New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title. 

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out…

Yankees working on bullpen market

As the Yankees await a decision from Manny Machado, the club is reportedly working on revamping its bullpen according to a tweet from Jon Heyman. Heyman states that the club is still in contact with Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino and David Robertson. FOX Sports' Jon Morosi adds that the Red Sox are also involved in Ottavino discussions.

MY TAKE >> There is no reason for the Yankees to wait around to fill their bullpen voids, which are substantial in my opinion. While the relief crew is fronted by three very good to excellent arms in Chad Green, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, today's game necessitates a deep pen with five strong arms. That is especially true with a Yankees rotation that is not built to provide work late into games.

Further, Yankees should be all-in on two of these relievers - personally, I would say Britton (necessary lefty) and Robertson (track record) - regardless of what transpires with Machado. Understanding that the money would be tighter with Machado aboard, the Yankees could fit two of the relievers on the payroll without going over the second luxury tax threshold, where the ante is admittedly not desirable. If the Red Sox are involved in each of the pitchers as well, that just provides another reason for the Yankees to strike.

Gray still garnering interest

The perceived no-doubt trade of Sonny Gray is taking a LONG time to consummate. However, the Yankees are still receiving interest in Gray according to Morosi and this time it is coming from the Brewers.

MY TAKE >> Yankees GM Brian Cashman flat out said that he was trading Gray this offseason and when it was reported that there were up to 11 clubs interested early on, many assumed this would be among the club's first winter moves. Yet, here we are just before the New Year and Gray is still with the roster. Cashman might be waiting for the "right" deal to come across his desk, but in my view I could see this could dragging on some more.

There are two things to consider. One, if Cashman is not happy with the current offers, he can gamble and wait until the volume of free agent arms diminishes and go back to the teams that missed out to see if there is any interest in Gray.

Another possibility and new wrinkle with Gray is the health condition of CC Sabathia. As Sabathia recuperates from angioplasty surgery, the Yankees might (and should) be concerned about the depth of the rotation. Would Cashman backtrack on his feelings with Gray? Maybe not, but as a fifth starter when needed or a long man in the bullpen when not, Gray could provide some benefits to the Yankees.


RELATED: The latest on Yankees free agent target Manny Machado: Not a fan of Philadelphia >> Read more

RELATED: Red Sox among teams showing continued interest in Yankees free agent target Adam Ottavino >> Read more

CARELLI: Yankees still garnering trade interest for Sonny Gray >> Read more

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Sonny Gray, Chris Carelli
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON -- Dellin Betances tore his Achilles in September. Domingo German is on the restricted list because of a domestic violence allegation. On this night, the Yankees missed both of those pitchers (and, of course, the baseball impact of German's situation is insignificant compared to what his alleged victim experienced).

Jonathan Loaisiaga appeared overwhelmed and unable to find the strike zone. Betances would have inspired much more confidence in that spot, or at least lengthened the bullpen by having another high-leverage guy and not ever needing Loaisiga. The left-handed and homer-prone J.A. Happ in the game as the bulk guy in extra innings, was a far less favorable matchup against the Astros' righty-heavy lineup than the righty German would have been.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Game 2 of the ALCS made every pitch matter Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, but perhaps no play swung the momentum more than what happened midway through the sixth inning.

With two on and two out as DJ LeMahieu led off second and Gleyber Torres from fits, Brett Gardner's sharp ground ball up the middle initially short hopped off Jose Altuve at second base and into the hole, but Carlos Correa came over from shortstop in time.

While Torres stayed put on second, LeMahieu wheeled around after getting waved by third-base coach Phil Nevin and booked for home plate.

Tags: Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres
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Judge confident heading to Bronx 00:00:55
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge was bummed the team lost Game 2 but has confidence with the series shifting to the Bronx.

Disappointment filled the locker room as the Yankees summed up Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS, but the main objective at Minute Maid Park in Houston ultimately got accomplished.

While the Yankees had the Astros on the ropes and let the chance to go up 2-0 slip away, the two-game trip ended with the next three matchups back before the Yankee Stadium crowd in New York, starting Tuesday at 4:08 p.m. ET.

Despite the poor performance at the plate for the Yankees, whose only runs came on Aaron Judge's two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning, they brush off their six-hit evening with an opportunity to get Game 3 -- and possibly the series -- done in the Bronx.

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Aaron Boone pulled the plug on James Paxton.

