Yankees add reinforcements to face Tigers
NEW YORK — As the New York Yankees start the final month, their roster will be getting some significant fortifications via a trade and a key piece returning from the disabled list.
The Yankees also acquired infielder Adeiny Hechavarria in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
McCutchen and Sanchez are joining the Yankees after an eventful 7-5 Yankees win on Friday night. New York’s 10th win in 14 games was decided on a bases-loaded, two-run single by rookie Gleyber Torres in the eighth inning off Alex Wilson after a controversial check-swing walk by Luke Voit off Joe Jimenez.
McCutchen was acquired from the San Francisco Giants on Friday for two prospects — infielder Abiatal Avelino and pitcher Juan De Paula.
Friday was the last day players could be traded and still be eligible to appear in postseason games for their new teams.
McCutchen was in his first season with the Giants after spending his first nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. McCutchen batted .255 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs in 130 games while posting a .357 on-base percentage.
“We’re getting a really good player,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think that’s exciting for us and I’m just looking forward to him getting here tomorrow, hopefully putting him in the lineup and seeing him help us. “
Last week when the Giants visited the New York Mets, McCutchen cleared waivers and when informed about it, he quipped: “I’ve got a better chance of understanding trigonometry.”
What the Yankees understood was they possess a right field problem since Aaron Judge is finishing his fifth week of being on the disabled list with a fractured right wrist. While Giancarlo Stanton has manned right field at times, the Yankees would like to use him at designated hitter. But New York’s right fielders are hitting a combined .189 (23-for-122) in Judge’s absence.
When McCutchen arrives in New York, he will be reunited with Neil Walker and J.A. Happ. Walker spent seven seasons in Pittsburgh playing with McCutchen and Happ spent the final two months of 2015 season with the Pirates.
“I saw him for the three years that we made September,” Walker said. “Postseason pushes elevate his game to the next level, not that he needed to do that, but you saw him be the player that he’s capable of being when the spotlight’s on him. That’s fully what I expect when he steps in here.”
The Yankees are hoping to see some big hits from Sanchez, who has missed 57 games in two DL stints with a groin injury. Sanchez last played July 23 in Tampa Bay, and he is trying to improve on a subpar season that has seen him bat .188 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs in 66 games.
Sanchez tuned up for his return by homering twice in four rehab games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
“I think we’re getting potentially a front-line player and a guy that will be an absolute presence in our lineup,” Boone said.
The Tigers totaled 12 hits Friday but lost for the sixth time in seven games. Niko Goodrum homered for the second straight night and Victor Martinez went 2-for-4, giving him a .339 average (21-for-62) in his last 17 games.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” said Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire, whose team came into the series after getting outscored 34-10 during a five-game losing streak. “I’m proud of the way they played. We’re in a big atmosphere here.”
Tanaka (9-5, 3.97 ERA) starts for the Yankees after allowing four runs and 10 hits in seven innings Monday against the Chicago White Sox. He is 0-3 with a 4.40 ERA in his last five starts.
Tanaka is 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts against Detroit. He is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in three home starts against the Tigers.
Norris was 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in five appearances (two starts) this season, but he has been on the disabled list since April 30.
Norris appeared in four rehab games at three different levels and compiled a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. His velocity was around 91, 92 mph and he is stretched out to 90 pitches, according to Gardenhire.
Norris last appeared for the Tigers on April 29 in Baltimore when he exited after three innings. He underwent surgery after pitching with the groin problem since last summer.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Norris said. “Obviously appreciative of the opportunity. It was definitely an interesting year, rehabbing the whole time pretty much. I started with kind of a frustrating April, getting surgery and then going through that. It was difficult but I’m happy to be here.”
The 25-year-old left-hander was one of three pitchers acquired from Toronto at the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline for David Price. Since joining Detroit, Norris has been on the disabled list four times with oblique, back, hip, quadriceps and groin issues.
Norris is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against the Yankees.