Burnett out as Yanks set ALDS rotation


Updated (1:07 p.m.): This news shouldn’t come as much surprise to Yankee fans, but George A. King of The Post reported this morning that the A.J. Burnett will not be in the ALDS rotation. Instead, as the Yankees just announced via Twitter, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes will make up their rotation for the best-of-five game set against the Twins. Sabathia will take the ball in Games 1 and 4 on short rest while Pettitte will pitch Games 2 and 5 on full rest and Hughes will go on Saturday nigh at Yankee Stadium.

The decision to sit A.J. is a no-brainer for the Yanks as Burnett showed little ability to command his pitches or get outs consistently during the second half of the season, but the move to start Hughes at home might raise an eyebrow or two. Hughes’ home/road splits are extreme, and the young right-hander had a road ERA 1.35 runs lower than his home mark while giving up 0.6 HR/9 IP on the road against a 1.7 mark at home. I have no problem, however, with Pettitte’s taking the ball for a potential Game 5 either. The Yanks have not yet said if Burnett will be on the ALDS roster.

As an addendum, Major League Baseball also announced the umpire crew for the Yanks’ set against the Twins. We’ll have Jerry Crawford, Hunter Wendelstedt, Greg Gibson, Brian O’Nora, Gary Darling and Chris Guccione for the ALDS. That crew seems to feature no one too awful as an umpire. Additionally, Major League Baseball announced that Game 4 will start at 8:07 p.m. ET on Sunday and Game 5 will start at either 8:37 p.m. on Tuesday or 8:07 p.m. ET if the Tampa Bay/Texas series is over.

Categories : Asides, Pitching


  1. larryf says:

    So what is the official/final roster?

    • JohnathanCold says:

      Joe Girardi will unveil the ALDS roster later this afternoon.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      The report does not indicate whether or not the Yanks plan to include Burnett on the roster as a potential bullpen arm, and Joe Girardi will unveil the ALDS roster later this afternoon.

  2. JohnathanCold says:

    The report does not indicate whether or not the Yanks plan to include Burnett on the roster as a potential bullpen arm

    Hard to believe he won’t be. I think most would rather him come in for long relief than Gaudin, Mitre or Javy.

    I’m not ready to throw the towel in on AJ yet. He can be incredibly frustrating to watch, especially this season, but something tells me he gets his act together. Hopefully sooner than later.

  3. vinny-b says:

    intelligent move.

    yet they are going to a 3-man rotation with a physically not ready Andy Pettitte then?

    NYY will have to be lucky, to advance

  4. So maybe Girardi is not as dumb as everyone makes him out to be?

    • Neil says:

      Not dumb but very rigid. He has a plan and he’s sticking with it regardless of what is happening on the field. The LH pitcher is going to pitch to the the LH hitters even if he’s stinking it up.

    • Sometimes he makes dumb/questionable moves, it doesn’t mean he’s a dumb person. Anyone who says that is just speaking out of anger. Joe seems like a very smart guy, but sometimes he makes moves that are pretty questionable. Not including AJ in the rotation isn’t exactly rocket science, so I’m not sure why this move would qualify this kind of comment.

      That said, every manager makes moves that seem odd/dumb/whatever so it’s not like someone else would do better.

      In closing, I feel very confident about this series, gogo yankees but burnett sux lol whatevs

  5. Regis says:

    Thank Mo!

  6. James says:

    I hope A.J. makes the roster then. He’s a much better option for long relief than Moseley, Gaudin or Mitre; he can miss more bats. Bring Nova and A.J. on board.

  7. B-Rando says:

    Burnett should be on the ALDS roster, he is a better longman than Sergio Mo-din. I’d take my chances with him over those three.

  8. vin says:

    I’d happily take my chances of Andy in Game 5 versus Pavano. One side benefit to Hughes starting game 3 is that he should be available to throw an inning out of the pen in game 5 if necessary.

