Surprise! No rotation plans announced


Despite indicating that the team has made a decision about their fifth starter situation before the game, Joe Girardi said after this afternoon’s game that the decision has been postponed after talking to the players. They’re going to stick with a six-man rotation for at least one more turn through the order, and that means Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett will start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. All I can say is: good.

Categories : Asides, Pitching


  1. Jesse says:

    Good. Now Phil, just go out and pitch a gem, and A.J just suck again and Phil will keep his spot like he deserves.

    • forensic says:

      Lol, I love how only on here does liking a player longer/more mean they ‘deserve’ something.

      • mbonzo says:

        Since Hughes got back, AJ has posted an ERA 2 points higher. Love the attempt an over-generalization of RAB commentors ignoring statistics while you ignore statistics yourself.

        • Basic Beans says:

          Hughes has a higher ERA (5.26) since he came back than Burnett has for the season (5.25). You can always play with the statistics.

          It’s less than 50 innings for Hughes. That’s not a lot at all.

      • radnom says:

        You can easily make an un-baised argument that Phil deserves the spot. AJ has certainly been that bad.

        What this decision says to me is that the Yankees were ready to give the spot to Phil, but AJ forced their hand with the strong showing in Boston. They will give him one more look and if it looks like the mechanical improvements are for real, the spot is his to win.

        Personally, I’m not going to get too worked up either way. Missing a few late September starts is not going to ruin either pitcher’s potential future with the team, and at this point neither of them are sniffing the playoff rotation so this is almost a non-story if you ask me.

      • Jesse says:

        The numbers over the last month plus say Hughes is better. Go lol at that.

        • Basic Beans says:

          Judging players on month plus is the only way to go. LOL on that.

          • Jesse says:

            It’s a good enough sample size, and it’s apparently a good enough sample size for Girardi. The fact of the matter is that if A.J blew up in Boston he would be out of the rotation based on what he’s done the last month plus. But since he pitched well and changed his mechanics Girardi decided to see him pitch one more time. LOL at that.

            • Basic Beans says:

              You still aren’t getting it. You were harping on results of 22+ip from AJ in August. That’s asinine and I am still LOL’ing at that.

              • whozat says:

                …I think the reasoning is that AJ has been mediocre to awful for most of this season and last. There is also no upside there. He is what he is, and he is in decline.

                Hughes was very good to start last season, sucked and had some kind of arm issue that sapped velo early this season, so he was DL’d. He’s been promising since returning from the DL, with a hiccup or two. There is upside there, as he is still only 25 years old, and establishing him as a member of the rotation benefits the Yankees for years to come.

                Given this information, I can’t see how you could possibly choose to keep AJ Burnett in the rotation over Phil Hughes. There is neither any particular reason to expect him to be better than Hughes in the near term, nor any reason to think that he’s an important part of the ball club’s future.

                • Basic Beans says:

                  Nice narrative!

                  Young guy! Had a good 1/2 of a season over 12 months ago! Had a good start last time out!

                  How about this one.

                  Experienced pitcher! Had a great season just over a few years ago! Had one good start last time out!

              • Jesse says:

                No, you’re not getting it.

                Since Hughes’ return 7/6, which is actually almost 2 months, even a bigger sample size:

                Hughes: 4-4, 5.25 ERA, 49.2 innings, 9.4 H/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.40 WHIP, 6.16 K/9

                Burnett: 1-4, 7.34 ERA, 52.2 innings, 12.47 H/9, 4.27 BB/9, 1.84 WHIP, 8.54 K/9

                The only thing Burnett beats Hughes in that 2 month (1/3 of the season) sample size is K/9, that’s it. Good for him.

                Now, here’s how they compare through the entire season:



                Burnett does have better numbers in the majority of the categories, and it’s the biggest sample size you can get. With that in mind, why would Girardi keep Hughes in the rotation? Please tell me.

        • forensic says:

          Where did I say aj deserves the spot?

          Neither of them are deserving, qualified, or have earned a major league rotation spot.

  2. FachoinaNYY says:

    Didn’t see that coming…

  3. Jerome S. says:

    Eh, if we get this through the end of the year it’ll be both unsurprising and fine with me.

  4. Countryclub says:

    Hmmm, sounds like maybe AJ was going to the pen. I can’t imagine that Hughes would have spoke up about going to the pen. AJ definitely would have.

  5. Jesse says:

    I listened to his presser and when he said “We’ll throw Hughesy on Tuesday” I was like Yes! Yes! And when he said, “We’ll have A.J go Wednesday” I was like, ahhh fuck.

  6. tom says:

    Theory pulled from my butt: we’ve all been wrong — Girardi was in fact looking for AJ to pitch himself definitively out of the rotation, to replace him with Phil. But the results in Boston made that an awkward case, so they’re punting for now.

  7. I think it’s clear that AJ was going to the bp, but Girard realized he couldn’t do it right after Boston.

  8. Xstar7 says:

    What will Girardi do if both Highes and AJ get rocked or pitch gems against the O’s?

  9. Cuso says:

    I’ve had this inkiling for about 2 weeks now.

    Eventually Colon will go back to the bullpen. They’re skeptical about the innings piling up on him. I know everyone thinks thats crazy talk. If he’s mediocre the next time out and Burnett & Hughes have solid follow-up performances, Colon will be headed back to the pen in the Aceves-like role he had in April.

