Robinson Cano's return to the Bronx has come and gone. Cano came into Yankee Stadium with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, he got booed, as we all expected, and he helped his Mariners steal both games played against the Yankees -- Wednesday's game was rained out.
If there was one thing we learned during that series with Seattle, it's that the Yankees could really use Cano with the infield they have.
The Yankees have cooled down a little bit, losing four of their last seven games, and they haven't scored more then six runs since last Thursday night against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
There are, however, a few positives to note on offense as the Tampa Bay Rays come to town for a three-game series starting tonight in the Bronx.
Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees' second most expensive offseason signing behind Masahiro Tanaka, is leading the team with a .309 batting average. Ellsbury was back in the lineup last night after missing Tuesday's game with a sore left hand. He made a great sliding catch in the 1st inning, then five minutes later, hit his first homerun as a Yankee.
It's May, and Yangervis Solarte continues to hit well at the plate, with his .408 on-base percentage that leads the team. And finally, if you haven't' noticed, Ichiro is batting .373, which would lead the team if he didn't have half as many at-bats as Ellsbury does.
Tonight's lineup against Tampa Bay:
- Jacoby Ellsbury CF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Carlos Beltran 3B
- Mark Teixeira 1B
- Alfonso Soriano LF
- Brian McCann DH
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Yangervis Solarte 3B
- John Ryan Murphy C
Pitching matchup preview: Vidal Nuno vs David Price
We've got another matchup of the left-handers tonight in the series open, expect this time it won't feature CC Sabathia going up against Rays' ace David Price. Instead, it'll be Vidal Nuno getting the ball for the Yankees at 7:05 pm this evening.
Nuno was slotted into the Yankees' rotation after Ivan Nova went on the DL to have Tommy John surgery.
In two starts for New York, Nuno has surrendered three earned runs in 9 1/3 innings. His first start against Tampa Bay on April 20th, he pitch five scoreless frames in Yankees' extra-innings inning victory.
Price will be on the mound for the Rays, making yet another start against the Yankees. price faced the Yankees down in Tampa a couple week ago, when he gave up six earned runs on 10 hits in five innings in a 10-2 loss.
Since that start against Price on April 17th, the Yankees' offense is averaging over five runs a game, but with the way things have been going upwards for Price and downwards for the offense, this might be a good matchup for the former Cy Young award winner.