Yankees Once Again Facing Rotation Decision

The Yankees foolishly sent Ivan Nova down to the minors in July only to recall him a few weeks later when they realized that he needed to be in their starting rotation.

Since the end of July when he was recalled the Yankees have mostly gone with a 6-man rotation. They don’t want to stick with that long-term however and just before making a decision between A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, chance made the decision for them in the form of a cut on Freddy Garcia‘s hand.

Garcia is coming back this week though and they will be back to six starters. Not a problem for the short-term considering they have a double header coming up this weekend, but after that they are going to need to go back down to a 5-man rotation which means somebody is going to be cut.

Once again it seems that Burnett is one of the likely starters to be pulled from the rotation. Despite the fact that GM Brian Cashman seems to be firmly in Burnett’s corner there is no denying that he has easily been the worst of the group.

Consider that over the past 30 days, the Yankees have four starters who have been worth at least a 0.5 WAR (Nova, CC Sabathia, Garcia, and Hughes), and two other pitchers Bartolo Colon (0.3 WAR) and of course Burnett (0.1 WAR) who have not.

Considering the fact that Colon has pulled his (hefty) weight all year it really seems unlikely that they would cut him from the rotation now that he is struggling for the first time all year. Hughes is the opposite, he has been doing well, but only after a long season of struggles. Still, Burnett has been consistently bad.

After a strong first month and a half to the season Burnett has a 5.72 ERA with 93 K’s and 52 BB’s over 18 games and 105.1 innings pitched. From June 8 on he has a 5.98 ERA over 14 starts, and over his last nine starts he has really fallen off the deep-end with a 6.93 ERA over 49.1 innings.

At this point it seems like an obvious choice. The Yankees need to remove Burnett from the rotation. Over the next five or six weeks they can maybe find a role for him out of the bullpen because it is getting to the point where the playoffs are coming up soon, he is not an option for the rotation. They should try to find some role that they can use him in or at least a place where they can keep him from continuing to hurt the team.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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5 Responses to Yankees Once Again Facing Rotation Decision

  1. seasonedobsverer says:

    Time to cut the cord on AJ. When he pitches he infects thee whole team with a bad attitude. Like a golfer who hits that one drive that makes everybody envious. It doesn't make up for the other 17 that are out of play. AJ,s long and wrong. He should be long gone.

  2. Frank R says:

    "How dare you take me out,, I've only given up eight runs and twelve hits in two innings.." You &^%%&*#, don't know &*(() about pitching… AJ, it's not rocket science,,,, You gotta go!!! Do you hear this Girardi and Cashman???

  3. Tony says:

    A.J. Burnett has all the physical ability to be a 20 game winner, unfortunately he does not have the mental ability. He refuses to learn new pitches or to even pitch smart relying on a fastball that isn't as fast as it once was. He needs a full time shrink and a part- time pitching coach to get straight. Absent that, he needs to be shown the door, not really Yankee material.

  4. Susan says:

    Another great game by AJ Pavano tonight. We deserved to lose for pitching her. Why on earth do we keep throwing her out there when we know it means an automatic loss? We're in a pennant race, not spring training. It's not time to "work out the kinks". AJ is like a malignant tumor that needs to be completely removed. Just eat her contract and be done with it before she causes any more damage.

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Unfortunately, he could get one more start, at least. The postponement of today's DH (8/27) and D/N DH (they'll do everything to get both games in) on 8/28 mean that if everyone is pushed back, and say it's Nova/Garcia in the DH, that someone will need to go 9/1 in Fenway. It could be A.J. Other choices could be Noesi (would be first MLB start) or a September callup like Warren or Mitchell (MLB debut @ Fenway…). None of the options are too appealing. Frankly, I wouldn't mind starting a kid one day in order to straighten out the rotation. He couldn't do much worse than A.J. has been doing. Maybe, for one start, you catch some lightining in a bottle. __Girardi will have to manage carefully this next month. The Yanks have just one off day left (now that 9/8 is a makeup date @ Baltimore) after today (8/27) until the end of the season on 9/28. That day is 9/15. With a team of aging veterans, the September callups could see playing time.

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