The RailRiders are back at PNC Field for the first time since the all-star break. The last time they were here, they closed out the first half by dropping a 3-2 decision to Rochester on July 10. They return to Moosic after a 5-2 road trip, which included a four-game sweep at Gwinnett last weekend.
1. Mason Williams DH
2. Pete Kozma SS
3. Ben Gamel CF
4. Tyler Austin 1B
5. Cesar Puello RF
6. Jake Cave LF
7. Jose Rosario 3B
8. Jonathan Diaz 2B
9. Eddy Rodriguez C
RHP Luis Cessa (4-1, 3.02)
Durham Bulls (44-55)
1. Dayron Varona RF
2. Nick Franklin 2B
3. Taylor Motter SS
4. J.P. Arencibia C
5. Jake Goebbert 1B
6. Richie Shaffer DH
7. Jaff Decker LF
8. Daniel Robertson 3B
9. Johnny Field CF
LHP Justin Marks (3-9, 3.84)
— The mystery of Chad Green‘s Tuesday start being scratched came to an end when he strolled into the Yankees’ clubhouse in the Bronx this morning. Shortly thereafter, the Yankees made the promotion official and optioned RHP Nick Goody to the RailRiders.
Once word got out that Green had been scratched from his start, many speculated that he would get the start for the Yankees on Friday in their series opener against San Francisco. The theory seemed to make sense in that it would allow RHP Masahiro Tanaka to pitch each of his next two starts on an extra day’s rest. However, that idea was put to rest just a little bit ago as Green entered in relief of starter CC Sabathia in the seventh inning.
Sending Goody down makes sense since he pitched in each of the last two games. Barring injury, the Yankees must wait 10 days to recall him.
— Because Green’s start was scratched, the RailRiders relied on relievers Tyler Webb, Diego Moreno, Giovanny Gallegos and Kirby Yates to get them through Tuesday’s 4-3 walk-off loss to Charlotte. For the time being, that shouldn’t be the case, as the starting rotation has been set. Following Luis Cessa tonight, RHP Brady Lail, LHP Dietrich Enns, RHP Kyle Haynes and RHP Luis Severino are slated to start the RailRiders’ next four games.
— The RailRiders played last night with a 23-man roster and 11 active pitchers. After RHP Johnny Barbato threw the final three innings in relief of Severino, the RailRiders initially were left with just five bullpen options today in Webb, Moreno, Gallegos, Yates and LHP Phil Coke. They did, however, receive some help, as RHP Jonathan Holder was promoted from Double-A Trenton.
It’s the second time with the RailRiders for Holder. He pitched 5 2/3 relief innings and took the loss in last year’s 11-inning regular season-finale loss to Syracuse.
Even with the addition of Holder, the RailRiders’ bullpen is still thin. Goody is considered active but he’s yet to report and would not have pitched regardless. Also, keep in mind that Webb and Moreno each threw 3+ innings Tuesday so their availability would be questionable. The RailRiders could really use a stellar performance out of Cessa, who has gone at least five innings in each of his last four starts and nine of 10 overall.
— Mason Williams is back in the leadoff spot for the fourth time in four games since joining the RailRiders on Monday. He has five RBIs over the last two games, which included a 3 for 5 performance Tuesday. Ben Gamel, who hit leadoff in every game until Williams’ arrival, moves down to third tonight, as Pete Kozma hits second for just the second time this season. Kozma has been on roll lately with four straight multi-hit games.
— Lastly, I spoke with Aaron Judge in the clubhouse and he said that his left knee is feeling better and that he took some swings in the cage earlier today. Judge has been on the disabled list since July 9 with a mild PCL sprain and bone bruise sustained the night before.
Judge said that he thinks the injury initially happened while trying to make a diving catch on the warning track in the fourth inning of that July 8 game. At that time, he thought it was just a normal bruise but that obviously wasn’t the case when he came up limping on a routine grounder in the fifth inning.
He said that there still is no timetable for his return and that he’s taking everything day by day. He hopes to get back on the field soon to do some more hitting, fielding and possibly sprints.