The southpaw's start ended early Sunday after allowing one run -- Carlos Correa's one-out double to left field, scoring Alex Bregman from second base in the bottom of the second inning -- on four hits and three strikeouts to two walks in 2.1 frames, making Boone call on eight different arms out of the bullpen.

Game 2 of the ALCS ultimately ended in the bottom of the 11th inning on Correa's leadoff solo shot off J.A. Happ, who entered midway through the previous frame, but Boone backed the decision to pull Paxton early and pointed to the bullpen's overall production despite the Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell 3-2 to the Astros on Saturday in Game 2 of the ALCS, evening the series at 1-1.

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1.) For all the talk about the bullpen edge the Yankees have in this series, Game 2 proved that too much of a good thing can have its consequences.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Beltran wants to be a manager 00:02:28
New York Mets manager candidate Carlos Beltran explains to SNY's Andy Martino what he brings to the table as a MLB manager

As the Mets' search for their new manager continues, one former New York star publicly expressed his desire to lead an MLB team for 2020 and beyond, but will the opportunity come in orange and blue?

Before the Yankees played Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, former 20-year veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran expressed his desire to become a manager when he caught up with SNY's Andy Martino on the field.

Beltran, who spent 2005-10 as a Met and slashed .279/.366/.499 with 134 home runs and 493 RBI in 741 games over six seasons, interviewed Thursday for the New York job and turned down chances to do the same with the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

With the Yankees down one run in the top of the fourth inning, Aaron Judge made Astros starter Justin Verlander pay.

After a leadoff walk from Verlander against DJ LeMahieu to start the frame, the righty made a mistake with Judge on an 0-1 count.

Verlander hung a slider above the belt over the plate and Judge sent the pitch into orbit, crushing a two-run home run to right-center field and putting the Yankees ahead of the Astros for a 2-1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees look to extend their series lead in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros on Sunday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the series after beating the Astros 7-0 in Game 1 of the ALCS. Gleyber Torres was the star of the night, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBI thanks to a double and home run. Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, but injured his quad and will not start Game 2. Starter Masahiro Tanaka allowed just one hit over six innings, striking out four batters and walking just one in the win. Gio Urshela put the nail in the coffin with his solo home run in the ninth inning, he finished the game 2-for-4 from the plate.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will not start in Sunday night's Game 2 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros after injuring his quad in Saturday's Game 1.

Manager Aaron Boone spoke before Game 2, and said Stanton could pinch hit or play the field in an emergency.

"Yeah, kinda injured his quad last night," Boone said. "Hoping that it's something that with today and the off day he'll be back and play for Game 3. We'll see how these next 48 hours unfold. He would be available tonight to hit or go in an emergency situation... Didn't feel like he was good to start."

 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 8, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) is taken out of the game by manager AJ Hinch (14) during the fourth inning in game four of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Oct 8, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) is taken out of the game by manager AJ Hinch (14) during the fourth inning in game four of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

The Yankees got the job done in Game 1, shutting out the Astros on their home field to take the first game of the ALCS, 7-0. And they could truly carry all the momentum to the Bronx if they can collect another road victory on Sunday night. 

However, they'll have to go through the Astros' ace in Justin Verlander to do so. 

Two years ago, Verlander dominated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park in his two ALCS starts. His first was in Game 2, pitching a complete game where he allowed just one run while striking out 13. Then seven scoreless innings game in Game 6 to help force a divisive Game 7 that the Yankees would ultimately lose. 

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Martino on Stanton 00:01:05
SNY's Andy Martino breaks down the changes in Giancarlo Stanton's approach at the plate in Gm 1 of the ALCS after his struggles in 2018

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The right call to remove Tanaka

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 68 pitches through six innings, allowing just one hit and dominating the Houston offense. Because of that, the knee-jerk response when Adam Ottavino trotted out of the bullpen to begin the seventh might have been outrage.

But one simple fact made it the right call: Opponents have a .387 wOBA (weighted on-base average) against Tanaka the third time through the lineup this year, which was where the Astros found themselves after six.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Carlos Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Torres, Tanaka dominate Astros 00:02:28
Gregorius, Judge, Gardner, Tanaka and Torres on taking a 1-0 lead in the ALCS

When Aaron Boone's Yankees lineup for Game 1 of the ALCS was announced earlier on Saturday, it was nearly identical to what the team rolled out in the ALDS against the Twins, with one notable exception.