  9. CountryClub says:

    Yeah, I don’t see the Yanks setting Hughes up to possibly pitch game 5. Pettitte will pitch game 2.

  10. James says:

    Also a good point Vin. If it goes 5 and the Yankees need Hughes and pull out the game, then I think you see the LCS rotation go the same was as last years, with Sabathia in game 1 and Burnett in game 2. If the Yankees advance Burnett will get the game ball at some point…

  11. larryf says:

    Golson over Kearns petition starts now. Contact over free swinger. I know it won’t happen. Kearns is an experienced solid major leaguer!

    • Thomas says:

      Golson struck out 23.6% of his AB in AAA and 26.7% in his major league career.

      Kearns has a K rate of 28.8% this season and 24.3% in his career.

      Golson isn’t exactly an upgrade in the contact skill.

    • Kearns in pinstripes: .235/.345/.324
      Kearns as an Indian, 2010: .272/.354/.419
      Kearns, career: .257/.353/.423
      Kearns, MiL: .292/.395/.513

      Golson, career: .200/.200/.267
      Golson, MiL: .263/.309/.398

      Greg Golson makes Austin Kearns look like Ted Williams.

      Oh, and:

      Contact over free swinger.

      Kearns, K%: 24.3%
      Golson, K%: 26.7%

      Greg Golson is not a “contact hitter”. He’s not a hitter at all.

      You should base your entire argument around defensive value being more important than carrying an additional pinch hitter; you might have a leg to stand on there. Maybe.

      • larryf says:

        Just based on watching the last month of Kearns suck mostly. Golson hasn’t had many ab’s to compare but what I have seen with RISP/contact I have preferred.

      • Adam says:

        It also seems like Kearns will be starting vs. lefties over Gardy, which is a little frustrating because of the defensive downgrade (and their splits vs. lefties are comparable).

        That said I still think there is an argument to be made for Golson on the roster as a defensive replacement (this hinges on the fact that Swish is a bit hobbled), though I suppose then there is the problem of whose spot he takes.

        • I was talking about this on twitter yesterday, and Ben made a good point. Gardner and Granderson have to start against Liriano because of their defense alone. Target Field is too big to have Kearns roaming around out there. The Yankee offense has enough punch against LHP to carry Gardner and Granderson, I think. Keep those guys in there and let them run down everything in the OF and make CC even more effective.

          • first time lawng time says:

            Gardner’s defense and “poor” bat vs LHP >>>Kearns’ defense and “good”(?) bat vs LHP. IMO anyway.

        • It also seems like Kearns will be starting vs. lefties over Gardy, which is a little frustrating because of the defensive downgrade (and their splits vs. lefties are comparable).

          Was Joe starting Kearns over Gardner down the stretch because he didn’t want Gardner in against lefties?

          Or was he simply aggressively resting Gardner to keep his legs fresh for the playoffs, where he’ll start every night?

          We don’t really know yet. We’ll have to see. I have a hunch it’s the latter.

  12. j_Yankees says:

    I think this move says 2 things. First, The obvious lack of trust the Yankees have in AJ Burnett in a short series this year. Which was his own doing. Even thought i personally don’t put a ton of stock into the Blue Jay game, because the Jays have murdered him all year, he dug his own grave that night.

    Second, It illustrates the great trust the Yankees have in CC. If you look at the other AL playoff teams Ace’s (MIN-Liriano, TEX-Lee, TB-Price) none are pitching on 3 days rest for game 4. Because of that they are having to use their 4th best pitcher while the Yankees are able to ride the big man on 3 short rest. It’s an amazing luxury the Yankees have.

    • James says:

      I agree with that on one hand, but on another hand I think that has more to do with the lack of confidence they have in Burnett to win a must-win game at the moment. The other three teams all feature four-man rotations with questions, but with less questions than the Yankees have at the moment.

