Joe Girardi said he might announce his rotation within three or four days. He’d like to have a “pretty good idea” as the Yankees enter their final turn through the spring training rotation.
“I think there are little things that each guy can work on a little bit to help us make our decision,” Girardi said.
He specifically mentioned Ivan Nova’s fastball command, Michael Pineda’s changeup, Phil Hughes cutter and Freddy Garcia’s workload as things he’s paying attention to. Nova will pitch in a minor league game tomorrow, and Garcia will likely pitch in a minor league game Friday. The last turn through the rotation essentially begins when CC Sabathia makes his final start on Sunday. After that, every starter will pitch once before making his regular season debut.
“Can you make a wrong decision?” Girardi said. “I don’t know.”
• Girardi acknowledged that it’s likely the team will carry a second left-handed reliever and the choice is between veteran Clay Rapada and Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral. The Yankees more or less know what Rapada can do, but they have to evaluate Cabral. “Educated guess of what his upside is,” Girardi said.
• Either Cabral or Rapada would likely serve as the true lefty specialist. Boone Logan would be more of a middle reliever similar to Cory Wade, used to pitch to both lefties and righties. “I don’t consider Booney such a specialty left-hander,” Girardi said.
• Girardi also acknowledged that he’s planned all along to have Hiroki Kuroda be the No. 2 starter. “I think we had a pretty decent idea that was where we would probably slot him,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees are definitely planning to carry 12 pitchers.
• D.J. Mitchell gets the start tomorrow, with David Phelps scheduled to pitch after him. Essentially, those two will split the big league game against the Orioles.
• Phil Hughes and Michael Pineda are throwing sides today. Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia are throwing sides tomorrow.
• Two interesting names added to today’s group of minor league additions: Tyler Austin and Cito Culver. Austin is scheduled to play, Culver is not. Mitch Abeita, Walter Ibarra and Abe Almonte are also up from minor league camp but not scheduled to play.
• Today’s available pitchers: Hiroki Kuroda, Cory Wade, Adam Warren, George Kontos, Cesar Cabral, Juan Cedeno, Cory Arbiso, Ryan Flannery and Pat Venditte.
• Today’s second string: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Addison Maruszak, 2B Jayson Nix, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Bill Hall, LF Tyler Austin, CF none, RF none.
• Don’t forget that I’ll be hosting a chat today at noon. Stop by if you can.
Associated Press photo