The Yankees took two of three from the O’s at the Stadium last week. Over the weekend, the Yanks swept the Mariners, while the O’s were swept by the Rays. As a result, the formerly struggling Yankees slipped past the formerly hot Orioles at the bottom of the AL East standings. Expect those trends to continue.
The Orioles roster is unchanged from Thursday, but the Yankees have activated Wilson Betemit, optioning Alberto Gonzalez down to Scranton to make room for him. Garrett Olson, whom the Yankees chased in the third inning last Wednesday, starts this Memorial Day afternoon contest against Darrell Rasner, who pitched seven scoreless frames in that game and has been the Yankees’ best pitcher the last few times through the rotation.
Despite his ugly performance yesterday, Shelley Duncan gets another start at first base against the lefty Olson while Jason Giambi takes his turn on the bench. I’m convinced that Jason Lane’s May 31 out in his contract is motivating the extended look Duncan is getting despite his poor play, meaning that it’s Duncan, who is essentially the exact same player as Lane only two years younger and without the ability to play center field in a pinch, who is in danger of losing his roster spot to the former Astros right fielder.
It’s worth noting that the Yankees only outscored the Orioles by one run in last week’s series. A more convincing series win in Baltimore would help the Bombers maintain the momentum they’ve built since Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup.