Yankees’ Sabathia set for 500th career start (Aug 01, 2017)

NEW YORK — Exactly one year ago, the New York Yankees were clear sellers at the trade deadline, giving them the chance to reset things a little bit and add some younger players to the lineup.

This year, the Yankees are going for it and are excited about their recent acquisitions of pitchers Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia. They begin the final two months of the regular season Tuesday night in the middle game of a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.

“If you can add a guy like that to our rotation, it’s only going to make us a lot better,” New York left-hander CC Sabathia said regarding the arrival of Gray. “I think guys are really excited to have a chance to have him play for us.”

Gray, who is expected to arrive to New York on Tuesday, is joining a team that is 12-6 since the All-Star break and 7-1 in its past eight games.

“On behalf of this fan base, this team has shown it’s got the ability to allow us to push a lot of these chips in the middle of the table and recognize 2017 has a chance to be special,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

The Yankees remained in first place by opening the series with a 7-3 win Monday night. Chase Headley continued to be productive, belting a two-run double among three hits, while Aaron Judge slugged his 34th homer of the season against Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer.

Headley batted .333 in 26 games in July and is hitting .416 (15-for-36) since moving to first base from third base following the acquisition of Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox two weeks ago.

“I would certainly say it’s encouraging,” Headley said of the team’s new acquisitions. “We’re very appreciative. Guys were fired up when they heard the news.”

Detroit is 4-8 in its past 12 games, and it opened the series after trading left-hander Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs. The Tigers also dealt outfielder J.D. Martinez in the weeks leading up to the deadline but didn’t trade pitcher Justin Verlander and second baseman Ian Kinsler as they try to piece together a rebuilding effort.

“We are happy with the return we got,” general manager Al Avila said. “But we’re chipping away. We are chipping away with trades by trading some of the guys and adding little by little when we can. And now we will continue to move forward in the process.”

While the Yankees get ready for Garcia and Gray to make their debuts in the rotation, Sabathia (9-3, 3.66 ERA) will make his 500th career start. He will become the 31st pitcher since 1945 to reach that milestone, with Bartolo Colon the only other active player in the club.

Sabathia is 7-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his past 10 starts, though he did not pitch well Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Sabathia allowed four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings, but the Yankees won 6-5 in 11 innings.

The left-hander has made 39 career starts against the Tigers. He is 21-13 with a 4.11 ERA against Detroit, 8-4 with a 3.08 ERA against them with the Yankees and 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in five starts at Yankee Stadium.

Sabathia’s last start against the Tigers was June 9, 2016, when he allowed five hits in seven innings during a 4-0 win. Miguel Cabrera was 0-for-3 in that game and is 11-for-42 (.262) against Sabathia.

Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 6.18 ERA) makes his eighth start and 19th appearance of the season for Detroit. As a starting pitcher, he is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA.

Sanchez last started Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, when he allowed four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 16-2 loss.

He is 3-1 with a 4.03 ERA in five starts against the Yankees. He made his major league debut against the Yankees on June 25, 2006, for the Florida Marlins and pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

Sanchez last faced the Yankees on June 21, 2015, at Yankee Stadium, when he allowed three runs and seven hits in a 12-4 win. Martinez hit three homers for the Tigers that day.