NEW YORK — Mitch Moreland won’t return to the starting lineup for the Red Sox until a potential Game 5 at the earliest. The first baseman’s sore right hamstring left him getting treatment most of Monday.
Steve Pearce was in the starting lineup in Moreland’s place in Game 3, against a right-handed pitcher in Luis Severino, who would be Moreland’s charge normally.
The Yankees have CC Sabathia on the mound in Game 4, and manager Alex Cora said that Moreland wouldn’t start that game anyway.
Moreland wasn’t officially ruled out for Game 3, but it didn’t sound likely he would come off the bench, either.
“Honestly, yesterday I was very concerned,” Cora said. “Today less concerned, but still concerned. For him not to play, it’s a lot. It takes a lot, you guys know it. He was here yesterday. Treatment was very aggressive. Today he walked in and is like, ‘I’m all right.’ We talked a little bit. If we use him, we use him, if we stay away from him, we stay away from him. It has to be kind of like perfect storm for him to go out there.”
Use as a defensive replacement sounded unlikely as well.
“Maybe, maybe,” Cora said. “With him it’s kind of like treatment the whole day and whatever they do in the training room and see how he feels. It’s tough to see him that way, honestly.”
Part of the reason Cora said that he wanted switch-hitter Blake Swihart to stay on the bench on Monday rather than start — Christian Vazquez was behind the dish — is that he wanted someone available for righty relievers in the middle innings, further adding to the idea the lefty-hitting Moreland would be unavailable.
“For how much we want him to get three at-bats or whatever, there might be a big at-bat in the middle of the game,” Cora said. “Obviously the way [Yanks manager Aaron Boone is] managing the game it looks like it might be five and out [for Severino]. You’ve got the righties coming into the middle of the game.
“There might be an at-bat there for Blake we can take advantage of. It’s not him catching or whatever, but playing those guys from that side we were going to be short.”