Pineda injury sets Yankees rotation

Joe Girardi likes to say that things have a way of working themselves out, and in the case of his pitching rotation, they certainly seem to have done that.

With the injury to Michael Pineda, what had seemed to be a difficult decision for the manager -- trying to fit six pegs into five slots -- suddenly became an automatic. Without Pineda in the mix, the Yankees rotation is as follows: As previously planned, CC Sabathia opens the season Friday against the Rays in St. Petersburg, followed by Hiroki Kuroda in game two on Saturday. This morning, Girardi said that Phil Hughes, who had the best spring of any starter in camp, would start the third game of the series on Sunday, and that Ivan Nova would open the series against the Orioles in Baltimore on Monday.

And who starts the fifth game of the season next Tuesday at Camden Yards? None other than Freddy Garcia, the ultimate survivor, who for the second straight spring has won the Yankees' last starting job.

That should carry us until May 1, when Andy Pettitte is scheduled to come back, and we do it all over again.