All offseason most people have been talking about the Yankees rotation with CC Sabathia as the no. 1, Phil Hughes as the no. 2, and A.J. Burnett as the no. 3 starters, but when the season starts it will be Burnett as the no. 2 and Hughes as the no. 3, according to manager Joe Girardi.
The reason it was likely flipped to start was probably because of most people’s perception and the fact that Burnett was left out of the ALDS rotation. That’s not the way the Yankees see it though and are going with Burnett in the two spot.
Realistically where they land, either no. 2 or no. 3, doesn’t matter much, but there is a benefit to it. Having Burnett pitch behind Sabathia ideally has the bullpen more rested coming off Sabathia’s start than it would if Burnett was pitching the day after Hughes. That could be the reason why Girardi chose this rotation, but it also could just be because of veteran experience.