If the Yankees don’t want A.J. Burnett to make his next start, what’s the best immediate option?
Andy Pettitte is out for another two weeks or so, Ivan Nova is already up from Triple-A and Dustin Moseley is already converted from his mid-season work as a reliever. The only extra starting pitchers on the 40-man — Andrew Brackman and Hector Noesi — have a total of one Triple-A start between them.
The options are pretty limited.
Bumped from the rotation just last week, his best outing of the month was in relief of Phil Hughes on Wednesday night when Vazquez went 4.1 scoreless innings. Having him skip a start earlier this season got him turned around.
Terrific in relief of Burnett last night, he’s topped 50 pitches in each of his past two appearances, suggesting he could go close to 70 in a start that would come in September when the roster is expanded. He has a 2.45 ERA as a reliever this season, but — in a three-game sample — a 5.93 as a starter.
If he could repeat last season’s down-the-stretch performance, he could be a significant help. Before a rocky outing on Tuesday, he had a 1.13 ERA this month. Hasn’t thrown more than 46 pitches in a game since July 17.
Ted Lilly is reportedly on waivers right now. His Dodgers teammate Hiroki Kuroda was placed on waivers a few days ago. Earlier this week, Brian Cashman told Wally Matthews he had no interest in going outside the organization for pitching help. Is it possible that’s changed based on the past two games?