“I am a big believer that nothing is given in life,” Girardi told George King of the NY Post. “I am making sure when we leave spring training, we take the five best. And to be fair there are no guarantees.”
There are four other pitchers fighting for three spots. The thing is, we know that this is not a real competition. The Yankees didn’t trade Jesus Montero so Michael Pineda can pitch out of the bullpen. Ivan Nova also seems like a pretty solid lock as he not only put up good numbers last season, but he has potential and a bright future ahead of him, taking him out of the rotation now would only hurt that.
The final spot comes down to Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia. Based on what the two did last season it might seem like Garcia is a lock over Hughes. However, rumor is that Hughes has already won the 5th rotation spot.
And that’s what this is all about. Girardi says there are no guarantees in the rotation because they’ve already seen what complacency can do to young pitchers. Hughes showed up to camp out of shape last season and despite the fact that it seems a fire has been lit under his butt this offseason they don’t want to take anything for granted.
So while Girardi said that nothing is guaranteed, Hughes’ spot is all but guaranteed. Garcia will be waiting in the wings though and if Hughes shows the same inconsistency he displayed last year or fails to maintain the fight for the spot, Garcia will be there to jump in.