By Sweeny Murti
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When it comes to naming his 5th, Joe Girardi is pleading the 5th, refusing to name a favorite for fear of incriminating himself.

We are now a week away from Opening Day and the competition has seemingly placed Ivan Nova in the 4th spot (although Girardi won’t even acknowledge that yet) with Bartolo Colon chasing down Freddy Garcia on the outside (picture that if you can) for the 5th spot.

But is it really that simple? I explained a few days ago that this is the Yankee version of March Madness, having two veterans with seemingly no business pitching for this team in a heated battle, which by the way Colon has won hands down based solely on the results.

But this is about more than results. It’s about projecting further into the summer and seeing which one can help this team more–the guy who pitched 157 innings in the majors last season (Garcia) or the guy who’s pitched a total of 257 innings since 2006, including a whopping total of zero in 2010 (Colon).

Who wins? It would be hard to think that Colon hasn’t done enough to win this job. But there’s still enough ambiguity in Joe Girardi’s answers that will keep us guessing probably right through the weekend:

Whichever one wins it, let’s make sure we temper expectations. Let’s try and get through April with this starting five before we start figuring out which four guys get the ball in the playoffs.

Sweeny Murti

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