (Mike Stobe/Getty)

Leftovers
Acceptable-ish start from Jaime Garcia. He allowed a two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez in the first inning — he tried to bust him inside with a 3-1 fastball but didn’t get the ball in far enough — and a solo homer to Benintendi in the fifth. Garcia wiggled out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the third inning with a strikeout (Chris Young) and a ground out (Xander Bogaerts). His final line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K on 103 pitches.

The unsung hero: Adam Warren. He replaced Garcia, recorded the final out of the sixth inning, then tossed perfect seventh and eighth innings as well. Huge. Warren shut the Red Sox down and gave the offense a chance to get back in the game. He needed 35 pitches to record those seven outs and now has a 1.80 ERA (2.65 FIP) in 50 innings this year. Only 27 hits and 13 walks allowed too (0.80 WHIP).

Every starter reached base at least once except Garrett Cooper and Austin Romine, both of whom went 0-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Gardner pinch-hit for Romine to leadoff that eighth inning, so the Yankees gave up the DH and had to move Sanchez behind the plate for the ninth inning. Zero problems with that. Even if it didn’t work out. The Yankees needed offense and Romine wasn’t going to provide it.

Two hits for Hicks (double, homer) and one each for Sanchez (single), Gregorius (single), Frazier (single), Jacoby Ellsbury (single), and Torreyes (double). Judge drew two walks. Sanchez, Frazier, and Gardner drew one each. Gardner also got hit by a pitch. He batted twice, both times in the same inning, and reached base twice without putting the ball in play. Classic Gardy.

And finally, with the win the Yankees are back to within 3.5 games of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. They were six outs away from being 5.5 games back. Pretty big swing in the standings, this game was.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has both the box score and updated standings, and MLB.com has the video highlights. We have a Bullpen Workload page. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams Saturday afternoon in the second game of this three-game series. That’s a 4pm ET start. Luis Severino and Drew Pomeranz are the scheduled starting pitchers. RAB Tickets can get you into Yankee Stadium if you want to catch that game in person.

DotF: Sensley homers twice in Charleston’s win

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 win over Durham)

  • LF Mason Williams: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K — 8-for-23 (.348) during his little five-game hitting streak
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • DH Tyler Austin: 3-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — in case you missed it earlier, he was activated off the disabled list and optioned down earlier today, so his rehab assignment is over
  • RF Billy McKinney: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI — career high 16 homers in 104 games this year after hitting eleven in 229 games in 2015 and 2016 combined
  • CF Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 2B, 3 K
  • RHP Chance Adams: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 4/4 GB/FB — 69 of 101 pitches were strikes … 11/2 K/BB in his last two starts after a weird little stretch in which he walked more batters than he struck out three times in the span of four starts
  • Nick Rumbelow: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 26 of 39 pitches were strikes (67%) … 35/8 K/BB in 31.2 innings back from Tommy John surgery

[Read more…]

Game 114: The Biggest Game of the Season (Until Tomorrow)

(David Maxwell/Getty)
(David Maxwell/Getty)

So the latest “most important series of the season” has arrived. And gosh, this one is really important. The Yankees are 4.5 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East, so come Monday, they’ll either be within striking distance of the division title or buried. These two teams have two more series remaining after this one, so there’s still time to catch up, but the Yankees can’t really afford to fall further back this weekend.

Of course, to keep pace with the any team right now, the Yankees have to start scoring runs. They’ve failed to score more than two runs six times in the last eight games, and too many times during that stretch they were shut down by guys with an ERA in the 5s. The Yankees need the offense to turn it around today. Not next week. Not when Starlin Castro and Greg Bird return. Today. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Aaron Hicks
  2. DH Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Todd Frazier
  6. 1B Garrett Cooper
  7. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  8. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  9. C Austin Romine
    LHP Jaime Garcia

It is cloudy in New York this evening, and there’s rain in the forecast later on. It’s not supposed to arrive until midnight or so, but once it starts, it’s not going to stop until tomorrow morning. Hopefully this game doesn’t go long enough for the weather to be a factor. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and both YES and MLB Network will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Roster Moves: CC Sabathia was placed on the 10-day DL with right knee inflammation, the Yankees announced. The move is retroactive to Wednesday. Jordan Montgomery was called up to fill the roster spot. Also, Tyler Austin was activated off the 10-day DL and optioned down to Triple-A Scranton.

Injury Updates: Sabathia received cortisone and lubrication injections and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday. Sounds like he might be activated as soon as he’s eligible … Starlin Castro (hamstring) has started running, though not the bases yet. That’s the next step. He’s still on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment at some point next week.

8/11 to 8/13 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox

Hanley Ramirez & Rafael Devers. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Hanley Ramirez and Rafael Devers. (Charles Krupa/AP)

The Last Time They Met

The Yankees opened their second-half by splitting a four-game series in Boston. All four games were decided by three runs or less, including a walk-off walk in game one, and a sixteen-inning affair in game two. And, as per usual, only one game checked-in at under three hours – and that game went two hours and fifty-nine minutes. Some notes:

  • Poor defense and erratic pitching from Aroldis Chapman cost the Yankees game one. Mookie Betts singled, Dustin Pedroia singled, Xander Bogaerts reached on an error (scoring Betts), Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Andrew Benintendi walked on five pitches to score Pedroia. And I distinctly remember being more angry at the IBB than anything else.
  • The bullpen (Tyler Clippard, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren, Jonathan Holder, Chapman, Ben Heller) combined for a complete game shutout in game two, pitching to the following line – 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. The Yankees won 4-1 in 16 innings.
  • By winning the third game, the Yankees won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month. That wasn’t a fun stretch.
  • In the final game of the series, Aaron Judge was robbed of a home run by Jackie Bradley Jr. I would have been impressed if I wasn’t so annoyed.

