How a rainstorm would change Yankees’ ALDS rotation plans?

The forecast for Thursday has not improved, meaning Game 2 of the ALDS between the Yankees and Guardians in The Bronx remains in jeopardy, as do the pitching plans for both teams.

Nestor Cortes, who will start for the Yankees in Game 2 – either Thursday or Friday – would have been available to come back for a short rest before a possible Game 5 back at the stadium on Monday.

On Wednesday, the southpaw said he would be ready to throw in that game one way or the other, though both he and the Yankees hope they will have completed the series by then.

Cortes said he would not adjust his pre-start routine based on the shaky forecast.

If he doesn’t pitch until Friday, he’ll be limited for the rest of the series.

“I’m ready to go,” Cortes said. “I’m going to empty the tank. So if I pitch on Friday and I have to come back with a short rest – be it two or three days – I’m going to try to prepare as best I can to feel as good as possible.”

Nestor Cortes and Shane Bieber (stake) will face off in Game 2 of the ALDS - Thursday or Friday - weather permitting.Nestor Cortes and Shane Bieber (stake) will face off in Game 2 of the ALDS – Thursday or Friday – weather permitting. NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Luis Severino starts Game 3 in Cleveland. Cole, the starter of Tuesday’s Game 1, is expected to return with normal rest to pitch Sunday’s Game 4.

“With this [Cleveland] team, there are leftists and… if you had [Cortes] in an inning scenario, a tie-inning scenario, that would be quite valuable,” said manager Aaron Boone. “But if he leaves on Friday… hopefully we’re not in a Game 5 situation, but if he is, we’ll see. He might be in the game, but not necessarily as a traditional starter.”

Boone has emphasized his preference for a three-man rotation for this round and had Jameson Taillon ready to win Game 1 on Tuesday in the ninth inning.

If Thursday’s game is postponed, the teams would line up to play four days in a row and that would probably put Taillon out of a big role as he would be a logical option to start Game 5 .

As for the Guardians, after starting Cal Quantrill on Tuesday, Shane Bieber is set for Game 2 on Thursday and Triston McKenzie for Game 3 on Saturday. Even if Quantrill returns for Game 4 with normal rest, a Thursday postponement would bring Aaron Civale into play as a potential Game 5 starter.

Aaron Judge’s wait for the ball from his landmark No. 62 home run will continue through the end of the postseason as both the Yankees and the fan who caught him, Cory Youmans of Dallas, have agreed to postpone potential negotiations until the Yankees’ season is over to avoid distractions.

The judge broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League and franchise record with his 62nd homer of the season on October 4 against the Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Boone said he has no plans to talk to Josh Donaldson about the third baseman’s failure to run his flyout into right field that bounced off the top of the wall and came back into play in Game 1.

Donaldson thought it was a homerun and was thrown out trying to return to first base.

“Strange play,” said Boone, who said Tuesday that he hadn’t seen what was happening properly.

“[Donaldson] thought it was over the fence. We shake hands first [in the dugout]. The music goes off. I just think it’s a weird game.”

Jonathan Loaisiga got an important double play on Tuesday to end the seventh, but he also gave up two hits in only two thirds of an inning. In his last six postseason forays dating back to 2019, the righthander has allowed 15 baserunners in just 4 ¹/₃ innings.

The Yankees are counting on him to return to the form he showed for much of the second half of this season after returning from a shoulder injury, as well as most of 2021.

“I know people feel like we have a lot of questions [in the bullpen]’ said Boone. “[That’s] honestly. We don’t have the ‘this guy is the closest’ and all these particular roles. But I feel at this point, even though we’ve experienced some exhaustion down there, we’ve got a lot of really talented options down there and [Loaisiga] is in the middle of it. If we’re going to get that far, he’s going to have to get a lot of big outs for us.”

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