Aaron Boone is sticking with Adam Ottavino.
The righty reliever, who struggled down the stretch in September and carried those issues into October – allowing three runs, six hits and three walks so far this postseason – nonetheless remains a late-inning option for the manager.
“I still think he's got to play an important role for us, especially against the Houston lineup; a lot of their great players are right-handed hitters,” Boone said on a conference call Wednesday after the postponement of Game 4. “And just the way we're built and set up, he's going to have to still get important outs for us. I still feel like he's capable of that.”
Ottavino’s most recent hiccup came in the seventh inning of Game 3 when, with the Yankees still within striking distance trailing 2-0, he allowed the first two runners to reach, departing to a hailstorm of boos. Zack Britton allowed the inherited runners to score to make it 4-0.
“You're going to have to lean on guys that maybe are going through a tough time, that have to step up and get you big outs if you're going to move forward,” Boone said. “And I consider Otto one of those guys.”
Status quo for Stanton
Boone had no more information on the condition of Giancarlo Stanton, who hasn’t played since straining his right quad running out an infield single in Game 1 and would seem a longshot to be able to play the rest of the series.
Still, if the Yankees remove Stanton from the ALCS roster because of injury – a step subject to approval by MLB – the outfielder would be ineligible for the World Series should the Yankees get that far, so they’re not in a rush to make that call.
“I'm not sure,” said Boone, stressing he believes Stanton could be a pinch-hitting option. “I'm not really close to making that decision yet. That will be something that we kind of work through today and possibly even into tomorrow before I make that decision.”