HomeMLB RumorsThe Opener: Yankees, Orioles, Yoshida, Royals

The Opener: Yankees, Orioles, Yoshida, Royals

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As the 2024 MLB regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:

1: Series Preview: Yankees @ Orioles

The top two teams in a crowded AL East division are set to clash for the first time this season in a four-game set that starts tonight. The Orioles host the Yankees at Camden Yards starting at 6:35pm local time, when right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (4.45 ERA) will face fellow righty Clarke Schmidt (3.55 ERA). Dean Kremer (4.61 ERA) and Corbin Burnes (2.55 ERA) are set to take the mound opposite Nestor Cortes (3.50 ERA) and Luis Gil (4.01 ERA), respectively, over the next two days. The Orioles have yet to announce who will face lefty Carlos Rodon (2.48 ERA) in the series finale, but right-hander Kyle Bradish (2.83 ERA in 2023) will likely make his season debut that day.

Baltimore sits just one game back of New York entering play, but the Yankees that have been the hotter team of late. New York took two of three from the Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend, while the Orioles lost two of three to the A’s. In particular, the Yankees enjoyed scorching hot weekends from a trio of key sluggers who had struggled so far in 2024: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Rizzo combined to go 16-for-41 with five homers, one of which was the 300th of Rizzo’s career. Will the Orioles pitching staff, which could be without closer Craig Kimbrel for the time being, be able to cool off the Bronx Bombers?

2. Yoshida exits game with injury:

Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida exited yesterday’s game against the Cubs after jamming his hand on a swing, as noted by MLB.com’s Injury Tracker. The club had not scheduled imaging on Yoshida’s hand after last night’s game, with Yoshida telling reporters via an interpreter that the current plan is to “just wait and see how it feels” today before determining next steps. If Yoshida were to be forced to take a seat for a few days by the injury, it would be an unfortunate turn of events as the 30-year-old had just begun to heat up after a slow start to the season with a .318/.375/.477 slash line in his last 13 games. Should Yoshida miss time, the club could turn to outfielder Rob Refsnyder or perhaps newly acquired first baseman Garrett Cooper to take the outfielder’s at-bats, which have primarily come as a DH this season.

3. Royals roster move incoming:

The Royals are off to a 17-12 start that has them just 2.5 games back of the Guardians for the AL Central lead. Kansas City’s rotation of Seth Lugo, Cole Ragans, Michael Wacha, Alec Marsh, and Brady Singer has combined for a 2.98 ERA that ranks third in the majors. With Marsh having been placed on the injured list last week, however, the club will need to turn to a new arm to take the ball against the Blue Jays in Toronto today.

Per Jaylon T. Thompson of the Kansas City Star, that fresh arm will be right-hander Jonathan Bowlan. Bowlan made his MLB debut last year and has just three innings of big league experience under his belt. He’s impressed this season with a 2.57 ERA and a 25% strikeout rate through four Triple-A starts and will look to continue that momentum in the majors opposite righty Yariel Rodriguez this evening. Bowlan is already on the 40-man roster, but the Royals will need to make an active roster move before tonight’s game to accommodate the addition of the righty.

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