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American League

AL Wild Card: Can Judge Power New York Back To ALDS?

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2017 American League Wild Card Game

Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana) @ NY Yankees (Luis Severino)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017- Yankee Stadium

8:00 PM EST- ESPN

The Yankees and Twins are set to renew acquaintances on Tuesday night when Paul Molitor’s upstart Twins head into the Bronx to take on Aaron Judge and the Bombers. The American League Divison Series hangs in the balance.

New York came close to stealing the AL East from Boston, but their hated rivals prevailed in the end and Joe Girardi’s squad finds itself in the Wild Card Game for the second time in three seasons. In 2015 the Yankees were blanked by Dallas Keuchel and the Astros 3-0, also at home.  Minnesota, on the other hand, surprised the League with a late season surge that earned the team its first playoff appearance in seven years.

The Twins and Yankees know all about each other in the playoffs. The two teams have met four times in the ALDS since 2000, with New York emerging as the victor all four times.  If the Twins want to exorcise their Yankee demons, they will need a strong performance from their starter. Ervin Santana was one of the best pitchers in the Junior Circuit this year and is a possibility for Comeback Player of the Year.  His 16-8 record and 3.28 ERA are pretty impressive considering Minnesota’s struggles with consistency this year. The Twinkies’ chances hinge heavily on his performance. Miguel Sano is returning from the DL for the game, very, very good news for the Twins.

Image result for byron buxton

Will Dozier, Buxton and the Twins be able to knock off the slugging Yankees?

On the Yankees’ side, it’s all about the behemoth. To say Aaron Judge’s 2017 season was remarkable would be an immense understatement, even if he did struggle for a majority of the second half. He has Rookie of the Year more than locked up and will contend with Jose Altuve for MVP. But how will the 25-year-old handle his first taste of the postseason? The team will have to be ready to pick the youngster up if the pressure proves too great.

Luis Severino gets the well-deserved honor of starting for the Yankees. Like Santana, he was one of the surprises of the season in the American League and could be the third finalist for the Cy Young behind Corey Kluber and Chris Sale. He has no chance of winning, of course, but it does speak to the remarkable season he’s had: 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA.

The Yankees are the favorite in the matchup and have the more proven lineup. The Twins have their work cut out for them with Judge leading a homer happy batting order that also includes Todd Frazier and Gary Sanchez. Minnesota’s best chance lies in being aggressive early and knocking out Severino. The Yankees have a strong bullpen and it will serve the Twins well to force it into the game early.

As for the Yankees, they may have the better team, but they cannot sell Minnesota short. The Twins have proven tons of people wrong this year and could very well continue that trend with an upset in New York. The Yanks can’t afford to underestimate their rival, even with all the home run power they boast.

Who ya got?? Keep up with HR Daily for all your MLB postseason coverage!

 

American League

Rays Recall Austin Meadows

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The Tampa Bay Rays have recalled outfielder Austin Meadows to their active roster, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Tompkin.

In addition to Meadows, right handers Austin Pruitt and Chih-Wei Hu, along with lefty Hoby Milner, will be joining the big league roster.

Meadows, 23, posted a  .292/.327/.468 line over 165 plate appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this season, prior to being sent over in exchange for starting pitcher Chris Archer.

 

 

 

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American League

Orioles’ Adam Jones Discusses Vetoed Trade, Free Agency

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Baltimore Orioles veteran outfielder Adam Jones has seen the organization undergo a major rebuild, and have traded away pieces to start from scratch. Jones was expected to be traded but it has been reported that the veteran exercised his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade that would’ve sent him from Baltimore to the Phillies shortly before the non-waiver trade deadline.

“It just wasn’t right for me” Jones said, during an interview with Sara Perlman of MASNsports.com.

“I was playing center field at the time, and they wanted me to go play right field and platoon. That was the situation there, and it’s understandable. That’s how their roster was constructed, and that’s National League ball — double-switch and all that kind of stuff. … It wasn’t the right move for me, especially going into free agency. I’m not going into free agency looking like I’m [Nolan] Arenado, [Manny] Machado or [Bryce] Harper — obviously not — but I want to continue to create and maintain my stock. Going there to platoon, obviously in a good environment, a winning environment, would’ve hurt me in the long run. If I was 36, 37, a little older and toward the end of it all, of course — that would’ve been a very ideal and smart move, because it’d make sense. … I wish the Phillies the best, because I believe they have a really good team.”

Jones also discussed his pending free agency, adding, “Whoever wants me to run around [in the outfield] for them, whether it’s center, right, left, I could care less. I just want to play.”

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American League

Yankees Activate Aaron Judge

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The New York Yankees have activated slugger Aaron Judge for tonight;s game, manager Aaron Boone said, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.

Judge has not been cleared to hit in a live game, he will be able to play in the field and run the bases while he finished his preparations for his full return. Although Judge isn’t fully back, this step is welcomed for a Yankees team that his been dreadful at the plate for over a month, and has seen their lead for the top Wild Card spot dwindle.

 

 

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