Joe sticks with six in rotation
September, 4, 2011
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Before Sunday's game, Girardi said he'd made his decision. Only that decision turned out to be sticking with a six-man rotation.
"We're going to go another time through. I'm allowed to change my mind, that's why I don't make instant decisions," Girardi said.
Instead of demoting one starter from his current six-man rotation, Girardi said he'd like to see each hurler throw at least one more time.
So Freddy Garcia will start Monday against Baltimore -- the first game of a three-game series in the Bronx. Phil Hughes will get the ball Tuesday and A.J. Burnett will start on Wednesday.
The manager explained that he, general manager Brian Cashman and others in the organization decided they'd like to see Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett take the ball again after seeing signs of improvement from both in their recent starts against Boston.
"I know Hughs-ey gave up some runs but we thoguht he threw the ball better than he did," Girardi said. after the Yankees' 9-3 win over Toronto on Sunday. ".... We liked what A.J. did and we want to see him build on that and see another time through with the different mechanics, what happens."
It was widely assumed that Girardi was deciding between Burnett and Hughes when considering candidates for demotion.
In ten starts before his last outing against Boston, Burnett was 1-5 with a 7.79 ERA. But the enigmatic righty bounced back against Boston last Thursday by giving up two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Reports out of the game stated that Burnett employed a mechanical tweak to his delivery, which improved his control. Girardi said Burnett's performance in Boston led directly to the manager's decision to give him another shot.
"He went out and did it and threw a really good game for us, which really makes me curious," Girardi said.
Hughes has allowed two runs or fewer in five of nine starts since coming off the DL. But he's struggled in his last two, allowing a combined 12 runs in 8 1/3 innings.
Against Boston last Wednesday, Hughes gave up six runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Girardi, however, said he pitched better than the results show.
CC Sabathia pitched on regular rest Sunday but may be forced to pitch with an extra day of rest as the Yankees continue to employ a six-man rotation.
Sabathia said after his Sunday start that he'd take the ball whenever he's asked to do so, but admitted it would be ideal to pitch on four-days rest.