ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Aaron Boone again said no decision on his starter for Wednesday’s wild-card game has been made.
But after the Yankees announced their rotation for the upcoming series at Fenway Park, it certainly seems to be coming into focus.
J.A. Happ will start Friday night, followed by Lance Lynn on Saturday and Luis Severino on Sunday. That would line up Happ to start the wild-card game against the A’s on regular rest. Masahiro Tanaka and Severino also are considerations.
Before the Yankees' 12-1 victory over the Rays in the series finale on Thursday -- which cut their magic number to clinch home-field advantage in the wild-card game to one -- Boone said playing the game at Yankee Stadium remains the priority.
“We want to go out and win today,” Boone said. “Hopefully we get to a point this weekend where we’re really juggling it to set up how we want.”
The A's were idle on Thursday. One Yankees win or one A's loss in the final three games of the season will give the Yankees the home game.
If the Yankees beat the A’s, they will advance to the Division Series against the Red Sox, against whom Happ has good numbers, including this year. Boone said that doesn’t factor into the wild-card decision.
“I would say we’re going to pour everything into the wild-card game,” Boone said. “Because, again, we feel like in a lot of ways, we’re dealing with a few different really good options.”
Boone did say that if the Yankees get to the ALDS, CC Sabathia -- who pitched brilliantly Thursday before being ejected in the sixth inning -- likely will be his Game 4 starter and Lynn will be in the bullpen.
Aaron Hicks, out with a tight left hamstring, hit and ran before the game and is expected to be in the lineup Friday at Fenway. A day after taking batting practice indoors and taking grounders on the field, Didi Gregorius (torn cartilage in his right wrist) hit outside and did more infield work. Boone did not commit to his return at some point this weekend.
“We’ll see on Didi,” Boone said. “We’ll hope he continues to get through each day, see how the BP goes on the field. Then it’s more leaning on the doctors, making sure he’s good to go. But I would expect Aaron back in there tomorrow for sure.”