When MLB scheduled the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies to head to Yankee Stadium for a premier clash in the season's second series, they probably weren't anticipating that Philly would still be seeking their first win after a three-game set in Texas went sideways.
Instead of valiantly racing to the top of the league, the Phils and their star-studded lineup are 0-3 and looking to unleash in the Bronx. Catching the Phillies at their low point is less than ideal; after all, how much further can a stone sink? Even without Bryce Harper, this group still packs plenty of firepower; at least the Yankees won't be confronted by Harper all series, recalling that he wanted to be Mickey Mantle and Brian Cashman opted out of the experience.
The odds are definitely in the Phillies' favor for a bounce back, but can the middle of the Yankees' rotation keep the ball rolling, setting up for a clash of aces in the series finale Wednesday afternoon?
Yankees Lineup for Monday, April 3 vs Phillies
Congrats to Aaron Hicks, who acted like a baby over the weekend and was rewarded with his first start of the season; this will also be Franchy Cordero's Yankees debut. Josh Donaldson and Oswaldo Cabrera will sit.
Yankees Pitching Probables for Monday, April 3 vs Phillies
Nestor Cortes Jr. will make his 2023 season debut on Monday evening after building up slowly in response to the hamstring issue that kept him out of the World Baseball Classic.
Luckily, swapping him down in the rotation with Jhony Brito paid off the first time around.
Cortes zipped through the Cardinals in his second spring training start, carving them up for seven strikeouts in four innings of work. Hopefully, his trademark brand of mischief translates in the pitch clock era.
For the Phillies, it'll be Taijuan Walker, the team's big free agent mound addition who battled decreased velocity after competing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Aaron Judge has four career home runs off Walker in 14 at-bats.