The Yankees and Athletics have named their starters for Wednesday’s American League wild-card game. New York will turn to right-hander Luis Severino, the team confirmed, while Oakland will open the game with reliever Liam Hendriks, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The fact that the A’s are counting on Hendriks in such an important role would’ve been a shock back in July, when they outrighted him, but the 29-year-old reemerged as an effective member of the team’s pitching staff in September. Severino, meanwhile, is in line to start his second straight AL wild-card contest. Last year’s showing was disastrous, as Severino allowed three earned runs and only recorded one out against the Twins before exiting what proved to be a comeback win for the Yankees. In an MLBTR poll over the weekend, the plurality of voters expressed that J.A. Happ should start the game over Severino. The Yankees disagree.
Here’s more on a few other AL clubs:
- Surprisingly, Twins manager Paul Molitor lost his job on Tuesday. More changes appear to be coming to the team’s staff, too, as Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets that bullpen coach Eddie Guardado and third base coach Gene Glynn are “likely” to exit their posts. The club also announced that it has parted with both strength and conditioning coordinator Perry Castellano and strength and conditioning assistant Erik Beiser. As for Molitor, who may stay in the organization, the Twins have offered him a job in player development, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune relays. Molitor’s bench coach, Derek Shelton, is seen as the top in-house candidate to become the Twins’ next manager, Heyman reports.
- Sticking with the Twins, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said Tuesday that he expects to discuss both an on- and off-field job for franchise icon Joe Mauer for 2019, per Miller. The 35-year-old Mauer may have concluded his playing career this past Sunday, when he had what could go down as a memorable send-off. Mauer’s not under contract heading into 2019, so if the first baseman decides to play again, the Twins will need to re-sign him.
- As of now, it appears first baseman Chris Davis will be back with the Orioles in 2019, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com hears. The soon-to-be 33-year-old owns one of the majors’ worst contracts, so the Orioles’ only chance to get rid of Davis would be by releasing him. It appears the rebuilding club will continue with Davis on its roster, however, even after he posted an all-time worst season in 2018. Formerly an elite slugger, Davis hit a shockingly terrible .168/.243/.296 with 16 home runs in 522 plate appearances. He easily finished last in the majors in fWAR (minus-3.1) and wRC+ (46).
- As of last weekend, offseason thumb surgery looked like a possibility for Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara. It turns out that he won’t need it, though, Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram tweets. Mazara’s thumb was a problem during the second half of the season, when he spent roughly a month on the disabled list and saw his production decline to a notable extent upon his return. All told, the 23-year-old hit .258/.317/.436 (96 wRC+) with 20 HRs in 536 trips to the plate.