Yankees announce Sabathia, Kuroda, Nova as top three starters


As expected, Joe Girardi announced CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova will start the team’s first three games of the regular season. Well, he didn’t really come out and announce it, but the rotation for the rest of the week indicates that will be the case. This lines up Kuroda for the home opener. Masahiro Tanaka figures to slide in as the number four starter with either Michael Pineda or David Phelps as the five. Obligatory reminder that the rotation order on Opening Day means nothing.

Categories : Asides, Pitching


  1. Axisa's Doctor says:

    Makes sense. Puts less pressure on Tanaka and Pineda

  2. Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks) says:

    Means Pineda should pitch Between Tanaka and Sabathia which could also help manage bullpen innings since Tanaka and CC are likely to pitch a lot of innings and Pineda will need bullpen caddies.

  3. Havok9120 says:

    So since we’re starting a guy who should be a #2/3 as our #4, does that mean we’re trying EXTRA hard to win? If so, does it make up for not sending CC to ExtST?


  4. Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

    Damn it, emac2 was right!

  5. TWTR says:

    If there are no rain-outs (yeah, unlikely) the rotation is lined up so that I see Tanaka, so sweeeeet.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Girardi then announced that the Yankees have no intention of relocating to Barstow in the near future.

  7. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    All the emac2 jokes have been made. Good.

    I do think it’s funny that this is an announcement post that then goes on to say that no announcement has been made. This is why Axisa cracks the big news first.

  8. Eddardo Nuney says:

    Nova’s earned the right to be in the top 3 as he was our ace down the stretch last year when CC pitched to a 4.7 ERA and Kuroda tired. I think we should be proud of Ivan as he represents the only successful starting pitcher to come out of the Yankee farm system since Andy Pettitte two decades ago.

  9. MP says:

    Pretty sure that lines up the 5th starter for the first Sox game during that second weekend in April. Would LOVE to see (presumably) Pineda go out there and shut em down.

  10. hogsmog says:


  11. Jarak says:

    Tanaka is not a #4 but they don’t want him next to Kuroda in Rotation. I would’ve let Kuroda go 1 and CC 2 to handle that. Other issue they want to give Tanaka more than4 days rest when there are days off, but they also are watching Pineda’s innings so will want to skip him once in a while. I hope they give Solarte a shot, I’m tired of Nunez.

  12. Axis of Mike says:

    Headline alarmed me, ALARMED ME, I said. It says “top three,” not “first three games.” But actually, I just wanted to trot out that new handle. Hope it hasn’t been used!

  13. Jarak says:

    As @Joelsherman1 noted, w/ Tanaka starting April 4, he’s in line to go April 9, 15, 20, 26, May 2, meaning extra rest 3 times in 1st month.

  14. mt says:

    I am torn by this – originally wanted Tanaka to start against Astros in game 3 to have better shot at a successful major league debut. However, I also am curious to see how Tanaka does against a very good hitting Blue Jay line-up – since there have been a lot of minor leaguers he faced in spring training, it probably is better for the long run for him to get a start against the more difficult Blue Jays. He (and the Yankee coaches) can really see where he is at (to me, the extra rest he gets later in April seals the decision to start the fourth game.) Maybe we have to lose the battle to eventually win the war.

    Pineda should also be interesting – yesterday he faced a lot of the starting Blue Jay line-up and did OK (Reyes was the only significant Blue Jay starter missing.) I still have this fear, though, that Pineda will struggle when games count if he does not add at least 2-3 mph more in velocity. However, his breaking stuff has looked good so far in ST so hopefully that will carry the day.

    So there is a very possible scenario where Tanaka and Pineda both absolutely get bombed in Toronto that first weekend (not to mention the same possibility for Sabathia on April 6 against Blue Jays – CC looked good with his diminished velocity against Pirates and Marlins in spring training the last two times but still am a little skeptical how that will do against tougher line-ups in AL East.) I think CC will eventually make adjustment but can see serious bumps and bruises before we get there.

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