Major League Baseball
Yankees-Angels preview
Major League Baseball

Yankees-Angels preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 8:24 p.m. ET

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The pitching matchup for Sunday's game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium reflects the teams' conflicting approaches to reconstructing their rosters.

Right-hander Chad Green represents the Yankees' immediate focus on youth. But another right-hander, the Angels' Jhoulys Chacin, belongs to the squadron of stopgap solutions for an injury-riddled pitching staff.

Green comes off one of the best performances by a starting pitcher in the Yankees' history. In just his fifth major league start, Green the first 13 batters he faced, amassed 11 strikeouts in six shutout innings, conceded just two hits and issued no walks Monday night in a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 25-year-old compiled the most strikeouts by a Yankees rookie since Masahiro Tanaka struck out 11 Seattle Mariners in 2014. Green also became just the second rookie pitcher in team history to compile at least 11 strikeouts without permitting a walk or a run. Stan Bahnsen pitched a three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts against the Boston Red Sox in 1968, the year he was named the American League's rookie of the year.


Green's start Monday night marked the beginning of his fifth stint with the Yankees after being promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"Each time, he took his demotion the right way and said, 'OK, this is what I need to work on, and I'm going to get better,' " New York manager Joe Girardi said. "He's got good stuff and his stuff has developed this year."

Part of that development includes the rapid improvement of his slider.

"It was terrible," Green told the New York Times. "It was pretty much non-existent. But the strides with that pitch have been huge. I didn't really change the grip too much. I think it was more like a mind-set. Just being more confident with it was huge."

Chacin, meanwhile, has experienced little success after the Angels acquired him from the Atlanta Braves in May.

The seven-year veteran has lost five consecutive starts since his last victory June 14. But after being sent to the bullpen in mid-season, Chacin collected 20 strikeouts in eight relief appearances covering 17 2/3 innings while allowing just five runs, 11 hits and five walks.

When Chacin returned to the rotation, however, that effectiveness evaporated. In his two starts since his return, the right-hander gave up 11 runs, 13 hits, five walks and a hit batsman while collecting just two strikeouts and pitching only six total innings.

Against the Mariners in his last start Tuesday night, Chacin threw 88 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, allowed four runs on seven hits, walked two, hit one and struck out two. Seattle scored all four of its runs against Chacin with two out.

"He had trouble closing out innings," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "It usually comes down to one pitch. The more a team gets looks when they're ahead in the count, they're going to put better swings on pitches."

The Angels will play without Yuniel Escobar, who began Saturday ranked second in the American League with a .320 average and ninth with a .368 on-base percentage. The veteran third baseman went on the seven-day disabled list for concussions after bunting a ball off his nose in the fourth inning of a 7-0 loss Friday night.


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