Thursday, August 11, 2011
“I think he took it as a challenge and said, ‘This is going to be the last time you send me down,’” said Girardi.
But who’s the odd man out? CC Sabathia admitted recently that he’s no fan of the six-man rotation, and Girardi said last night that the team has to “eventually get down to five.”
“Sometimes it’s not easy to just move one piece and say, ‘That’s it.’ Because you’ve got to worry about how it affects everything you do,” Girardi said. “Some guys are maybe a little more suited, if you do decide to move someone to the ‘pen, than others. Those are all things we have to take into account.”
The best move might be to put erratic starter A.J. Burnett in the bullpen. Or Phil Hughes, no stranger to relief duty, who is coming off an early-season “dead arm” period.
How the Yankees handle this will be pretty interesting. It’s a tossup as to whether Hughes or Burnett is the better choice for fifth starter right now, but I think the Yankees need to look beyond that and think about what will benefit them more in the long-term. To me that says put Hughes in the rotation. Even if he may be worse than Burnett right now over the rest of the season, he’s the better bet to be a valuable starter to the Yankees in 2012 and 2013.
Maybe Burnett would thrive in a role where he could come in and throw gas for an inning or two.
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