LEADING OFF: Reds eye return after positive test; Rays-Yanks

MLB

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

WILL THEY PLAY?

The Reds are scheduled for an early flight to Kansas City for a two-game series against the Royals that was put in doubt after a Cincinnati player tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Players, coaches and other organization members were retested for the coronavirus Saturday and Sunday after one player was sidelined because of a positive result. The final two games of a series against Pittsburgh at Great American Ball Park were postponed.

The Reds made travel plans for Kansas City and expected to start Luis Castillo (0-2) in the series opener, assuming it’s played.

ROUND 2

The Yankees look for revenge against the Rays when they open a three-game series in the Bronx. Tampa Bay took three of four from the AL East leaders a week ago and could steal away the division lead with a sweep in the second of three series scheduled between the rivals in this pandemic-shortened season. The Yankees are still without injured stars Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu. New York right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 2.31 ERA) opposes 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (1-0, 2.08) in the opener.

PROSPECT TRIES AGAIN

Blue Jays rookie Nate Pearson (0-0, 5.11 ERA) makes his fourth start, looking for a bounce-back performance against the Orioles after giving up four runs in 2 1/3 innings to Miami last week. The 23-year-old launched his big league career on July 29 with five shutout innings against the defending World Series champion Nationals but hasn’t been as sharp against Atlanta and the Marlins.

Pearson said he made an adjustment to his delivery after his last start and intends to be more aggressive on the mound.

”I’m developing at the highest level,” Pearson said. ”When I don’t have my best stuff, I’m going to struggle.”

A BETTER BUNDY

Breakout right-hander Dylan Bundy tries to keep rolling for the Angels against San Francisco. Acquired from Baltimore last offseason after four underwhelming seasons, Bundy (3-1, 1.57) has been electric in Anaheim, striking out 35 and walking three in 28 2/3 innings over four starts.

TIGER TRYOUTS

Detroit is unleashing a few of its top prospects this week, including left-hander Tarik Skubal. The 23-year-old will start against the White Sox in his major league debut after being promoted from the alternate site. Skubal posted a 2.13 ERA in nine starts at Double-A last season and ranks among the top lefty prospects in baseball. He’ll be followed Wednesday by right-hander Casey Mize, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft also set for his big league debut. Tigers infielder Isaac Paredes has also been promoted.

PITCHING IN

Struggling to assemble a consistent rotation, the Atlanta Braves dip into their bullpen once again for a starter. Josh Tomlin makes his first start this season against Washington, two days after Robbie Erlin tossed four innings in a 4-0 victory over Miami. The Braves hope that formula works again with Tomlin, used mostly as a reliever during his two seasons in Atlanta. Not that Tomlin doesn’t have plenty of experience in a lead role. He made 144 starts over nine seasons with the Cleveland Indians.

”Whatever they want me to do, I’m very capable of doing it,” Tomlin said. ”You never really lose that starter mentality.”

The Braves’ rotation is in tatters after a season-ending injury to ace Mike Soroka and the demotion of both Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb. But, for now, the team has decided not to turn to a pair of top prospects, Ian Anderson and Tucker Davidson.

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