The Yankees have six starters battling for five spots in their rotation, but so far manager Joe Girardi has only named two of them, CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, as having guaranteed spots leaving the final four to fight for three spots.
It’s hard to imagine Michael Pineda not getting a spot and Ivan Nova certainly deserves a spot after a strong rookie campaign last year, but technically nothing has been guaranteed. Still, it seems that the only battle comes down between Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia. Hughes is rumored to have the inside track in that competition, but again, nothing has set in stone.
So when can we expect the rotation to be officially named? Well it doesn’t sound like Girardi is in much of a hurry to do that.
“I don’t have a date because I don’t necessarily think I have to rush,” Girardi told George King of the NY Post. “There is a good chance the sixth guy could be in the bullpen.”
Girardi even went as far as to say that they haven’t ruled out sending one of the three guys with minor league options left, Hughes, Nova, and Pineda, back down to the minors to start the season.
“Players have options, some of them, that’s something we have to talk about,” Girardi said.
That seems like a very unlikely option though. Especially considering that the Yankees Triple-A rotation is already full with Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and D.J. Mitchell all likely to start the season there. So it seems like there is a good chance that barring and injury the “loser” of the battle for the rotation would just be the long-man in the ‘pen.
There really is no reason to set the rotation just yet in case there is an injury everybody needs to be stretched out. There will come a time though that the actual five guys that will be in the rotation will need to be lined up to start the season and that time is coming soon if it is not beginning to happen already.