All four back-of-the-rotation candidates have now pitched five innings for the Yankees this spring. Bartolo Colon is the only one who has allowed a run, and he’s allowed only one. None of the rotation candidates has more than one walk, and all four have done enough to keep earning starts.
“I think the bottom line is you can’t get so much caught up in what the other guys are doing,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You have to worry about yourself and how you go about your business and just let things take care of themselves.”
Freddy Garcia went about his business this afternoon with three hitless, walkless innings against the Braves. Garcia has a history of rocky spring training numbers, but fighting for a spot seems to have changed his focus in games that used to carry no meaning.
“Before I always got my spot (guaranteed),” he said. “It’s different this year. I have to be more focused, more consistent with what I do. I think that’s the case so far.”
Garcia has been pitching at 88-89 mph with his fastball. There were times last season when Garcia was working at 85-86, but he said his shoulder feels stronger, and that lively fastball has made his other pitches more effective. He’s been able to throw strikes, and Girardi keeps raving about how Garcia “finds a way to get outs.”
“I feel way better this year than last year in the course of the season,” Garcia said. “I think maybe I felt that way three or four games, like I feel now.”
It’s March 8. The Yankees break camp in three weeks. A rotation decision is not going to be made any time soon.
“We’re going to take our time and we’re going to be diligent,” Girardi said.
Associated Press photo