Saturday, April 9, 2016

Seconds: CC, Pelfrey to have upstarts at back

A pair of second basemen off to good starts at the plate with their respective clubs will lock up again on Saturday afternoon, with the Yankees' Starlin Castro and the Tigers' Ian Kinsler going head to head in the second game of three at Comerica Park. New York is looking to even the series after Detroit won its home opener.
The Yankees are toying with the idea of promoting Castro in the batting order after he joined Babe Ruth (1932) and Bill Dickey (1934) as the only Bombers with as many as eight RBIs in the team's first three games of a season -- although Castro went 0-for-4 on Friday. Kinsler, meanwhile, who had a double among two hits Friday, continues to look comfortable as a sparkplug at the top of Detroit's batting order.
CC Sabathia, who won the fifth starter's job over Ivan Nova after posting a 5.51 ERA in five spring starts, makes his first start of the year for New York. The Tigers will counter with Mike Pelfrey, who's making his first start as a member of the organization after signing a two-year, $16 million deal in December.
Three things to know about this game
• Brian McCann is expected to return to the Yankees' lineup after getting the day off on Friday. McCann has hit Pelfrey very well in his career: the left-handed-hitting catcher is 19-for-42 (.452) with eight doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs against the right-hander.
• Miguel Cabrera (11-for-37, three homers) has had his share of success against Sabathia, but there are plenty of pitchers who have had trouble with Cabrera. Sabathia has had an even tougher time with Jose Iglesias (6-for-13, .462), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (7-for-21, .333) and Mike Aviles (9-for-25, .360).
• The bullpens could very well decide this series. Yankees relievers had worked 12 2/3 innings without permitting an earned run (Dellin Betances allowed three unearned runs on Opening Day) before Luis Cessa served up a solo homer to Cabrera on Friday. In the season-opening series against the Marlins at Miami, Tigers relievers allowed five runs in nine innings.

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