Girardi to give rotation additional rest this week

Yankees manager Joe Girardi mentioned earliet this season that the Yankees would rest the starting pitchers by going to a six-man rotation. The first such situation will occur in the upcoming three-game series witj the Rays at Yankee Stadium starting Monday night.

Girardi said before Sunday night’s finale of the Subway Series with the Mets on ESPN that the Yankees plan to call up Chase Whitley from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to start the second game of the series Tuesday night. Masahiro Tanaka, who was originally scheduled to start Tuesday night, will start Wednesday afternoon’s game instead. The rest of the roration will get an additional day off because Thursday is an open date. Michael Pineda, the original scheduled starter for Wednesday, will now start Friday night in Boston on six days’ rest.

Whitley has made three starts for SWP and has a 2-0 record with a 2.12 ERA. The righthander, who had been a contender during spring training for the fifth starter’s role that was won by Adam Warren, allowed four runs and 13 hits with six walks and 13 strikeouts in 17 innings without allowing a home run.

Girardi made a change in Sunday’s lineup in sitting down center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, whose right hip tightened in Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Mets. Ellsbury made a spectacular, lunging catch to rob Eric Campbell of an extra-base hit in the fourth, one inning after he grounded into a run-scoring double play in which he hustled hard to try to avoid getting doubled up. Girardi replaced Ellsbury with Chris Young in the eighth inning. With the Yankees six runs down, Girardi did not want to tax Ellsbury any further.

Young started in center field Sunday night and was in the 2-hole as Brett Gardner took Ellsbury’s usual spot at leadoff. Once again, Didi Gregorius was out of the starting lineup against a left-handed starter, in this case the Mets’ Jonathan Niese. The shortstop has a history of problems against lefties. This year, Gregorius, batting just .212 overall,  is 2-for-12 (.167) against lefthanders and hitting .225 against righthanders. For his career, Gregorius is a .260 hitter against righties and a .183 hitter against lefties. Stephen Drew shifted to shortstop with Grtegorio Petit playing second base.

As part of an initiative between Major League Baseball and ESPN to bring atention to Little League teams around the country, a team from Police Officer Michael Buczek Little League in the Washington Heights section of Manhatttan made an appearance on the set of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast. The youngsters were also invited down to the field at the Stadium to watch  the Yankees and the Mets take batting practice before the finale of Round 1 of the 2015 Subway Series. Following batting practice, the Little League team also had the opportunity to interview Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. The group was provided with tickets to the game,  goodie bags and food vouchers.

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