Friday, February 3, 2023

Yankees hoping to save Jameson Taillon for ALCS vs. Astros

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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have set up their pitching for Game 1 of the the ALCS against the Houston Astros. First, however, they need to win Game 5 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday.

Jameson Taillon, who had originally been scheduled to start Game 5 against the Guardians, has instead been tabbed as the Game 1 starter vs. the Astros on Wednesday if the Yankees advance, manager Aaron Boone said.

Taillon will also be available to pitch in relief during Game 5, but Boone said he would be well down the usage chart.

Monday’s rainout enabled the Yankees to go with lefty Nestor Cortes as their Game 5 starter after initially scheduling Taillon to start Monday. Cleveland started Aaron Civale.

Boone said he expected Cortes to go as long as possible but hopes the bullpen can provide reinforcement. Starter Gerrit Cole could also be available out of the bullpen if needed, Boone said.

Right-handers Ron Marinaccio and Frankie Montas were with New York at Yankee Stadium and prepared to travel to Houston in case the team decides to activate them against the Astros. Both pitchers have been sidelined with injuries, but could be ready for the ALCS if the Yankees advance.

Boone said he is trying not to overthink how to use pitchers out of the bullpen, whether it be relievers or starters coming into the game to throw an inning.

“You try and get what you think is the best guy in the best spot,” Boone said. “So I don’t stress that much about that. I feel like we are set up good today that if we pitch effectively to get where we want to go, in a regulation game, and then got reinforcements beyond that. I’m excited to see these guys go out and do their thing.”

The Astros, who finished off a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, have already announced that they would start ace Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the ALCS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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