HOUSTON (AP) – Aaron Hicks and CC Sabathia were added to the New York Yankees’ roster for the AL Championship Series against Houston, replacing Tyler Wade and Luke Voit.
The Astros added right-handed relievers Brad Peacock and Bryan Abreu to their ALCS roster and left off starter Wade Miley and utility man Myles Straw.
Hicks had been sidelined since Aug. 3 because of a flexor injury near his right elbow. In the first season of a $70 million, seven-year contract, the 30-year-old switch-hitter batted .235 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs in 59 games. He began the season on the injured list after hurting his back early in spring training and didn’t play his first game until May 15.
Hicks could start in center field, causing Brett Gardner to shift to left and Giancarlo Stanton to designated hitter in moves that improve the Yankees’ outfield defense.
If New York wants to keep Edwin EncarnaciÃ³n in the starting lineup and sacrifice infield defense, EncarnaciÃ³n could start at first and DJ LeMahieu could move to third in place of Gio Urshela.
The 39-year-old Sabathia, who is retiring after this year, missed the Division Series against Minnesota because of a sore pitching shoulder. He was 5-8 with a 4.95 ERA in 22 starts and one relief appearance – the Yankees moved him to the bullpen during the final week of the regular season to prepare for the playoffs.
Wade and Voit did not appear in the three-game sweep. After returning Aug. 30 from a stint on the injured list caused by a sports hernia, Voit hit .200 with two homers and eight RBIs in 80 at-bats.
The Yankees have 13 pitchers on the roster after having 12 in the division series, and the Astros have 12 pitchers on their roster, up from 11 in the ALDS.
Miley was put on the ALDS roster despite posting a 16.68 ERA in five starts to end the regular season. But the Astros decided to leave him off the roster for this round after the left-hander allowed four hits and three runs – two earned – in one relief appearance in the division series.
Peacock was left off the ALDS roster after missing time late in the season with discomfort in his throwing shoulder, but he has looked good in recent bullpen sessions and could be used as a long reliever in this series. Abreu is a rookie who appeared in just seven games this season but performed well in limited work, posting a 1.04 ERA.
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