The Yankees send Jhony Brito to the mound for a Wednesday matinee and the finale of the three-game set against the Athletics. Oakland skipper Mark Kotsay will counter with right-hander Kyle Muller. The 25-year-old was the top name in the offseason Sean Murphy trade with the Braves, but it’s been a rocky start to Muller’s tenure in Oakland, as he has a 6.62 ERA and 5.67 FIP in seven starts. He’ll at least be supported by Jordan Diaz, who hit three home runs last night and is back in the A’s lineup, hitting fifth.
This was a much-needed soft landing spot for the Yankees. They came back from Tampa licking their wounds after losing a close, hard-fought series of three one-run games against the Rays. The resurgent offense has posted seven or more runs in three straight games, and with Aaron Judge back, the Bombers’ bats are waking up.
Also of note is Clarke Schmidt’s quality start last night. Although a bit shaky early on, Schmidt’s six strong innings are the deepest he’s gone in a game this year. With Luis Severino making his first rehab start today, the pressure will be on Brito to match Schmidt as the Yankees determine who will leave the rotation when Sevy returns. Brito carries a 6.08 ERA and 5.31 FIP into today’s action, and even ignoring his disastrous night against the Twins on April 13th, it’s been rough lately for him with an .860 OPS allowed and 5.63 ERA over his last four starts.
Greg Weissert was optioned to Triple-A after being touched up for two runs in his lone inning last night. In the corresponding move, Deivi García gets his first call-up of 2023 to fill the spot. He’s still struggling with command in Scranton: 16 walks in 20 innings so far this year. García may well get into the game if it’s a blowout.
DJ LeMahieu returns to the lineup in the cleanup spot, and Kyle Higashioka will handle the catching duties in an early game after a night game. The A’s will also start backup catcher Carlos Pérez after Shea Langeliers’ three hits last night.
Oswaldo Cabrera slots into the nine hole, and his at-bats continue to look more and more comfortable. Harrison Bader has come off the IL swinging. He’s 11-for-25 since returning and will hit fifth behind LeMahieu.
The bullpen is well-rested, though after Weissert’s struggles, Aaron Boone used Clay Holmes out of an abundance of caution in the ninth last night, in which he struck out the side. Brito hasn’t gone deeper than five innings in his last three starts so he’ll likely need the help. Overall it’s all systems go for the Yankees and an opportunity for a get-right sweep before the Rays roll into town for four games. Their lead in the AL East holds steady at nine games.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 12:35 pm EDT
TV Broadcast: YES Network, NBCSCA
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online Stream: MLB.tv