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Pregame notes: Yankees considering a six-man rotation

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With Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes on the verge of returning from the disabled list, the Yankees seem to have six starting pitchers for five rotation spots. Or do they?

Joe Girardi said this morning that the Yankees will consider going to a six-man rotation.

“It’s something we’re going to think about,” he said.

A six-man rotation would complicate things because some starters — like CC Sabathia — don’t like extra rest. A case could be made that some veterans — like Colon and Freddy Garcia — could benefit from the extra day.

“Do we feel a guy needs an extra-day off?” Girardi said. “Do you skip a guy just to give him a little extra rest in one spot? There’s just some different things that you could do to be creative with the rotation if you do a six-man. Do, all of a sudden, you need one guy in the bullpen because your bullpen was fried the day before? Those are all things you have to consider if you do that.”

It’s a complicated situation with Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova all pitching well out of the rotation. Colon seems almost certain to take Brian Gordon’s rotation spot on Saturday, but will Colon stay there or move back into a relief role? If Hughes gets one more minor league start, would the Yankees bump A.J. Burnett next Saturday so that Hughes could get one start before the all-star break?

“It’s all things we have to figure out in the next couple of days,” Girardi said. “It’s somewhat complicated, but we need to figure it out.”

[3]• The Yankees haven’t officially announced Colon as Saturday’s starter, but Colon said today’s bullpen went well. He seems to believe he’ll be starting on Saturday.

• Sergio Mitre is active, but I never saw him in the clubhouse this morning. It was a late report, with no batting practice on the field, so it’s entirely possible — even likely — that Mitre is here, just didn’t step into the clubhouse while I was there.

• The Yankees are playing in a National League park this weekend, which means Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup and in the field all three days. With no DH the next three days, Girardi decided to give those two a break today. “Sometimes you just look at your guys and you feel that they need a day off,” he said.

• Girardi wasn’t sure what Derek Jeter did today in Tampa, but he said it’s still possible that Jeter will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday and join the Yankees early next week.

• Joba Chamberlain said his Tommy John elbow actually feels no different. His wrist is actually more sore. That’s where the doctors removed a tendon to repair the elbow.

• Phil Hughes said he feels ready to pitch in the big leagues, but he hasn’t been told where he’ll make his next start. He said his stuff and command were good enough yesterday to pitch at this level.

• Hughes bought a spread for the Trenton clubhouse after both of his rehab starts. “It’s costing me a fortune with these rehab starts,” he said, mostly joking. Hughes was laughing at what the Thunder might expect Jeter to buy them. Hughes suggested Ruth’s Chris for everyone!

Associated Press photos