Yankees To Trim Rotation After Red Sox; Burnett The Odd Man Out?

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — By the end of Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, Joe Girardi will be able to say he had one last good, hard look at all his starters.

After that, the Yankees’ manager will try to decide who to cut from his six-man rotation.

“I’m not just gonna base it on one outing. I don’t think that’s fair to do to pitchers,” Girardi said on Sunday. “But the bottom line is that we need to pitch well. If we’re going to win this division we have to pitch better and right now we’ve run into a little bump.”

CC Sabathia is a lock. Ivan Nova appears to have secured a starting job. Phil Hughes’ appearances have been mostly positive since coming back from a dead arm issue.

Bartolo Colon’s up-and-down season could start trending north again, if Sunday afternoon’s losing effort is any indication. Freddy Garcia, scheduled to start against the Orioles on Monday night, was enjoying a 6-2 stretch from June 12-August 7 until he landed on the DL.

That brings us to A.J. Burnett.

Most Yankees fans think — and hope — the erratic righty will be the one demoted.

Burnett yielded nine runs over five innings Friday night. The Yankees lost to Baltimore 12-5 despite hitting three home runs. The right-hander walked two and threw three wild pitches in his second straight horrid performance.

“(Jim Palmer) told me to relax. He said in the past I looked more relaxed,” Burnett told the New York Post after a visit from the Orioles Hall of Famer. “He said to check my finger pressure because if the grip on the ball is tight, you aren’t as smooth. He also talked about breathing techniques, trying to hear your heartbeat. He said to relax and have fun.”

Girardi admitted Burnett has something to prove on Thursday against the Red Sox.

“We need him to pitch better, that’s the bottom line,” said Girardi. “So yeah, Thursday or whatever his day is, is a big start.”

In his previous outing, Burnett cursed as he left the mound in the second inning of a 9-4 loss to Minnesota. He has given up 16 runs in his last two starts.

Garcia (10-7, 3.16 ERA) pitched to a 2.53 ERA from June 12-Aug. 7, his final start before slicing through part of his right index finger in a kitchen mishap. No one in the Yankees’ rotation has been that effective over the past 10 weeks, and they’ve certainly missed Garcia while he’s been out.

New York’s starters had a 3.87 ERA in the team’s first 25 games after the All-Star break, but in the 18 games since Garcia’s been on the DL, they have a 5.87 ERA.

Who should the Yankees demote? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. joe mis b haven says:

    200 million dolls worth of pitching garbage cashman must go joe
    must go bigest loss for the yankees is george steinbrenner

    a young george would never let cliff lee get away

  2. george39 says:

    Even if AJ throw a perfect game against boston, it shouldn’t mattrr. everybody know that he will follow the perfect game by goving up 8 runs in 3 innings in the following game. The problem is incosistency not inability. So even a good outing vs boston is meaningless. i want 10 quality starts in a row to earn his trust.

  3. CN says:

    Not only should they demote AJ, but they should sue him for unjust enrichment.

  4. jh says:

    A. J. Burnett is about as useful as one Everly brother…

  5. Craig S says:

    Put Hughes in the pen. The second half of last year and most of this year have been awful. He’s proven in the past he can pitch in the pen. If a starter gets bounced early, they’ll have an option. Then, next year, we can try him in the rotation again.

  6. mark says:

    AJ is supposed to pitch on Sept 1 against Boston (oh no). That is roster expansion day. Why not let one of the rookies pitch (i.e. Betances or Banuelos) instead? Could they possibly be worse than AJ ?

    1. Bub says:

      You nailed it. That’s what I was thinking. Throw anyone else and they can’t do any worse. Plus Sleepy Joe might just apply a quicker hook to a minor league call-up and actually keep the Yanks in the game before they get buried 9-1 again.

  7. dabooch says:

    Bottom Line Girardi and Cashman’s face saving blunder of running this psycho out to the mound is over. They can’t afford it anymore and one more pounding like the hurricane force winds of Irene will cement the deal.

    1. Bub says:

      3 priorities:
      1–AJ to the pen for the rest of the season and exclude him from the playoff roster;
      2-urge Cashman to leave after his contract ends this year; and
      3-ditch Girardi and get a smarter manager

  8. Alexwood says:

    What ever happened to sending someone who is not pitching well to the bullpen to work on their problems? People are talking about trading him or sending him to the minors, two far fetched ideas that are not going to happen. He is under contract and will never accept a trade or demotion. So, send him to the pen to work out his problems. Have him skip as many turns as necessary until he get this somewhat worked out. And fans, please stop calliing in with these ridculous trades and demotions.

    1. willie says:

      How many chances does this guy need? No, you can’t send him to the minors. But you sure can trade him. I don’t see him back with the Yankees next year. I just can’t. And as bad as the Mets have been playing, they sure don’t want him.

  9. YankeeBaseball says:

    It’s a no brainer. Move AJ Burnout to mop up man. I don’t want to see that clown pitch any more meaningful innings the rest of the year !

    1. Bub says:

      But if the Yanks insist on giving Burnett any more starts this regular season, please let Larry Rothschild manage the game so he can pull Burnout before the game gets out of hand to the point of being lost. Which is what Girardi has repeatedly done. Joe isn’t smart enough to shorten Burnout’s leash despite his struggles. Someone going as bad as Burnout needs an extremely, extremely short leash. The manager cannot sit there in dreamland while the other team is drilling your starting pitcher to the tune of homer, double, wild pitch, double, double, double, wild pitch, double. There is no excuse for such poor managing. It will be a happy day when Joseph Girardi and the New York Yankees part ways.

  10. pugphan says:

    Alleluia! Good bye AJ! When you make a bad deal you have to eat it some times,
    AJ is a bad deal…They should eat his contract. smokersodysseycom

  11. Ballentine Mel Allen says:

    A.J. BurnOut must go he hates his own team .
    Cashman’s hero is a dud ,back to the farm .or better watch the videos
    of the LLWS from last week ,those kids know pitching and all they get
    paid is in popcorn & candy

  12. Yankeeman says:

    Oh Aj should be demoted without a doubt. Let him watch NOVA pitch and learn how it is to be a pitcher who makes in game adjustments.

    1. Bub says:

      Pitching is a thinking man’s art. And AJ could definitely benefit from watching the team’s better pitchers. Although he gets that opportunity now in-between disasters (stars), and it isn’t helping a lick. He needs to be shut down for a while to think things over and work on mechanics.

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