Joe Girardi named righthander Luis Cessa as his probable starting pitcher for Monday night’s Subway Series opener against the Mets at Yankee Stadium. Cessa is 0-3 with a 4.83 ERA for the Yankees in nine appearances (four starts).
The Mets traded Cessa and righthander Michael Fulmer to the Detroit Tigers on July 31, 2015, for Yoenis Cespedes.
The Yankees called up lefthander Caleb Smith on Sunday and sent down righthander Giovanny Gallegos. Smith started two games in July before the Yankees acquired Jaime Garcia and Sonny Gray.
Gray will start Tuesday night’s game and Garcia is slated for Wednesday night, when the series shifts to Citi Field. Luis Severino will start Thursday night. The Mets are scheduled to use Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo and Steven Matz in the four-game series.
Greg Bird (ankle surgery) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday, Girardi said. He also said Starlin Castro (hamstring) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday. The locales for both players’ assignments are to be determined.
Joe: Sanchez’s defense better
Gary Sanchez was the Yankees’ designated hitter against Chris Sale on Sunday night, with Austin Romine behind the plate to catch Jordan Montgomery. Girardi, who criticized Sanchez’s defense last week, said he has seen improvement in that area.
“I think it’s been pretty good,” he said. “I think he’s played really well. He’ll be back in there catching [Monday]. Trying to keep his bat in the lineup as much as I can.”
Sanchez hit his 19th home run Saturday.
Mark Teixeira was a pregame visitor as part of his work for ESPN . . . Chase Headley was in the lineup against Sale instead of the hot-hitting Garrett Cooper. Headley was 6-for-20 (.300) with two homers against Sale and homered off lefthander Robby Scott on Saturday. It was the switch hitter’s first home run off a lefthander since Aug. 17, 2016.