Sweeny Says: Big Start For Yankees’ A.J. Burnett

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.

Sweeny Murti

Will A.J. implode again or return to form on Thursday? Make your prediction in the comments below…

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  • Greg W

    If Yanks had any wisdom they would bring up Banuelos or Betances for tonite and roll the dice. Maybe Bosox would have trouble with an unknown like Yanks usually do. If not, so what, a sure loss with AJ anyway.

  • raging moderate

    Let’s drop both Hughes and Burnett from the rotation and let some kid from Scranton pitch for the rest of the season in the 5th spot. How much worse could it be? I guess leaving Boston down 2 1/2 is better than being down 4 1/2.

  • Greg R.

    I think I speak for all Yankees fans. The ideal scenario is that AJ gets lit up like a Christmas tree, leaves the game early, and then the Yanks mount a miracle comeback to win the game like 10-9. But just watch AJ spoil our party and throw a gem. ..C’mon AJ, suck just one last time for us! Please.

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