Pineda or Esmil, Girardi has choices

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
12:17
AM ET
NEW YORK -- A team still without four-fifths of its original starting rotation suddenly has, of all things, choices.

On Friday, the New York Yankees had good pitching news from the Bronx with Esmil Rogers to two hours west in Scranton with Michael Pineda.

It leaves Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi and their lieutenants with a decision: They can give Rogers another start on Wednesday in Baltimore or the Yankees could skip Pineda's final rehab start and have him return to the majors against the Orioles.

"You know what, there are a lot of things that are tied together that we are going to have to try to unwrap and see what we do next," Girardi said after the Yankees' 10-6 win moved them a season's-best seven games over .500 (61-54).

The reports from Scranton were encouraging on Pineda. In his second rehab start, he threw 72 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits. He struck out seven and walked none. That sounds like a pitcher who is ready.

However, Rogers, who entered with a 5.84 ERA after being a Toronto castoff, looked very good, throwing in the mid-90s as he fired five innings of one-run ball.

"This is what we have seen from him," Girardi said. "I just wasn't sure how much he would give us. I think we were pretty conscious of watching that his stuff continued to be sharp as his pitch count went up. He did a great job."

From Rogers to Brandon McCarthy to Chris Capuano, the Yankees have had pitcher after pitcher step right in and make it so they really haven't missed CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Pineda and even Masahiro Tanaka that much.

"There was a reason that we went and got these guys," Girardi said. "We felt that they could help us. They have pitched extremely well. I'm not sure any of us knew what to expect, but if you looked at, since the All-Star break, we have had a chance to win every game and that is because of them."
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 70
RB. Gardner 82
OPSB. Gardner .752
ERAH. Kuroda 3.77
SOH. Kuroda 137