A reshuffled rotation to give CC rest

DeLeon named Gulf Coast League's #2 prospect
Another good start by A.J. further alleviates concern

CC Sabathia is, in the old baseball sense of the word, a horse. With two starts remaining, he has thrown 220 innings for the Yanks after throwing 253 last year and 241 the year before. Tack on the postseason, and his innings total climbs by another 19 frames.

Somewhat unfairly and somewhat not, Sabathia carries around with him a reputation for postseason struggles. While he beat the Yanks in the ALDS in 2007, he wasn’t effective, giving up three earned runs on four hits and six walks in just five innings. Chien-Ming Wang was worse, and the Indians grabbed the Game 1 win. His ALCS starts against the Red Sox were worse. Last year, Sabathia’s numbers were ugly against the Phillies. He managed just 3.2 innings in his Game 2 start, surrendering five runs on six hits and four walks. Those results are not good.

Last year, though, Sabathia was pitching under some tough circumstances. Beginning with his start on September 16, Sabathia pitched with three days’ rest for five consecutive starts. During the four regular season starts, he went 2-2 but with a 1.88 ERA anda 26:4 K:BB ratio in 28.2 innings. In his last two starts for the Brewers — do or die games for Milwaukee’s playoff hopes — he gave up one earned run over 16 innings while fanning 18 and issuing just three free passes. Those games carried with them the pressures of the playoffs, and after 16 days of it, Sabathia was hosed.

Because the Yankees have wrapped up a playoff spot, because they have a six-game lead with nine games left to play, the Yankees won’t need to lean on the rubber arm of CC Sabathia. In fact, they can do something the Brewers could not do: They will rest CC.

After their nail-biter against the Angels yesterday afternoon, the Yankees announced the pitching match-ups for the series against the Red Sox, and the team did some shuffling. Joba Chamberlain will face Jon Lester in the Friday evening affair; CC Sabathia will square off against Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday afternoon; and Andy Pettitte will meet Paul Byrd in the Sunday afternoon match-up. While Joba will be going on their normal rest, CC and Andy will get a sixth day.

“It’s just giving CC a little extra rest and trying to give him a couple of extra days here. He’ll get an extra day the next time and then he’ll be on regular rest,” Joe Girardi said to reporters on Wednesday.

So while ten days ago, I set up the playoff rotation, let’s reset it.


Except for the final game of the season, we can see how the rotation shakes down. Not only are the Yankees giving CC an extra day off this week, but due to next Thursday’s off-day, he’ll enjoy another extra day of rest next week. As an added bonus, if the Yankees pick the short playoff series, he’ll get yet another extra day off. If they pick the longer series — the one that requires just three starters — the Big Man will be lined up on normal rest to pitch Game 1 in the Bronx against Detroit or Minnesota.

The only real remaining question mark of the season concerns A.J. Burnett. With the power pitching throwing well of late, the Yanks will probably line him up for a Game 2 start. He is, however, schedule to make just one start this year and could be pitching in the playoffs after a 10- or 12-day layoff. That idea scares me.

To that end, the Yankees could opt for Burnett to make an abbreviated start on the final day of the season with any number of relievers ready to step in after three or four innings. While Gaudin is the projected starter for that day, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Burnett draw the ball to give him on a regular schedule.

So that’s that. It is hard to believe the Yanks have just nine days left. It is comforting though to see the rotation shake down so nicely.

DeLeon named Gulf Coast League's #2 prospect
Another good start by A.J. further alleviates concern
  • chriskeo

    So from the looks of it, Burnett could start the last game of the season, and then could start game 2 on regular rest, no shortened start or anything, i see 4 days in between both his scheduled start, last day of the season, and game 2, so that appears to line up perfectly unless i missed something.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You’re right. That’s why I think the Yanks will give him some innings on the last day of the season.

    • Slugger27

      it would still be nice to get him SOME rest… after all, hes gonna be over 200 innings again by the end of the season

      i like bens idea… let him pitch the last day of the season to keep him on schedule, but limit him to around 60 pitches

  • GG

    TEH HORSE!!1!….RIDIN HIM TA TEH 27!11!

    • Slugger27

      thats the idea!

  • crawdaddie

    Pettitte will not be on normal rest on Sunday as he pitched on Monday and will have five days off before his next game.

    • Jersey

      From the OP: “While Joba will be going on their normal rest, CC and Andy will get a sixth day.”

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        It was wrong originally. I edited it, but forgot to remove crawdaddie’s correction.

        • Jersey

          Ah, gotcha.

  • Rich Buoye

    AJ “problem” is easily fixed. Yanks flip-flop Burnett with Gaudin against KC. Have AJ pitch on the 28th on regular 5 days rest. Then he starts the last game of the season on 6 days rest and Game 2 of the ALDS on regular 5 days rest. An added bonus of this is that Andy, AJ and CC are all getting extra rest down the stretch with at least one extra day between starts. Therefore, their rotation is set up and well rested for the first round. Go Yankees!