Boone moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the order, hitting between Aaron Judge and Edwin Encarnacion

The impact of that move was felt immediately against the Astros, as Torres went 3-for-5 at the plate, driving in five runs in the Yankees' dominant 7-0 Game 1 win.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres
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Boone talks Game 1 win 00:01:57
Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Torres and Tanaka leading the Yankees emphatic 7-0 win in Gm 1 of the ALCS

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant for the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, putting his team in position to take a 1-0 lead in the series with a win on the road.

The right-hander threw six near perfect innings for New York, allowing just one hit and one walk with four strikeout on 68 pitches.

"Going into the game with a plan," Tanaka said through a translator, on why he was so effective Saturday night. "...really focusing on each pitch, executing your pitches, that's kind of what it all comes down to."

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Astos 7-0 on Saturday in Game 1 of the ALCS, taking a 1-0 series lead. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) So who said the Astros have the advantage in the starting pitching in this ALCS, anyway?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Gleyber Torres put the Yankees on the board first in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. 

In a tight-knit game that has both Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Greinke dealing early, Torres hit an RBI double with one out in the top of the fourth inning to bring DJ LeMahieu in for the first run of the game.


 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

Aaron Judge is typically known more for his bat, but he made a great play in the field to help preserve the Yankees' ALCS Game 1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia
Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia

Both the Yankees and Astros finalized their ALCS rosters on Saturday, and both CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks will be available for the Bombers as they battle Houston for a World Series berth.

The Yankees, who went with a 12-man pitching staff in the ALDS, have opted for 13 pitchers against the Astros. Rather than have Sabathia replace a different pitcher on the staff, the team left both Tyler Wade and Luke Voit off the ALCS roster. Additionally, David Hale was designated for assignment to make room on the team's 40-man roster for Hicks, who had previously been on the 60-day injured list.


Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Yankees look to get things started on the right foot in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros on Saturday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

Aaron Hicks and CC Sabathia are back on the ALCS roster for the Yankees, while Luke Voit and Tyler Wade were left off. ... Hicks is not in the starting lineup, while Sabathia will pitch out of the bullpen during the series. ... The Astros took four of seven games from the Yankees in the 2019 regular season, including a three-game sweep in Houston. ... The Yankees have moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the lineup after having Brett Gardner in that spot for all three games of the ALDS. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade
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Judge looking forward to ALCS 00:02:17
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge pinpoints added postseason experience being key to the Yankees success in this ALCS

With the stage set for a rematch of the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees took the field at Minute Maid Park on Friday for their team workout ahead of this year's Championship Series.

And while there were no fans in the seats on Friday, the Yankees know that the Astros home-field advantage has been very real over the past few seasons, but it's nothing the team doesn't think they can' handle.

"I think our guys relish in this," said Aaron Boone. "Clearly the Astros have shown that they have a really good home-field advantage here, not only this year but even going back a few years and a lot of us are aware of how loud this place can be, but a lot of our guys will relish in that, embrace that, and hopefully find a way to have success through it all. But I don't worry about that affecting our guys and our performance."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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Jun 6, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a three run home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Jun 6, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a three run home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

Aaron Boone said on Friday afternoon that the team had yet to finalize their ALCS roster, but there have been a couple of hints that suggest outfielder Aaron Hicks will indeed be included on the roster.

As the Yankees took the field at Minute Made Park for Friday's workout, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch noted that the group breakdown of the team's batting practice did not include Tyler Wade's name, though it did include both Hicks and Luke Voit.

George King of the New York Post also noted that Wade does not have a locker in the Yankees clubhouse in Houston.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit, Tyler Wade
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When Yankees manager Aaron Boone met with the media in Houston on Friday on the eve of the ALCS, the first order of business was announcing the the Yankees' pitching rotation.

According to Boone, the Yankees will go with Masahiro Tanaka in Game 1, James Paxton in Game 2, and Luis Severino in Game 3, and then go from there. 

"Again, I felt like it was a good decision, a tough one to be made, similar to the Division Series where I was going back and forth a lot," said Boone. "Just felt like Masa here in Game 1, that's the way I wanted to go in the end."

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Springer on Bronx atmosphere 00:01:03
Houston Astros outfielder George Springer reflects on how intense of an atmosphere Yankee Stadium is to play in.

Game 1 of the ALCS is set to begin Saturday at Yankee Stadium, and Astros outfielder George Springer knows it will be a hostile environment.

"They expect their team to win," Springer said of Yankee fans on Friday. "It's a very, very hard place to play at any time of year, let alone October. It's a crazy atmosphere."