      • I’m not so sure about that. I bet Joe Maddon is just as terrified about a Wade Davis ALDS start as we’d be about an AJ Burnett ALDS start; he just can’t trust David Price to be able to go on short rest because he’s never done it before.

        CC demonstrating his ability to handle short rest with aplomb is a gigantic tactical advantage (and the reason I claimed the other day I’d take him over all other teams’ aces this postseason).

        • first time lawng time says:

          I agree with the second paragraph. Skill-wise, I’d say he’s relatively even with the other lefty aces, although I would argue that he’s more durable (290 lbs) than the other aces, allowing him to go on short rest. Also, the Yankees have the advantage, because we have Mariano Rivera to get 6 outs, therefore we don’t necessarily have to rely on our ace to give us 8 or 9 innings.

        • James says:

          That’s also very true. I take back my previous comment. Really… everything I’ve read and watched about the Twins, Rays and Rangers and their post-season chances regards “why they could advance” to the series, while with the Yankees, all the reasoning centers around “why the Yankees won’t advance” to the series. That makes the Yankees the clear favorite.

    • I think you are over complicating it. It is probably just that the Yankees feel they have a better chance of winning with CC on short rest than AJ on full rest.

    • vin says:

      Lee is pitching in game 4.

    • rek4gehrig says:

      Credit goes to CC’s wife’s cooking

  13. first time lawng time says:

    So I suspect the final ALDS roster to look like this:

    Nova (or Gaudin)

    Kearns (ugh, but you know Girardi will take him)
    Cervelli (kinda miss Molina, not gona lie)

    **Personally, I would only take 1 of Pena/Nunez, but you know Girardi will take both. Also, I would take Colin Curtis or Golson over Kearns. Not a major step up, but I’ve seen enough of Kearns lately. And offensively, I’ll take Miranda over one of Pena/Nunez/Curtis/Golson, only because he has some power.

  14. first time lawng time says:

    Kind of off-topic, but relates to the ALDS and playoffs. I kind of see not having “HFA” as an advantage, because if we win just 1 game on the road, we get the advantage. If we win 2, we have a strong chance of not even seeing a game 5 or 7, therefore making the original “HFA” mute. Just my opinion anyway.

    • It’s going to be even more hilarious when Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson no-hit down the Rays a few times this week and eliminate them, giving us an easier ALCS matchup altogether.

      The Rays winning the division may ultimately be a pyrrhic victory for them.

      • first time lawng time says:

        If we manage to beat the Twins and advance to the ALCS, and Texas beats Tampa, I think we have the mental edge over them, just because of their playoff history against us. Also, (I really hope I’m not jinxing this). Isn’t it something like every time we’ve beaten Texas in the postseason we win the World Series? At least it seems that way in the ’90s.

        • Hughesus Christo says:

          I don’t think Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton care bout the NYY/TEX playoff history. Elvis because he was like 10, and Josh because he was ROLLIN’.

    • vin says:

      HFA is definitely somewhat overrated in baseball. There’s a tactical advantage to HFA in hockey (location of benches and when lines can change). There’s an undeniable officiating advantage in basketball.

      The advantages just aren’t as significant in baseball. Maybe it makes it a bit easier to determine when to bring in your closer in a tie game. The umpires seem to be evenly mistake-prone.

      Also, in the 7 game series, I think the team without HFA has a nice edge of getting 3 straight home games. The home team can get comfortable and build a little momentum at home then take it on the road in game 6. Or maybe I’m just thinking too much about 2004.

      • first time lawng time says:

        It is overrated. Unless if we’re playing the Angels in the ALCS or DS, I don’t think it matters as much as everyone says it does. The Yankees can win on the road. The only thing I’m worried about is lately they’ve been relying TOO MUCH on the long ball and that’ll be a problem in Minnesota.

      • Not Tank the Frank says:

        Ehhhhh. Again, I think this team needs HFA. I don’t think you can take HFA stats overall over the years, you have to look at a particular team. This team needs HFA in my opinion.