    • Slugger27

      this is an interesting idea… if they flip-flop them, then aj will still be on regular rest (by the way, u mean 4 days rest when u say “regular” rest)

      i guess it doesnt really matter, cuz he’ll either get an extra day of rest between now and his next start, or between his next start and the last day of the season

  • Slugger27

    this “i got ripped in 4 weeks” dude is all over the place

    • Tank the Frank

      And he is pretty ripped.

      I got ripped in one week…it was called spring break.


      • Johan Iz My Brohan

        Or do you mean the first week of the new year, when you tried to get ripped, but were too lazy to focus on that new years resolution?


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      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

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  • Esteban

    I’m not worried about CC. He’s been great in the 2nd half, and will be fine in the playoffs because he won’t be gassed. I’m also hopeful that Burnett’s last two starts are the beginning of a dominant run like he had in June/July. He’s also been much better at home so I’d give him the 2nd home game

    Also, the Sportcenter anchor just said “The Yankees hold on for a rare win.” He probably misspoke but c’mon!

    • Kiersten

      I think rare is the right way to describe it. I mean, it’s only happened 97 times this season!

  • Free Mike Vick

    sometimes it just amazes me how quick Chien Ming Wang’s career went down the drain…i mean…1 foot injury…and then it was basically all over!

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

      Hes under 30 and a still has very good career numbers. Hes going to get a chance next year. If his velocity is back then we should see a comeback.

      • Bo

        He was a fluke. The low strikeout numbers finally came back to get him this year. Plenty of pitchers flame out after the league gets a few turns at him. Even seasons.

        • Frankie

          Wang – 2010 come back player of the year

          • jsbrendog

            eh i’d go 2011 if anything cause he might not even pich next year let alone enough to warrant consideration for comeback player of the year

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD


              Of course he gets hurt/sucks it up the year after I buy a Wang jersey t-shirt.

              • jsbrendog

                ha yeah i got mine in the offseason when they were liquidating the previous year’s tshirts for like 7 bucks. that and a hughes 34 one. to go along with my cabrera 24 one.

        • AndrewYF


        • Tom Swift

          He didn’t “flame out” — he was injured. Whether he can make a comeback from those injuries is unknown, but there is no reason to think that, absent those injuries, he would have “flamed out.”

        • pat

          He wasn’t a fluke. He clarly was not the same pitcher who had such success the previous few years. It’s not like he was throwing the same sinker that was now magically getting destroyed. He was throwing flat 92 mph meatballs over the plate.
          There’s a difference.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    I agree with the Yankees rotation plans for the Boston and Kansas City series. That Tampa Bay series will be utterly, utterly moot, however, so I’d like to use it to accomplish the twin goals of A) giving our playoff starters rest and B) letting our playoff starters get some work so they’re not rusty.

    My proposal: CC, Pettitte, and Burnett get the final three starts against Tampa Bay (in that order) and then start games 1, 2, and 3 of the playoffs (in that order). Against Tampa Bay, all three are on strict 3-inning/50 pitchcount caps. They get replaced by Kennedy, Gaudin, and Joba.

    Oct. 2 @ TB Sabathia for 3 and Kennedy for 3
    Oct. 3 @ TB Pettitte for 3 and Gaudin for 3
    Oct. 4 @ TB Burnett for 3 and Joba for 3
    Oct. 5 Off Day
    Oct. 6 Off Day
    Oct. 7 ALDS 1 Sabathia
    Oct. 8 Off Day
    Oct. 9 ALDS 2 Pettitte
    Oct. 10 Off Day
    Oct. 11 ALDS 3 Burnett
    Oct. 12 Off Day following the sweep of the Tigers

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I like this idea a lot. However, you know that if CC wins in Boston this weekend, they’ll let him go at least 5 to try and get #20.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Probably right. Maybe CC for 5 IP and Kennedy for 2 IP?

        Speaking of that, maybe CC should be on a 5 IP limit for BOTH of his remaning starts. Get him enough to qualify for the win and then get him out of there ASAP. Save as much in the gas tank as possible without precluding him of gaining the stupid meaningless stat that will only convince idiots that he’s good (the rest of us know already).

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Yup. I absolutely love that idea.

      • Joebrah


        when i first read this title, i got a little annoyed. i thought they were going to skip a start, leaving him only one left and thus, no chance at getting to 20 wins.

        you can certainly tell they’re on cruise control when they’re starting joba to open up the series against the red sox.

    • Tom Zig

      I like this idea, however, are you sure you want start Pettitte for game 2?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Whatevs. The Great Andy and AJ Home/Road Splits debate holds no fiery passion for me. I don’t care. Do whatever is easiest. Don’t overthink the schedule.

        • Tom Zig

          Does said “jet stream” even exist anymore?

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