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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks to New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) at second base during a pitching change during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks to New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) at second base during a pitching change during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For months, it seemed destined to be this way, Astros versus Yankees, a trip to the World Series the prize. There were some tense moments for Houston - well, at least until the first inning of that deciding game against the Rays - but here we are:  

Astro-geddon. Cole-pocalypse. A series of Judge-ian proportions. A Bunch of "Savages" versus Baseball's Best Team.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Bregman, Cole on playing Yankees 00:01:26
Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and pitcher Gerrit Cole speak about their upcoming ALCS matchup against the New York Yankees.

The Yankees had to wait three days, but now their ALCS matchup is set.

The Astros defeated the Rays 6-1 in a winner-take-all Game 5 in Houston, securing their trip to the ALCS. Gerrit Cole was once again phenomenal on the mound, tossing eight innings while allowing just one run on two hits. The game was Cole's 11th straight outing with at least 10 strikeouts. 

The Astros jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning off of Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, and they never looked back.

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Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole
Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole

The Yankees are all set to go in the ALCS. They just need an opponent. 

The Rays pulled out an upset of Justin Verlander in Game 4 in their home Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, forcing a divisive Game 5 on Thursday night at 7:07 p.m. This one, though, will be in Houston with Gerrit Cole facing off against Tyler Glasnow -- a much tougher challenge for the Rays to pull off the ultimate upset. 

Either way, who would the Yankees want to face in the Championship Series? 

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Aaron Boone/Brian Cashman (Kim Klement)
Aaron Boone/Brian Cashman (Kim Klement)

Manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees are working through all the options they can have for their 25-man roster leading up to the ALCS. They don't yet know their opponent with the Astros and Rays playing Game 5 of their ALDS on Thursday night, but the preparation begun ever since New York clinched the series sweep against the Twins on Monday night. 

But when exactly do they need to decide who will be on their roster? 

The official deadline for the Yankees to get their 25-man roster in is actual the day of the game. Boone needs to have his roster in by 10 a.m., EST on Saturday. 

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Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees are probably healthier than they've been all season and they're coming off a sweep of the Twins in the AL Division Series. But Aaron Boone and the rest of the Yankee brass still face questions heading into the next round.

The big one, of course, is Astros or Rays? We'll find out Thursday night when Tampa Bay and Houston meet in a deciding Game 5.

Once that's decided, they can work in more detail on the others. Here are three roster questions facing the Yankees as they prep for the best-of-seven AL Championship Series, which begins Saturday night in either Houston or the Bronx, depending on who wins in Houston Thursday:

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Boone says Yanks are "hungry" 00:01:15
As the Yankees prepare for the ALCS, manager Aaron Boone notes how the Bombers have improved, as he says they are more "hungry" than ever.

The Yankees hit the field at Yankee Stadium on Thursday to get a workout in before heading into the ALCS. But they don't know exactly who they're going to be facing in that series just yet. 

The Astros and Rays will play their ALDS Game 5 tonight in Houston to determine who moves on and who goes home. And based off who does come away with the victory in that game could go into how manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees create their new 25-man roster for the ALCS. 

"It could factor in a little bit, definitely," Boone told the media on Thursday. "There could be a decision based on the opponent for a spot or two."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Scott Thompson
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 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

Manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees are working through all the options they can have for their 25-man roster leading up to the ALCS.

Meanwhile, the same can be said for Mike Shildt's Cardinals and Davey Martinez's Washington Nationals.

But when exactly do they need to decide who will be on their roster? 

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Oct 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) hits a single against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of game two of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Oct 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) hits a single against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of game two of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Brian McCann has decided to call it a career.

Following the Braves' NLDS Game 5 13-1 blowout loss to the Cardinals, the veteran of 15 major league seasons announced his retirement from baseball.

"It's just time to go. 15 years of catching, it's sad but it's time. I knew about a month and a half ago," McCann told reporters.

"You know when you know, and it's time."

Tags: Brian McCann
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone has to think about his 25-man roster yet again heading into the ALCS. The one he and his staff put together for the ALDS against the Twins worked as planned, sweeping Minnesota to get an early break before their next postseason challenge. 

The Yankees don't know their opponent just yet, with the Astros and Rays to play Game 5 on Thursday night. But one of the big decisions for Boone will be whether or not he goes with the same rotation configuration as he did in the last series. 

After long thought, it was James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino in that order. During a conference call with the media on Wednesday, Boone was asked if he's sticking with that rotation, and he revealed he will be looking at all options yet again. 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Joe Girardi
Joe Girardi

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman may have fired Joe Girardi two years ago, but he still speaks glowingly of the job the former manager did with the Yankees, and doesn't hesitate to recommend that the Mets hire him.

