News & Notes: Burnett, Rotation, A-Rod

Yanks get six vs. Braves, DC trip in 2012
No need for a backup catcher in the postseason

The preliminary schedule for the 2012 season was released earlier today, but let’s take a step back to discuss some stuff affecting the Yankees right here, right now…

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Burnett’s New-Old Mechanics

Lost in last night’s win and A.J. Burnett‘s eleven strikeouts is that it looked like he was injured at one point. Burnett was visibly bothered by something in the third inning, when he loaded the bases and allowed the tying run. He was moving his arm around and appeared to be wincing after each pitch, but he stayed in the game after a visit from the trainer. He finished strong, striking out seven of the last dozen men he faced.

After the game, Burnett said there was no injury, he was just uncomfortable with his mechanics. That’s why he reverted back to his old motion mid-game. “I kind of went back to my old delivery in the middle of the game, but kept the things we worked on with that,” said A.J. “I was a little uncomfortable trying to get loose and trying to get the ball out like that, so [Larry Rothschild] was like, ‘Whatever it takes.’ I was more aggressive, and I think the work we put in allowed my hands to stay in the right spot when I went back. It was confidence. Confidence and pitching with conviction.”

Rotation Plans

Within this notebook, George King mentions that the Yankees have flipped Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia in the rotation. Sabathia will now start on Friday in Toronto, Colon on Saturday. As I wrote two days ago, there’s basically no easy way for the Yankees to line Sabathia up for September 30th, the date of Game One of the ALDS.

Looking at what’s left of the schedule, the Yankees could have CC start one of the doubleheader games on the 21st (normal rest), then throw an abbreviated start (or something like that) on the 25th (three days rest). That would line him up for Game One. They could also have him throw that abbreviated start on three days rest on the 20th, then start him on the 25th (normal rest) and in Game One (normal rest). I’d much prefer the latter. Something has to be done though, unless they plan on running someone else out there to open a five-game series.

A-Rod Could Return Friday

Alex Rodriguez‘s sprained left thumb started giving him trouble again a few days ago, and the team originally said he would need three or four days on the shelf. Yesterday was day number four, but Joe Girardi said before last night’s game that a Friday return “is reasonable for Alex.” The idea is that with Thursday’s off day coming up, they’d give him a few extra days just to be safe since this injury is clearly nagging. A-Rod will do some kind of hitting work before tonight’s game just to test the digit, either batting practice or something else.

Yanks get six vs. Braves, DC trip in 2012
No need for a backup catcher in the postseason
  • teddy

    why not skip cc once and then have cc take the guy spot who sechedule for game 1

  • Dan

    Two questions: 1) With AJ’s success last night, what would he have to do in his remaining starts to allow him to take back a post-season roster spot and potential rotation spot?
    2) With the injury to Arod would it make more sense to just shut him down for another week or so and let the finger have more time to heal? The Yankees have a cushion and did pretty well when he was out earlier, why not let him heal and try to get him closer to full strength for the post-season?

    • Jesse

      1) My guess is that he’d have to pitch just like this against his remaining opponents to get a spot AND one of Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, or Ivan Nova would either have to be extremely terrible or get injured to where they miss significant time. Girardi is going to use the three/four best starters and I don’t see A.J being in that group come playoff time.

      2) That would make sense, but I’m sure they want him to get a good number of at bats so he can get hot and have a run through the postseason. Maybe they could rest him more once everything is locked up in the standings.

      • Cris Pengiuci

        My thoughts almost exactly. (tried to reply but a security error stopped me from posting)

        • Sayid J.

          Except that you just replied

          • Cris Pengiuci

            Had tried to provide a full response prior to that one but couldn’t. should have explained better for you.

      • Dan

        I agree on both, my guess with AJ is that if he is going to take anyones spot it might be Colon just because he has been on a bit of a decline and with his innings where they are maybe Girardi moves him to the pen. It also looks like AJ is lined up to get tested with his next starts going against Tampa and Boston.

  • Cris Pengiuci

    It’s odd that we really haven’t heard of a plan on how the Yankees will line up CC for an ALDS game 1 start. I sure hope they’ve got this fully thought out and worked out with CC by now. Can’t see having anyone else start game 1.

    Glad to hear ARod is getting the extra days. No need to press him back to service as the team is in a nice place and performing well. he’s got plenty of time to get back into a groove before the playoffs start.

    • Jesse

      You never know, maybe Girardi has a secret plan to start someone else game one, and come game 2 you have CC against Texas’ or Detroit’s number 2 which is as close to a lock win as they come, IMO.

      But I hope that’s not the case. You gotta start your ace game one against the opposing ace, that’s just how it is and how it’s always been, right? And that goes for the ALDS. I can obviously see not having your ace go game one of the ALCS or World Series because the ace possibly could have pitched the Do or Die Game 5/7 the series prior.

      • YankeesJunkie

        I agree that you need CC going Game 1 in every series to have him available the most time. There is no guarantee for a Game in any series so you can’t lose with CC sitting on bench.

        • gc

          He’s big on “locks.”

          • Jesse

            It’s an opinion, OK?

            • JimIsBored (Jim S)

              Doug Fister:


              CC vs Fister probably comes down to the pens. Either way, not a lock.

              CC vs anyone not named CJ Wilson on the Rangers: maybe you have a point there.

              • Jesse

                As of now the Yankees would play the Rangers in the first round, so probably my theory should be leaning more towards if/when they play the Rangers in the first round.

      • Cris Pengiuci

        Agree with your points, they may have some odd plan and we’re not really entitled to know all of their thinking, but it would certainly be odd for them not to have their ace starting game one of a 5 game series.

        • JimIsBored (Jim S)

          The real problem in the 5 game series is that if you don’t start him game 1, there’s no guarantee you get to start him twice, even if he wins.

          If he starts game one, then even if you lose the next 2, he should be fine for game 4.

      • Will (the other one)

        Ah, the old Art-Ditmar-over-Whitey-Ford move. Sign me up!

  • dexcente

    No love for Bill Dickey?

  • Hello Nasty

    I thought my buddy and I had hooked a record-setting largemouth bass on our last fishing trip; turns out it was just John Lackey.

    • jsbrendog


  • theyankeewarrior

    I’m baffled that they didn’t just switch CC and Bart the last time around in the rotation. If CC pitched the 9th instead of the 10th, he would have been perfectly in line for game one.

    Why make it more difficult than it has to be?

  • Monteroisdinero

    Cameron and ARod broke up. Jeets and ARod cutting out distractions for the next 6 weeks. Good.

    • jsbrendog

      off topic. no one cares

      • radnom

        Funny that you “ietc” the equally off-topic terrible John Lackey joke.

        • Monteroisdinero

          This. ARod is on this thread heading. People amaze me when they make/don’t make, off topic pronouncements.

          As for no one cares-thanks for speaking for everyone. I try not to.

    • CS Yankee

      Agrre, they’ll have their “fighting legs”