Joe Girardi has said that the only starters guaranteed spots to start the year are CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. He also said that they aren’t considering a six-man rotation. That means Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and Freddy Garcia are vying for three spots.
Here is what Girardi told Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com what he’s looking for to make his decision:
“I think you look at track record, I think you look at what the guys did for you last year, you look at the way you see the ball coming out of their hand, maybe the command that they have at this point, where we’re going as an organization,” Girardi said. “And I’ve always said, we’re not really gonna look to see who fits in the bullpen better. You might weigh that like one or two percent.
“Those are the things that you have to look at, and kind of what your gut’s telling you about what you’re watching with your eyes. It’s not gonna be an easy decision, I can tell you that.”
Notice he didn’t mention anything about stats. If he did that would probably immediately eliminate Nova, who has the worst numbers this spring. The fact that he said you look at what guys did last year also bodes well for Nova and not so much for Hughes.
The where we’re going as an organization line sure makes it sound like Garcia is the odd man out though. It’s also telling that Girardi pointed out that they don’t care who fits best in the bullpen – another sign that Garcia might be on the outs as he has just two relief appearances in his career.
If I had to guess based on these comments by Girardi, I would have to say Garcia is going to be the odd man out.