From the horse's mouth, here is this afternoon's starting lineup against the Rays and rookie Alex Colome:
#Yankees lineup vs TB: Gardner CF, Ichiro RF, Cano 2B, Hafner DH, Overbay 1B, Almonte LF, Nix SS, Adams 3B, Stewart C, Sabathia P— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 22, 2013
After last night's terrific 3-for-3 performance, Zoilo Almonte is back in the lineup against the righty Colome, while the miserably slumping Vernon Wells rightfully stays on the bench. Even if this is just a brief flash of hot hitting from Zoilo like we saw from David Adams immediately after his call-up, the Yankees should ride the hot hand while they can. The lineup is identical to the one used the last night with the exception of regular starter Chris Stewart returning to action after Austin Romine gave him a rare full night off.
CC Sabathia starts against this Rays lineup, retrieved from Baseball Press:
1. Desmond Jennings (R) CF
2. Sean Rodriguez (R) LF
3. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. Wil Myers (R) DH
6. Yunel Escobar (R) SS
7. James Loney (L) 1B
8. Jose Lobaton (S) C
9. Sam Fuld (L) RF
Joe Maddon chose to alter the lineup from last night with the big lefty on the hill rather than David Phelps. Frequent Yankee pain-in-the-ass Sean Rodriguez is starting--he has hit .281/.358/.459 in his career against the Bronx Bombers, far better numbers than his career triple slash of .227/.303/.360. He's also hit .333/.436/.636 with two homers in 40 plate appearances against CC. The Yankees will have to hope some natural statistical correction is coming Rodriguez's way.
Colome will be making just his second career start. His first outing came in a spot start in Miami on May 30 against the Marlins, who he held to one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings, yielding five hits and two walks while striking out seven fish. The Yankees' offense might be missing several cogs right now, but at least they don't have Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna hitting third and fourth. They should be able to give the 24-year-old a little more of a challenge than the Marlins' offense.
Colome was an international free agent signing in 2007, and though he's only ranked in Baseball America's "Top 100 Prospects" once (in 2010), he has consistently been considered one of the Rays' top 10 or 15 prospects. In 14 starts this year at Triple-A Durham, Colome struck out an impressive 9.7 per nine innings (albeit with a 3.8 BB/9) and pitched to a 3.07 ERA and 3.48 FIP. FanGraphs writer Marc Hulet ranked him fifth in the system prior to the 2013 season; check out Hulet's writeup on Colome for more, but here's a snippet:
The Dominican Republic native has an overpowering fastball that ranges from the mid-to-upper 90s and he backs it up with three complementary offerings, including a slider/cutter, curveball and changeup. He reportedly has a better curveball but I really liked what I saw from his slider/cutter.
Meanwhile, on the injury front, Derek Jeter is making progress as he recovers from a second ankle fracture. He took a couple rounds of batting practice this morning at Yankee Stadium:
Jeter told reporters that everything "is headed in the right direction," so we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that his rehab goes off without a hitch.
Second round pick Gosuke Katoh has two dingers in his first two days of baseball with the Yankees organization. He doesn't project to have much power, but that's about as good a start as one could envision. He will likely spend the year with the GCL Yankees, producing statistics that hopefully aren't as misleading as those produced by Dante Bichette Jr. two years ago.