"When you're talking about somebody like Joe, he'd give you instant credibility," Cashman told SNY on Wednesday. "He's buttoned-up, ready to go, and proven successful in the largest market you can find. And he came out on top.

"He was here for 10 years, and some things have an expiration date, but that doesn't diminish the abilities the person possesses or the quality of work he provides. I highly recommend Joe to anybody, even our rivals, unfortunately."

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Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia
Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia

The Astros and Rays are still focused on their ALDS series that has now gone to a decisive Game 5 to see who moves on to the Championship Series. 

The Yankees, though, are patiently waiting in the Bronx, prepping for the winner of that Thursday night contest. 

It was a clean sweep of the Twins in their ALDS series, dominating at the plate and on the mound throughout. But even through all the success with the roster manager Aaron Boone put together, he and his coaches are still going back to the drawing board entering their next seven-game series. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, Scott Thompson
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May 23, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton (53) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)
May 23, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton (53) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)

The Yankees have been decimated by injuries this year, with more than a dozen key players going down. Check back here for the latest updates on the walking wounded.  


October 9, 1:00 PM:

Zack Britton jammed his right ankle on first base during Game 3 against the Twins while making a bang-bang play to record an out. And though he was limping off the mound and into the dugout, it doesn't look like he'll be missing any postseason time. 

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Britton will be on the Yankees' ALCS roster when Aaron Boone puts it together before Saturday's start to the new series. That's great news to hear considering Britton is the Yanks' best lefty reliever, minus closer Aroldis Chapman, out in the pen. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Thairo Estrada
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Sep 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Clint Frazier (77) prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Clint Frazier (77) prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

When the Yankees announced their roster to start the MLB playoffs, they left several notable contributors from the regular season off the list.

Among the Yankees to miss the past week's three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, OF Clint Frazier and 1B/DH Mike Ford headlined the omissions, but neither of them have let that alter their approach.

As the Yankees await their opponent for the ALCS with Game 5 between the Astros and Tampa Bay Rays, to be determined Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET from Minute Maid Park in Houston, Frazier and Ford highlight the ready reserves.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, David Hale, Jordan Montgomery, Stephen Tarpley, Thairo Estrada
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees could be getting even more help for the ALCS.

Center fielder Aaron Hicks told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he is "definitely ready to go out there and play."

Hicks hasn't suited up for the Yankees since Aug. 3 due to a right elbow flexor strain. He also suffered a setback during his recovery, making it unclear if he would play again in 2019.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

Before the Yankees entered the postseason, SS Didi Gregorius was mired in a slump. His September numbers were .190/.247/.380 with three homers and 16 RBI over 20 games. 

That's not what you want to see heading into October, but when asked about Gregorius before the series against the Twins began, manager Aaron Boone wasn't sweating his shortstop's performance at all. 

In fact, he expected Gregorius to step up and be a crucial factor for his club. 

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After Gleyber Torres' remarkable sophomore season and the performance he put on Monday night, it's tempting to brand the 2016 trade that brought him to the Yankees as the club's best deadline deal of all time. 

Yes, we're still ga-ga over the power display, the sweet glove, and the postgame charm after the Yanks buried the Twins in Game 3 of the AL Division Series.  So are his teammates -- while spritzing celebratory bubbly and beer around the clubhouse, Aaron Judge anointed Torres as the "next Yankee great" and it's hard to argue. 

Torres is the youngest Yankee to whack three extra-base hits in a postseason game -- take that, DiMaggio -- and never seems overwhelmed.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gleyber Torres, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) looks on during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) looks on during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

The Yankees completed their sweep of the Twins on Monday night, and in turn, the celebration for reaching the ALCS ensued. But in the joy of moving on to the next round, a certain Yankee took an errant bottle to the hand. 

Aroldis Chapman, who collected the final five outs to seal the 5-1 win, was seen with his left hand wrapped in the clubhouse. However, he didn't seemed fazed by it when asked. 

"I was just celebrating and everyone was jumping around," Chapman told The Post's Dan Martin via a translator. "I got hit with a bottle, but it's fine."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Yankees beat the Twins on Monday night in Minnesota to secure a three-game ALDS sweep and punch their ticket to the ALCS, where they await the winner of the Astros vs. Rays.

Click below to see how the back pages in NYC reacted...

