Nearly 11 months removed from MLB play, CC Sabathia's return is finally upon us. The former ace is returning from a major knee injury that ended his 2014 campaign just eight starts in. Up to that point Sabathia held a 5.28 ERA and gave up 10 home runs. Sabathia also struggled this spring, allowing six runs in 4 2/3 innings. However, Sabathia assures that he feels prepared for his opening.
On the bump for the Blue Jays will be southpaw Daniel Norris, in just his second career start after appearing in five games last year. Baseball America has Norris ranked #18 on their prospect list. Marcus Stroman's injury caused some shifting in Toronto's rotation, pushing Norris up a spot and into the Yankees series. Norris worked his way through the Jays system in 2014 moving from A+ to Double-A New Hampshire and eventually landing in Triple-A Buffalo for five games before his September call-up. In Buffalo, Norris notched a 0.971 WHIP, though his sample size was quite slim at 22 2/3 innings.
This game follows an...interesting Yankees 4-3 comeback victory Wednesday night. Hopefully the Yankees won't always have to rely on bloop doubles, hit batters, deflected double play grounders and past balls to win this season. I guess we'll chalk it up to #TWTW. Today's rubber match begins at 7:05 p.m. in the Bronx. Here are the lineups:
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Jose Reyes - SS||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Russell Martin - C||Alex Rodriguez - DH|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Carlos Beltran - RF|
|Edwin Encarnacion - DH||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Danny Valencia - 1B||Chris Young - LF|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||John Ryan Murphy - C|
|Steve Tolleson - LF||Gregorio Petit - 2B|
|Devon Travis - 2B||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Daniel Norris - LHP||CC Sabathia - LHP|
Don't panic about Brett Gardner and Brian McCann being absent after getting hit by pitches yesterday. It's just a regular day off, which might seem odd because the Yankees were also off Tuesday, but remember that even regulars get a bit more rest than normal early on in the season.