Happy Tanaka Day, everyone. Tonight might be our best chance for a win in this series, even if the Mets are throwing out top prospect Rafael Montero to make his major league debut.
Tonight's lineup: Gardner 7 Jeter 6 Ellsbury 8 Teixeira 3 McCann 2 Soriano 9 Solarte 5 Roberts 4 Tanaka 1— Erik Boland (@eboland11) May 14, 2014
The Yankees lineup is still feeling the effects of all those injuries from the other night. Carlos Beltran, and Ichiro Suzuki continue to sit out while the bench consists of John Ryan Murphy, Kelly Johnson, and Zoilo Almonte. Tonight's lineup includes Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the order. Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Alfonso Soriano make up the middle of the lineup, while Yangervis Solarte and Brian Roberts follow. With the last two games at Yankee Stadium, the Subway Series moves to Citi Field, meaning that Masahiro Tanaka will have to bat once again.
You might have seen our own Matt Provenzano's write-ups (here and here) about who the Yankees are looking to sign during this year's international amateur free agent signing period. Along with Dermis Garcia, Nelson Gomez, Juan DeLeon, Jonathan Amundaray, Chris Torres, and Diego Castillo, the Yankees have also shown interest in Venezuelan catcher Miguel Flames.
As Ben Badler of Baseball America describes him, the 6-foot-2, 205 pound 16-year-old moved from a questionable third base to behind the plate and now looks to be a big score on the international market. As Badler describes it "scouts who liked Flames were impressed by the 16-year-old’s raw power, ability to work the count and put together consistent game at-bats. Others saw strength and power but didn’t see consistent game results." He also points out that his big build is much less of a concern now that he's a catcher and he has the hands and arm strength to make it.
A power-first, defense-second catcher sounds like a Yankees specialty at this point, considering their development of Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez, and Peter O`Brien in recent years. It looks like Flames could be looking at at least a $1 million signing bonus, which, if rumors are accurate, New York will have no problem handing out to him as well as multiple other prospects come July.