When Hiroki Kuroda steps on the mound tomorrow afternoon, the Yankees will have completed their first trip through the spring rotation. They start over again with Ivan Nova on Thursday, and Joe Girardi said everyone’s pitch counts should be bumped up 15 pitches (more or less going from two innings to three).
“I still think it’s too early (to evaluate the next time through),” Girardi said. “I think you have to give them a couple of outings because you throw 30 pitches and two innings, you might not be able to work on anything. You want them to be able to work on their pitches and get some sides in between and get on a normal rotation, it should be helpful.”
In some ways, the last Yankees starter to get on the mound is a bit of a curiosity. Kuroda is one of the new guys, but he’s also a 37-year-old who’s been pretty consistent in his four previous big league seasons, including an interleague start against the Yankees in 2010.
“I think I’ve got a pretty good idea what I’m going to see, but I still want to see it,” Girardi said. “From just when I watched his bullpens and his (batting practice), it was no different than what I remember when we were preparing to face him. But you want to see it again.”
Associated Press photo