Sunday, September 4, 2011

Girardi Sticking With Yankees' Six-Man Rotation

It looks like the New York Yankees have finally made a decision on who will be left off the five-man starting rotation and it is...wait for one.  That's right, chopping a pitcher from the overcrowded rotation-- which seemed so important just last week-- is now a non-issue as far as manager Joe Girardi is concerned.

On Sunday, after the Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 9-3, Girardi said he'll stick with six starters at least for another week and maybe longer at his post-game interview.

Girardi said he spoke with all parties involved before Sunday's game and claims he is in "no rush to make the decision."

"I let them know who was pitching and when.  People like to know where they're going to be every five days, six days,' Girardi said.  "Life's not always like that.  The good thing is they're getting another chance."

For A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, who've had more chances than Lindsay Lohan in court, D-day could come by next weekend.

Girardi denied any of his starters are on the bubble, but referred to those two pitchers' last outings at his press conference.

"We want to see it again," he said.  "We liked what we saw in Boston.  I know Hughes gave up some runs but threw better than he did.  We liked what A.J. did and want to build on that."

Girardi commented on Burnett's new mechanics and thinks the erratic pitcher is on to something.

"I love what I saw in Boston," he said.  "He had a tough August.  It took guts, but he went out and did it."

The manager addressed his concern about keeping CC Sabathia (19-7) on his regular five-man turn.  The Yankees ace, who won today's game,  is pretty adamant about keeping his routine, so Girardi may adjust the six-man rotation accordingly.

"It's designed so if we want to give CC an extra day, we can do it, said Girardi.

What CC wants, the big guy gets.

"It's possible I might keep him [Sabathia] on his normal turn," said Girardi.  "Or move him back to Saturday.  I'll see how he feels."

Girardi announced his starters for the upcoming home series against the Baltimore Orioles and Burnett (9-11, 5.25) and Hughes (4-5, 6.75) will give it another shot.

Freddy Garcia (11-7, 3.09) will start on Monday followed by Hughes on Tuesday and Burnett on Wednesday.

There has been speculation about Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.72) being sent to the bullpen.  Questions about the 38 year-old running out of gas have been swirling about during his past four starts.  The rotund righty is 0-3 in those last four outings after getting a no-decision yesterday, but it looks like Burnett and Hughes are the ones on the hot seat.

Whatever Girardi decides to do, it looks like the six-man scheme has been working.  The Yankees have won seven of their last eight and are tied for first place in the AL East.  The manager said nothing is set in stone...for now.

"I am allowed to change my mind," he explained.  "I may want to go to a five-man, but we'll see."

Here we go again.

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