Check out Katie’s Yankeemetrics post for more fun facts.

Injury Report

As has been the case throughout the season, the Red Sox simply aren’t all that healthy. David Price is back on the DL with left elbow inflammation, Carson Smith is still recovering from last year’s Tommy John Surgery, and Tyler Thornburg and Steven Wright are both done for the season. The offense is relatively healthy, though, with only bench players Marco Hernandez and Josh Rutledge currently sidelined with injuries. Though, it is worth noting that Dustin Pedroia is day-to-day with a tweaked knee, just a couple of days after returning from the DL.

Their Story So Far

Boston is currently in first place in the AL East, sitting at 65-49 with a +85 run differential. They’ve won 8 in a row by a combined score of 50 to 25, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that they’re playing their best baseball right now – which just so happens to coincide with the call-up of top prospect Rafael Devers. The basic sports narrative will credit Devers with the turnaround, which is a bit unfair – but the 20-year-old is hitting .319/.396/.553 (150 wRC+) with 3 HR in 12 games, and has been a key component of a resurgent offense.

And offense has been the problem for the Red Sox this season, even with all of the injuries to their pitching staff. Their 93 wRC+ places them 20th in all of baseball, with Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley, and Benintendi disappointing for the majority of the year. There is a great deal of talent here, of course, and that’s why they’re back in first place. Ugh.

The Lineup We Might See

Manager John Farrell has been tinkering with the lineup quite a bit of late, due mostly to the call-up of Devers and the acquisition of former Yankee Eduardo Nunez. The recent return Dustin Pedroia has led to some flip-flopping, as well. Nevertheless, I expect that we’ll see something like this:

  1. Mookie Betts, RF
  2. Eduardo Nunez, 2B
  3. Andrew Benintendi, LF
  4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
  5. Rafael Devers, 3B
  6. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  7. Mitch Moreland, 1B
  8. Sandy Leon, C / Christian Vazquez, C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Pedroia is the wild card in this situation. If he plays, he’ll bat near the top of the order, pushing everyone down. He might also DH, which would push Moreland to the bench and Ramirez to first.

The Starting Pitchers We Will See

Friday (7:05 PM EST): LHP Jaime Garcia vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez was on the disabled list the last time these teams met, with a right knee injury sidelining him from June 2 to July 17. He has been solid when healthy, though, pitching to a 4.08 ERA (112 ERA+) in 81.2 IP, with a well above-average 25.8% strikeout rate. He’s a bit walk (3.5 BB/9) and home run (1.3 HR/9) prone, and he’s one of the more severe flyball pitches in the league, with just 34.2% of batted balls being on the ground.

The 24-year-old southpaw throws five pitches, but the vast majority of those are his four-seam fastball, which sits right around 93 MPH. His primary off-speed pitch is a solid mid-80s change-up, and he’ll mix in a low-90s sinker, a mid-80s cutter, and a low-80s slider.

Last Outing (vs. CHW on 8/4) – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Saturday (4:05 PM EST): RHP Luis Severino vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz

Pomeranz had a rocky first couple of months, but he has been quite good since the calendar flipped to June, pitching to a 2.71 ERA over 69.2 IP in his last 12 starts. He has a 3.36 ERA (136 ERA+) on the season, and he’s currently 10th in the American League in fWAR. The Yankees handed him his worst start in about two months the last time they faced, scoring four runs in 6 innings on July 14.

Last Outing (vs. CHW on 8/5) – 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K

Sunday (8:05 PM EST): LHP Jordan Montgomery vs. LHP Chris Sale

Sale is currently leading the majors – hitters and pitchers, alike – in FanGraphs’ version of WAR. Baseball-Reference paints a much more modest portrait, ranking him third among all pitchers; either way, he has an argument for being the best pitcher in baseball right now. The 28-year-old also leads the majors in IP, K%, K-BB%, and FIP (by nearly half a run), as well as fourth in BB%. He dominated the Yankees the last time they squared-off, going 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 13.

Last Outing (vs. TBR on 8/8) – 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 K

The Bullpen

Boston’s bullpen has been a strength for the entirety of the season, and they managed to improve it at the deadline by adding Addison Reed. The group leads the majors in park-adjusted ERA and RA9-WAR, and ranks second (behind the Yankees) in fWAR.

The absurdly good Craig Kimbrel is the team’s closer, and he’s striking out 50% of the batters he faces, while walking just 4.4%. He’s tied (with teammate and set-up man Joe Kelly) for third among MLB relievers in park-adjusted ERA, as well. Kelly and the newly acquired Reed handle the set-up duties, and Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Blaine Boyer take the higher-leverage middle inning duties.

Who (Or What) To Watch

Rafael Devers was a consensus top-20 prospect heading into the season, and he has shown why by tearing through Double-A and Triple-A this year, and reaching the majors a few months shy of his 21st birthday. He’s worth watching purely in an “I want to see what this guy’s all about” way, while also recognizing that he’s going to be a big part of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry for years to come.