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Yankees keeping open mind with ALCS rotation

Britton (ankle), Chapman (hand) should be ready to go for Game 1
@BryanHoch
October 10, 2019

NEW YORK -- Last week, the Yankees set James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino as their starting pitchers for the American League Division Series, then they were rewarded with a three-game sweep of the Twins. The Yanks aren’t ready to reveal their plans for the AL Championship Series. “We

NEW YORK -- Last week, the Yankees set James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino as their starting pitchers for the American League Division Series, then they were rewarded with a three-game sweep of the Twins. The Yanks aren’t ready to reveal their plans for the AL Championship Series.

“We haven't decided that yet,” manager Aaron Boone said on Wednesday, a day before the Astros defeated the Rays in Game 5 of their ALDS to advance. “It may or may not factor who we're playing, but those will be one of the conversations we have over the next couple days. I'm considering everything right now.”

ALCS presented by GEICO, Game 1: Sat., 8 p.m. ET on FOX

Paxton struck out eight over 4 2/3 innings in his postseason debut during Game 1 of the ALDS, permitting three runs and five hits with a walk. The left-hander was 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two starts against the Astros this season.

Game Date Time Matchup/
Result
TV/
Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 12   NYY 7, HOU 0 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 13   HOU 3, NYY 2 (11) Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 15   HOU 4, NYY 1 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 17   HOU 8, NYY 3 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 18   NYY 4, HOU 1 Watch
Gm 6 Oct. 19 8 p.m. NYY vs. HOU FS1
*Gm 7 Oct. 20 7:30 p.m. NYY vs. HOU FS1

Tanaka continued to build on an excellent postseason resumé in Game 2, firing five innings of one-run, three-hit ball to pick up a victory against Minnesota.

The owner of a 1.54 ERA in 35 playoff innings, Tanaka had no record and a 2.25 ERA in two starts against Houston.

Severino would be on regular rest for Saturday’s ALCS Game 1, having worked four scoreless innings in the deciding ALDS Game 3. The righty did not face the Astros during his truncated three-start regular season.

Get ready for ALCS with Yanks postseason gear

“We feel like one of the strengths of our team is our 12 or 13 pitchers as a whole, but I also feel very confident and really good about our starters,” Boone said. “There's going to be some opportunities probably for them to pitch deeper into games. I think in this last series, I felt like we got three quality outings, albeit a little bit shorter.

“ ... There will inevitably be that game where one or more of our guys get a little bit deeper in the game and set us up much better for an entire series.”

Good to go

Zack Britton (right ankle) and Aroldis Chapman (left hand) should both be ready for Game 1 of the ALCS, according to Boone, who added that Britton visited Yankee Stadium to receive treatment.

Britton rolled his ankle covering first base in Game 3 of the ALDS, while Chapman was struck by a bottle during Monday’s postgame celebration.

“[Britton] said he's good to go; if he had to pitch today, he would be good to go,” Boone said. “He felt even better today. It doesn't seem like something he's overly concerned about. He'll throw tomorrow, and I expect him to be a full go with no issues.”

CC-omeback

Boone was encouraged by CC Sabathia's mound session on Wednesday, as the left-hander attempts to re-join the ALCS roster after left shoulder soreness kept him from participating in the ALDS.

“Frankly, he looked really good,” Boone said. “I was really excited about how he looked. He was sharp. He was able to really finish his pitches. I think he's feeling considerably better than he was this time last week certainly.

“I would say he is now an option for us, as well, and somebody that we're considering. We'll kind of talk it through. We'll see how he bounces back tomorrow from his session, but he's very much in the conversation now.”

Boone has said that Sabathia’s injury opened the door for left-handed reliever Tyler Lyons to appear on the ALDS roster.

“I think there's a little bit of a couple different roles [Sabathia] could fill,” Boone said. “Multi-inning might be a little aggressive, but a one-off where he's facing a left-handed hitter, [or] I could certainly see him in there in a lane where he's facing three or four hitters, possibly an inning plus, something like that.”

This date in Yankees history

Oct. 9, 1996: Derek Jeter connects for a game-tying eighth-inning home run that is touched by 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier near the front row of the right-field seats at Yankee Stadium. Despite the protests of Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco, no fan interference is called and the Yanks go on to win Game 1 of the ALCS, 5-4, in 11 innings.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.