MINNEAPOLIS — J.A. Happ still is trying to get used to his new role as a reliever — who also might start — in the playoffs.

“Since I don’t really have any more information than you, I’m just going game to game,’’ Happ said of his approach between games during the series. “I was live the first two games. I’ll be live the third [game on Monday] and go from there.”

Aaron Boone said Happ will be an option behind Luis Severino out of the bullpen in Game 3 Monday night at Target Field, when the Yankees will have a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five affair.

“I would say anything’s on the table still,’’ Boone said. “We’re going to pour everything into Game 3.”

Happ also figures to be in play to start Game 4, if there is one.

Happ pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Friday’s Game 1 win and has adjusted what he’s done on the side since then, although not much has changed.

J.A. Happ
J.A. HappCharles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“I’m trying to adapt,’’ Happ said. “It affects your in-between work as far as workouts, but that’s fine. It’s October. You adjust and I’ve adjusted.”

And if he doesn’t pitch Monday and the Yankees go to him to start Game 4 on Tuesday, Happ said he’s still stretched out enough to throw 100 pitches


Edwin Encarnacion had no deep scientific reason why he likes hitting at Target Field, but the numbers say more than words. His 17 homers are tied for the most by a visiting player, and on the last weekend of the 2010 season, the year the ballpark opened, Encarnacion slugged five homers in four games.

“I don’t know, I just see the ball well here,’’ said Encarnacion, who is 4-for-9 with two RBIs in the first two games of the ALDS.


Giancarlo Stanton is hitless in three at-bats this series but has drawn four walks in two games and driven in a run with a sacrifice fly.

“I am pretty pleased where he is, considering as much time as he has missed this year,’’ Boone said of the left fielder who played in just 18 regular-season games.

“I feel like his at-bats towards the end of the season where he got into a handful of games were mostly good and he has carried that into the postseason.’’