How rainout would change Yankees’ ALDS rotation plans

The forecast for Thursday has not improved, meaning Game 2 of the ALDS between the Yankees and Guardians in The Bronx remains in jeopardy — as do the pitching plans for both teams.

Nestor Cortes, who will start for the Yankees in Game 2 — either Thursday or Friday — would have been available to come back on short rest for a potential Game 5 on Monday back at the Stadium.

On Wednesday, the lefty said he would be ready to pitch in some capacity in that game, although both he and the Yankees hope they have the series wrapped up by then.

Cortes said he would not adjust his pre-start routine based on the shaky forecast.

If he doesn’t pitch until Friday, he’ll be limited the rest of the series.

“I’m ready to go,” Cortes said. “I’m going to empty the tank. So if I pitch on Friday, and I have to come back on short rest — whether it’s two or three days — I’m going to try and prepare in between the best I can to feel as best as I can.”

Nestor Cortes and Shane Bieber (inset) will face each other in Game 2 of the ALDS — either Thursday or Friday — weather permitting.
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Luis Severino will start Game 3 in Cleveland. Cole, Tuesday’s Game 1 starter, is slated to come back on normal rest to pitch Sunday’s Game 4.

“With this [Cleveland] team, there are lefties and … if you had [Cortes] in an inning scenario, a couple-inning scenario, that would be pretty valuable,” manager Aaron Boone said. “But if he goes Friday … hopefully we’re not in a Game 5 situation, but if we are, we’ll see. He would maybe be in play but not necessarily as a traditional starter.”

Boone has stressed his preference for a three-man rotation for this round and had Jameson Taillon up and ready to come into Tuesday’s Game 1 win in the ninth inning.

If Thursday’s game is postponed, the teams would be in line to play four straight days and that would likely take Taillon out of much of a role out of the pen, since he would be a logical option to start Game 5.

As for the Guardians, after starting Cal Quantrill on Tuesday, Shane Bieber is set for Game 2 on Thursday and Triston McKenzie for Game 3 on Saturday. Even if Quantrill returns for Game 4 on normal rest, a postponement Thursday would bring Aaron Civale into play as a potential Game 5 starter.

Aaron Judge’s wait for the ball from his milestone No. 62 home runs will continue until the end of the postseason, since both the Yankees and the fan who caught it, Cory Youmans of Dallas, have agreed to hold off on potential negotiations until the Yankees’ season is over to avoid a distraction.

Judge broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League and franchise record with his 62nd homer of the season on Oct. 4 against the Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Boone said he has no plans to talk to Josh Donaldson about the third baseman’s failure to run out his fly ball to right field that bounced off the top of the wall and back into play in Game 1.

Donaldson thought it was a home run and was thrown out trying to get back to first base.

“Weird play,” said Boone, who said on Tuesday he hadn’t gotten a good look at what happened.

“[Donaldson] thought it went over the fence. We are shaking hands at first [in the dugout]. The music goes off. I think it’s just a weird play.”

Jonathan Loaisiga got an important double play to end the seventh on Tuesday, but he also gave up two hits in just two-thirds of an inning. In his last six postseason outings dating back to 2019, the right-hander has allowed 15 base runners over just 4 ¹/₃ innings.

The Yankees are counting on him to return to the form he showed for much of the second half of this season after returning from a shoulder injury, as well as most of 2021.

“I know people feel like we have a lot of questions [in the bullpen]Boone said. “[That’s] fair. We don’t have the ‘this guy is the closer’ and all these certain roles. But I do feel like right now, even though we have experienced some attrition down there, we have a lot of really talented options down there and [Loaisiga] is right in the middle of that. If we are going to get far in this, he’s going to have to get a lot of big outs for us.”


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