Sweeny Says: Big Start For Yankees’ A.J. Burnett
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By Sweeny Murti
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A.J. Burnett met with some assembled media on Wednesday in the cramped visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park in anticipation of his start in tonight’s series finale with the Red Sox.
Could it be his last turn in the rotation? What happens if he doesn’t pitch well?
What happens if he DOES pitch well?
Here are some of the highlights of Burnett’s chat with reporters, as he prepares for tonight’s game — one that could have a big impact on the Yankees’ season and his own future:
So as Burnett tries to figure it out some more, the onus also falls on Larry Rothschild. “Fixing A.J.” has been one of the tougher tasks to land on Rothschild’s desk this first year on the job.
The mechanical tweak that Burnett talked about is aimed at fixing the biggest problem every pitching coach has seen with him for years—he can’t repeat his delivery.
You hear phrases like “arm slot” and “release point” and when these phrases are used with A.J. Burnett it’s usually about how he can’t find either one consistently. Why is it such a particular bugaboo with Burnett?
That’s what I asked Rothschild:
Rothschild, Girardi, Cashman, and everybody else who has ever watched Burnett pitch has seen the potential of a locomotive gunning down the tracks. For a while now, that train has been careening off the tracks — The Fugitive style.
Any way to stop it? We’ll get some of our answers tonight.
Will A.J. implode again or return to form on Thursday? Make your prediction in the comments below…