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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Yankees celebrated accordingly from their locker room at Target Field in Minnesota after they swept the Twins with Monday's 5-1 win, but eight more victories are needed for the ultimate goal.

"I think a lot of guys, the older guys, are at a stage in their career where we want to win a ring," said Zack Britton. "(Adam) Ottavino, myself -- a lot of the younger players, too."

Hungry for more, the Yankees enjoyed the 16th straight playoff victory against the Twins, but they already await the winnner of the other ALDS series between the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay, who still have to face off Tuesday in Game 4 at 7:07 p.m. from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, after Monday's 10-3 Rays rout.

Tags: Cameron Maybin, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Zack Britton
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Aaron Boone has always had an elite human touch, but he famously struggled with pitching moves in his playoff managing debut last year against Boston. It's worth noting then, that he remained calm and followed the game plans in this series.

He took a few risks, and made a few moves that could have left his bullpen short, but it's impossible to accuse him of anything close to managing tight or choking. Quite the contrary, he assigned his pitchers to the lanes determined by pregame planning, and didn't make a single move because of passion or panic.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Carlos Torres, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after an out during the fourth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after an out during the fourth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Yankees overmatched the Twins in every way possible, even adding spectacular defense to their championship resume, but by far the most significant development in this ALDS sweep of the Twins was the official return of Luis Severino.

With four shutout innings in the 5-1 win that featured some gutsy escapes from jams, Severino offered reason to believe he can at least be a third potentially dominant starter the Yankees need in this post-season, and perhaps at most the ace he has been at times in his young career.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Cameron Maybin, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, John Harper
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) reacts to defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) reacts to defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

As most people that watch baseball have suspected, the Yankees' success will come down to the play of their bullpen. Luckily for them, they've got one of the best in the league.

Luis Severino started for the Yankees and gave them a solid, scoreless four innings before Aaron Boone decided it was time to unload his relievers on the Twins.

From the fifth inning till the final pitch of the game, Boone put out five pitchers: Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton
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Judge gives Torres the belt 00:00:54
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge gives second baseman Gleyber Torres the team wrestling belt for his ALDS performance.

When the Yankees retreated to the locker room at Target Field after Monday's 5-1 win over the Twins in Minnesota, sweeping the ALDS through three games, Aaron Judge made an announcement.

With champagne flying, Judge congratulated his Yankees teammates as he awarded a championship belt to Gleyber Torres.

The honor was well-deserved for Torres, whose 3-for-4 night from the six spot in the lineup fueled the Yankees' offensive breakthrough.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres
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Yankees advance to ALCS 00:01:50
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge had high praise for second baseman Gleyber Torres during the Yankees locker room celebration.

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Five Takeaways from the Yankees' 5-1 win to sweep the Twins.

1) From start to finish the ALDS was a mismatch as the Yankees swept the Twins, and, as expected, the bullpens proved to be the most obvious difference between the teams. Or to put it another way: Aaron Boone's ballyhooed 'pen is living up to the hype so far.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Severino, Zack Britton, John Harper
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) celebrates his double during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) celebrates his double during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Yankees are off to the ALCS.

The celebration was on Monday night in Minnesota after New York completed its three-game sweep of the ALDS when it shut the Twins down for a 5-1 win at Target Field.

Closer Aroldis Chapman recorded the five-out save, relieving fellow southpaw Zack Britton in the bottom of the eighth inning and carrying through the ninth with three strikeouts to one walk and one hit over the 1.2 scoreless frames.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts during the second inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts during the second inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Pitching in the seventh playoff game of his career, Luis Severino left the mound after four innings of work and the Yankees up 2-0.

Severino finished the night allowing no runs off four hits, while striking out four batters and walking two. 

The right-hander threw 83 pitches for the night after manager Aaron Boone said he was ready to let Severino "empty the tank" and "go the distance" Monday night. Severino had previously pitched 67, 80 and 72 times in his three starts during the regular season.

Tags: Luis Severino
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Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws a bullpen session as manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws a bullpen session as manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Aaron Boone plans on unleashing Luis Severino on the Twins Monday night, as the Yankees look to clinch an ALCS berth with a win in Game 3 of the ALDS. 

Severino, who returned from injury in September, pitched in three starts at the end of the regular season, but never pitched more than five innings in a game. The right-hander hasn't thrown more than 80 pitches in a game since last season.

"I feel like he's at a good place physically," Boone said in a press conference prior to Game 3. "Feel like since he's started back and got on the mound the first time for his first side when he was coming back, it's gone according to plan."

Tags: Luis Severino
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