Jeremy Hellickson has not pitched in 16 games thank to the All Star Break. Bartolo Colon has been injured. Both have been a pleasant surprise this season, and defied odds to be ranked third in their team's pitching rotation. The Rays' Hell-boy has never faced the Yankees, but recent history could put the odds in his favor.
Hellickson's last outing: 7 2/3 innings, six hits, only three earned runs and a win against St. Louis
Colon's last outing: two-thirds of an inning, eight earned runs and a loss to Toronto
Last night's loss was hard to bear. It was a crazy night and the bullpen was exhausted. Kyle Farnsworth blew a 5-out save in the eighth to tie the game at 4 runs a piece, and future-starter Alex Torres pitched the ninth. Fresh off the plane ride, he eventually walked in the winning run for New York. To keep the bullpen fresh, he was demoted this morning to make room for Dane De La Rosa. A righty, he will make his major-league debut as number 49. Per Marc Topkin: De La Rosa is already on the 40-man roster - which is a factor in his promotion over others such as Lance Cormier - and holds a 3.86 ERA in 35 games for Triple-A Durham, striking out 50 and walking 21 in 46 2/3 innings.
The Tampa Bay Rays are a season-high eight games out of the AL East lead behind the Red Sox. The Rays have not lost four straight since their 0-6 start and trail the Yankees by 6 1/2 for the wild card. The next two games in this series will be crucial.
Game Time: 7:10 PM, Tropicana Field
Pitching Matchup: Bartolo Colon (6-5, 3.47 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 3.21 ERA)
Television/Radio: SunSports HD, WDAE 620 AM
Notes from mlb.com:
- Yankee's Ramiro Pena woke up Monday morning -- his 26th birthday -- with severe stomach pains and was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with an appendicitis. Because doctors removed his appendix, Pena was forced to go on the disabled list Monday. To fill his spot on the active roster, the Yankees called up Brandon Laird from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. "It'll be a birthday I'm sure he'll never forget," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Pena.
- With eight relievers seeing action in Sunday's 16-inning loss to the Red Sox, the Rays made a move to add bullpen depth. Making room for Monday's starter Alex Cobb, the club also recalled left-hander Alex Torres. To make space for the pair, the Rays placed Juan Cruz on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain and designated Adam Russell for assignment.
- Rays pitcher Wade Davis, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm, threw another bullpen session of about 50 to 60 pitches before Monday's game. He hopes to return to the mound for Tampa Bay on Saturday against the Royals, but Joe Maddon said that was unlikely.
- After a slew of moves to the bullpen Monday, the Rays have four left-handers in the bullpen for the first time since the end of the 2004 season with expanded rosters.