Just a few days after the Yankees "adjusted" their rotation for the Wild Card Game by moving JA Happ to Sunday's start against Baltimore, they've made a fairly major secondary change to the proceedings.
Monday night's starter will now be Jonathan Holder, a classic Rays-style "opener" and an attempt to hit Tampa Bay with a bit of their own medicine.
Tonight's Yankees starting pitcher at Tampa Bay is RHP Jonathan Holder (1-3, 2.97).— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) September 24, 2018
So what does this mean for the Yankees' Wild Card Game future? It certainly seems like this further delay will result in...Luis Severino, of all people, being lined up for the one-gamer.
If they push Severino to Thursday, then he will be on 6 days rest for WC game.— Andrew (@Andrew_Rotondi) September 24, 2018
Friday would mean he is on regular 5 days rest for WC.
Is New York really adjusting their whole plan based on the last time through the rotation? Severino, for the first time in months, looked masterful against Boston, with more giddy-up on his fastball keeping the Sox well off balance through seven one-run innings. Happ, on the other hand, struggled to put away the third-string Orioles in five too-strenuous frames.
It certainly seems like, if all goes well in Severino's tuneup in Tampa, he'll head to the bump in the biggest game of the year once again, and the team will lean on Happ in a potential road Game 1 in Boston, if they earn that chance.
Or, you know, Severino struggles again, Luke Voit has to bail the team out on offense again, and the entire thing is in flux. One of the two.