Yesterday, the Yankees salvaged the finale of their three-game set against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Now, they’ll drive half an hour west to Dunedin, where the Blue Jays are currently playing their home games. Seeing relevant regular season baseball at a spring training complex remains very weird, but hey, not much about the past 13 months can be classified as anything other than weird.
Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Yankees, and they’d really like their ace to give them some innings (surprise). Chad Green got heavy work yesterday, and other relievers also pitched quite a bit at some point over the Rays series. To steal a page from YES Network’s James Smyth, here’s how the bullpen has been taxed over the past few days:
Yankees bullpen pitch chart
Aaron Boone might want to lean away from using Green after his 31-pitch outing yesterday, and I could see him preferring to not use Jonathan Loaisiga, too. Aroldis Chapman, Darren O’Day, and perhaps Justin Wilson should be good to go. Ideally, Cole just dominates, the offense breaks out, and mop-up men are used for the eighth and ninth. It’s so much nicer when it’s just written out that way, right?
There’s a different look to the top of the lineup today, as Aaron Hicks is off for Mike Tauchman (Hicks is sitting for justified personal reasons). So Giancarlo Stanton will bat second between DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, and Gleyber Torres will slide into the cleanup spot. With Cole on the mound, Gary Sánchez will sit in favor of Kyle Higashioka, too.
Opposing Cole will be Robbie Ray, who will make his season debut for Toronto after re-signing with them in the offseason. In 2020, Ray had a 6.62 ERA and 6.50 WHIP in 51.2 innings split between the D-backs and Blue Jays, allowing a home run rate of 2.3 HR/9. So... batter up, please?
How to watch
Location: TD Ballpark - Dunedin, FL
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Sportsnet
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv