Yankees at Spring training # 6 – The starting rotation

Well, the tardiness of this column finally caught up with me and I end up writing about the Yankees’ starting rotation AFTER they have announced what THEY expect their rotation to look like.

None of this changes one thing – that the Yankees are taking a huge chance going into the season with their starters lining up as they do. C.C. Sabathia is, of course, the king pin and essential element of the 5 but Andy Pettitte is gone, Phil Hughes wasn’t very good in the second half of 2010 and the rest is a combination of the failed and untried.

So what is good?

C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes (no. 3 in the rotation) and Ivan Nova (no.4). Sabathia is in better condition than he has been in his Yankees tenure and he never let us down when he was physically heavier, Hughes had more good games than bad last season and Nova has been a phenomenon in Spring.

So what is hopeful?

A.J. Burnett has looked better in the Grapefruit League than he did in 90% of last season and may rebound.

And what is hoping for too much?

Freddy Garcia shouldn’t be fifth in the rotation. Garcia is 3 years younger than Bartolo Colon and pitched in the majors more recently but both were relatively unsuccessful when they last played at this level and Colon has had a significantly better Spring.

The logical choice would have been to go with Colon and if he makes it so good and if he doesn’t then Kevin Millwood would have had time to show his worth at Scranton. In short, Garcia would have been my third choice amongst this selection of veterans beyond their sell-by date.

My opinion not withstanding, these are the five who will start as starters for the Yankees:

   C.C. Sabathia
  A.J. Burnett
  Phil Hughes
  Ivan Nova
  Freddy Garcia

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