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Baby steps: A.J. Burnett throws three perfect innings

Mar 8, 2011, 11:48 AM EDT

New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of game two of their MLB American League baseball doubleheader at Fenway Park in Boston

It says a lot about how far A.J. Burnett has fallen that his throwing three perfect innings in an early March spring training game qualifies as news, but here we are.

Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Burnett threw 30 of 45 pitches for strikes yesterday and drew positive reviews from both catcher Russell Martin and manager Joe Girardi.

Girardi cited Burnett’s improved comfort level and mechanics, which were often out of sync as he went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in 33 starts last season. Or as Burnett put it afterward: “My mind is clearer. I’m not thinking about this and that. I’m just attacking.”

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    I know it’s only spring training and very early spring training at that. As for Burnett as a Yankee fan we can only hope that the improvement he has shown in his last 2 appearances continues.
    Additionally, the Yankees have to be encouraged by what they have seen so far out of the guys vying for the #4 and #5 slots in the starting rotation. Nova has been very good as has Garcia and even Colon. The regulars in the bullpen have looked very good as well with the exception of Logan, but that’s no big deal plenty of time for him to work out any problems he may have.
    As spring training continues and works it’s way to late March when the teams will play more of their “regular” players hopefully the good play by the players vying for spots on the roster continues.
    Another interesting dilemma for the Yankees is going to be both Chaves and Vazquez both have shown some very good offense so far this spring.

  2. cur68 - Mar 8, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    What you really want to know when AJ is pitching is who his catcher is. He needs someone to hold his hand and Posada is not up to the job (or he wasn’t last year). The fact that it was Martin, pretty much says it all.

  3. yankeesgameday - Mar 8, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Funny, but the pitching has been amazing for the Yanks this Spring. It’s the bats that have fallen to pieces. Think about it… the Yanks have the best infield in all of baseball (http://yankeesgameday.blogspot.com/2011/03/yanks-have-best-infield-in-majors.html) and yet yesterday they went a combined 2-11 in Spring Training against Baltimore.

    I know, I know, it’s only Spring, but still… should Tex, Cano, Jeter and Arod go 2-11? It’s not a big deal really on March 8th… but April 8th is getting close and every game is going to count in the AL East this year.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      My friend, you are cherry picking one game. I believe so far this spring training Tex is batting .400, Jeter .353, ARod .438 and Cano .188 (but is there any doubt in your mind that Cano’s numbers right now are not what he will bat come the regular season.
      Also, unless you are referring to April 8th as the 1st game the Yankees play an East Division opponent their regular season starts before that.
      I very seldom pick on comments by Yankee fans but you might try and be a little less obvious about promoting your own blog site. Enjoy the season.

      • yankeesfanlen - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        UYF, I agree with your impression and Jorge Vasquez is a MONSTER so far. Let’s reinforce the fact that they have produced 2 great rallies so far to defeat Houston in the ninth with Martin anchoring, and 8 runs in an inning vs. the Senators (oops, Nationals).
        Gameday is all right, and I was happy to find his blog. To me, no harm done.
        Lastly, your point about Logan is true through and through, he’ll come around, as opposed to THE FAT TOAD who has an every-other-game staring into space moment.
        28

      • uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        yankeesfanlen – I’m sure he’s fine. But he is a little obvious about promoting his own site and something like that always makes me wonder about someones motives/comments.
        Getting back to the Yankees. I really think some people are underestimating the Yankees this year. It’s a very long season and the Yankees look like they have some good things going on. At least early in spring training and that beats the alternative.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        yankeesfanlen – Garcia pitched well again this afternoon. It doesn’t look like either Garcia or Colon are willing to give in to the other. If it continues like this who knows which one of them will get the nod for that 5th spot in the rotation.
        I have to be honest, I never thought either of them would look this good this early. Even considering spring training has only barely begun. My monies still on Nova and Garcia taking the final 2 spots, although I wouldn’t put it past Colon to sneak in and knock Garcia out of spot.

      • yankeesfanlen - Mar 8, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        UYF- Evaluations from this spring training are going to be tougher than usual. Individual performances among the starting rotation competitors may leave us in a position with 5 trustworthy starters with possibly a 6th in ready reserve, a situation I don’t believe we anticipated. I still like Colon, but if he gets beat out, so be it.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 4:12 PM

        yankeesfanlen – I was looking at the Yankees options for their 25 man ML roster and they only have room for 3 of the 4 (Nova, Mitre, Garcia or Colon). I think we both know Nova and Mitre are locks for the roster that only leaves one spot available. Going to be interesting if they all continue to pitch the way they have so far. You might be right about Colon.

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