  10. forensic says:

    Nice to see the inmates are running the asylum. Can’t they even tell us which agent had the biggest hissyfit instead?

  11. A-Rod's Wingman says:

    Girardi is the M. Night Shyamalan of managers.

  12. Will (the other one) says:

    Even though this looks like a major waffle on Girardi’s part, I can’t see too much downside to this decision. The nice thing about being so close to a playoff spot at this point in the season is that it gives the team a little flexibility to use upcoming games not just to evaluate young talent but to keep an eye on the veteran roster as well. Most of us are assuming that it’ll be one of Burnett/Hughes that ultimately goes to the pen, but as tom mentioned up above, there’s always the possibility an adjustment is needed for one of the other starters. What if Colon’s arm falls off? What if Garcia gets nicked up again? The last thing we’d want in that case would be for a demoted starter to have to come right back up to replace one of those guys after screwing with his schedule. Keeping everyone in his place in the rotation one more time around avoids a scenario like that and really doesn’t harm anything else in the meantime.

  13. Roland Deschain says:

    Girardi caved again. This guy has always been spineless. He’s afraid to do anything unconventional. Afraid to do anything that isn’t in his binder. The worst manager is not a manager who will make a bad decision, but is a manager that will make no decision at all.

    • Xstar7 says:

      Randall Flagg wants to have a word with you, Roland.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      He’s afraid to do anything unconventional.

      So going from a six-man rotation back to a five-man rotation would have been unconventional?

      • ROBTEN says:

        Bluto: What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

        Otter: [to Boon] Germans?

        Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.

    • Ana says:

      Yeah! He was too scared to bench Posada halfway through the season, and pull AJ from the playoff rotation last year, because he always just caves to egos and what’s expected and … wait…

      • Jesse says:

        Don’t forget about Javy Vazquez. The fact he got moved in and out of the bullpen during the 2010 season and was off the 2010 playoff roster.

        • Ana says:

          That too.

          The idea (which I’ve heard from more than a few people) that Girardi is somehow unwilling to/incapable of making a tough decision about an established player is not only baseless, it’s directly contrary to recent evidence.

  14. Skip says:

    I honestly don’t think a 6 man rotation is an issue any more in the month of April.

    1. Ok, so Hughes and AJ haven’t been the most steady, but that’s fine. We have a 1.5 game lead in the division and a huge lead in the Wild Card. Let them battle it out and have something to pitch for.

    2. Colon and Freddy’s innings. These guys haven’t pitched this much in a while. Freddy more innings than Colon, obviously. Bartolo may be tiring a bit, so why not keep this 6 man thing going to give them some rest for October?

    3. CC’s Innings. He’s a horse, and always has been. This year, though, he’s struggled at times after that 7 start stretch of dominance. Let him rest up for October as well. He’ll still get his start every 5 days due to the doubleheaders anyway.

    4. Bullpen depth. In August, this was much more of an issue, but now we’re in September had have 40 man roster expansions. We have guys we can call up and add in there to keep our guys fresh.

    I say keep the 6 man. We need to look ahead to October and hitting a peak there. Our offense is starting to click with ARod coming back and Jesus fighting for a spot. Our goal should be to win in October, and we’ll get there too, don’t worry. 6 man rotation does not mean a bad thing.

  15. hogsmog says:

    Is the six man rotation even an issue since rosters expanded? It isn’t like it’s costing us a reliever or a bench position…

  16. MikeD says:

    I don’t really care who wins the pointless fifth-man rotation spot with a few weeks left to play. Neither will be, nor should be, starters in the postseason.

    Both have delivered up a season worth of fail.

  17. CMP says:

    The Yankees need to get CC back on a regular schedule. He hasn’t been nearly as dominant since they started this 6 man rotation and at this point, getting CC back on a roll should be their number 1 priority. It’s about time Girardi grew a pair and made a decision. They could always let Colon or Garcia skip a start if they want to give them extra rest.

    Also I see no valid reason to keep AJ in the rotation ahead of Hughes unless he is clearly outperforming him which he definitely is not. I’d much rather keep Hughes stretched out since there’s a chance he could get hot and make a push to start in the postseason.

    • Greg says:

      If Phil Hughes had pitched better against the A’s and Red Sox, Girardi might have pulled the trigger. Dont blame Hughes shortcomings on Girardi.

      • Jesse says:

        If you look at Hughes’ games since returning from the DL he only sucks against the A’s. I have no idea why that is since the A’s are terrible on offense, but that’s the fact of the matter.

        • Will says:

          The A’s had better BABIP luck against him. Honestly, stuff and location wise, his worst start since he’s been back actually might have been the one against the Twins, despite the stellar results. A full third of the outs he got in that game were line drives that just happened to go right at fielders.

  18. MannyB ace2be says:

    In my eyes colon is still lacking that extra zip he had early in the season. I know his velo is fine but I’d love to give him 1 or 2 starts off and let him regain the awesomeness tha was 1st half bartolo

  19. J says:

    I love how Michael Kay was talking up how Girardi was going to unveil his rotation plans all game during the post-game. And then this.

  20. LiterallyFigurative says:

    Having the 6 man rotation has really hampered their quest for Home Field Advantage……

  21. jb says:

    Is there any record indicating how many two out runs Phil Hughes has given up in his career?

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