BOSTON — The Yankees’ hometown product is in the lineup for the biggest game of the year.
Andrew Velazquez will start at shortstop and bat ninth on Tuesday night against the Red Sox in the American League wild card game at Fenway Park, with Gio Urshela moving to third base after he was banged up flying into the dugout to make a catch on Sunday.
Velazquez’s postseason debut comes as the Yankees begin the playoffs without DJ LeMahieu (sports hernia). Velazquez was called up from Triple-A on Saturday to start against the Rays, but his last start before then was Sept. 8. The Bronx native provides strong defense, if not a big bat, behind Gerrit Cole.
Manager Aaron Boone also has Anthony Rizzo batting leadoff – the spot normally occupied by LeMahieu before he landed on the injured list – against Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. Gleyber Torres handled leadoff duties in all three games against the Rays over the weekend, but on Tuesday he was bumped down to fifth behind Joey Gallo.
Rizzo is 5-for-9 lifetime against Eovaldi heading into the night, while Torres is 7-for-29.
As expected, Kyle Higashioka is catching Cole, while Gary Sanchez will be a pinch-hitting option off the bench.