Earlier this season, when Javier Vazquez was struggling, the Yankees rotation was adjusted so that Vazquez would skip a start. The Yankees arranged extra time for Vazquez to work in the bullpen and get himself straightened out.
There are no plans to do the same with A.J. Burnett.
“I don’t think he’s necessarily going to benefit from it right now,” Joe Girardi said. “We need A.J., and A.J has the ability to pitch well. And I believe he’s going to pitch well. We just have to keep working.”
Girardi said the Burnett struggles — five straight losses — are not all that different from the Vazquez struggles from earlier this season, but Girardi seems to think the root cause is different.
“We thought it would be good for Javy to miss a start,” Girardi said. “I don’t see a lack of velocity (in Burnett). I don’t see a lack of bite in his breaking ball. It’s just execution, pitch after pitch. And that’s something we need to work on.”
It’s hard to fix a pitcher’s execution without putting him in games.
“I wish there was a way I could get out there tomorrow and throw,” Burnett said. “I can’t wait to pitch my next start.”
Associated Press photo.