        If you go player by player, everyone’s splits besides Cano, Swish, and Gardner are pretty drastic. I don’t think you can reference the 2000 Yankees team and say not having HFA is ok because of that…just for instance. This team most resembles last year’s team, and last year’s team lost one home playoff game.

        • first time lawng time says:

          But if they win just ONE game on the road, they then have HFA.

        • And as we pointed out to you when you brought those splits up previously, the flipside of that is that our pitching is better on the road.

          YS3 is an offensive park. It’s natural to expect that our hitters would hit better there. That doesn’t mean by default that we need HFA; we don’t.

          • Not Tank the Frank says:

            Granted, the pitching is better, but the splits are not nearly as drastic (.734 OPS against at home, .707 away).

            And FWIW, CC Sabathia pitches better at home (.605 home/.699 away).

            It is a given that Yankee hitters would hit better at home, the point is that the home/road splits are severe for many key players. Stating that they pitch better, if only slightly, on the road doesn’t make that fact disappear. Declaring that they do or don’t need HFA is probably a bad choice of words. In my opinion, I believe they stand a much better chance of winning with HFA.

  15. Not Tank the Frank says:

    I would be shocked if Girardi doesn’t opt for Ring as a second lefty for this series. He is IN LOVE with matchups.

  16. vin says:

    “That crew seems to feature no one too awful as an umpire.”

    I’m sure someone will step up and have their “one shining moment.”

  17. Steve says:

    One other thing to think about – pitching CC on short rest in Game 4 sets him up for Game 1 of the ALCS on regular rest. They can then maneuver his games/rest as they see fit after that.

    Of course, we’re a long, long, long, long way from thinking about the ALCS. Let’s get 3 of 5 first.

    • Tim says:

      Not to put the cart before the horse, but that is a very significant piece of information. If the other series goes to a game 5, it would mean two things. One – either Lee or Price would be unavailable until game 2 on short rest or game 3 of the LCS at the earliest. Two – it would be one hell of a game that shouldn’t be missed under any circumstances.

  18. matthaggs says:

    Side benefit of no Burnett is no thought of starting Cervelli. And Girardi would have at least thought about it.

  19. larryf says:

    So the Twins were second in doubles and triples hit at home this year. They have little HR power and Target Field makes it even harder. Seems like outfield defense/speed will be extra important against their offense.

    /Gardy plays every game

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I know your shtick is hating Kearns, but while Kearns isn’t Gardner in the OF, he is a pretty great defender, both anecdotally and per UZR.

  20. first time lawng time says:

    Where’s Cuzzie?!

  21. first time lawng time says:

    Speaking of rosters and players in the postseason and all that,
    Do you guys think that previous postseason track records (eg last year) could foreshadow how certain players (eg Tex, Cano, Swish) perform this year?

    • larryf says:

      I hope those 3 do the ARod turnaround this year.

    • vin says:

      No. Not at all. Although the playoffs seem to drag on for weeks, not very many games are played. The small sample size warning applies.

      However, I do think some players are better equipped to hit good pitching than others. And last year, Swisher’s swing seemed to be at a point where he was having a hard time hitting against pitchers who didn’t make mistakes and threw quality breaking balls. I expect him to unleash his new swing on pitchers this postseason.

      I believe the only way something like postseason struggles carry over from year to year is if its a mental issue. And I don’t think us fans have a good understanding of various players’ mental states.

    • Tim says:

      No. Teixeira was terrible last year, but with the Angels the year before, you couldn’t get him out. Is he suddenly “un-clutch” now? It all means very little, if you ask me.

      • first time lawng time says:

        I remember him not getting very many hits and getting out alot. But I distinctly remember that the hits he did manage to get were in big situations. (ie. the walkoff homerun in the ALDS, the homeruns vs. Pedro in Game 2, etc).

  22. At Work says:

    Vs Liriano Is it:




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