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Girardi not expecting major changes to the rotation

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With Freddy Garcia and CC Sabathia back in the mix, the Yankees have five starters returning from last season. They also have Hector Noesi coming off a solid big league debut, a trio of Triple-A prospects who have handled the International League, and the top pitching prospects in the organization — Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances — knocking on the door.

Joe Girardi told The Daily News that he wouldn’t be surprised to see very little change in the rotation [3]between now and Opening Day.

“I think we’ll look at maybe possibly adding some more depth to it, but I feel pretty good about these guys,” Girardi said.

Girardi said he expects an Opening Day rotation of Sabathia, Garcia, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes.

Obviously that expectation could change between now and then — and obviously Girardi has to create a public image of confidence — but Girardi also said he’s basing his expectations on the organization’s shift toward player development. It might no longer be standard operating procedure for the Yankees to pay top dollar for the top players on the market. The organization seems to be growing more selective, and growing more determined to grow its own talent.

“I think our club is starting to try to develop a little bit more,” Girardi said. “Sometimes you feel that you can overpay for pitching, and it can cost you.”

Associated Press photo