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Joe Girardi considers a six-man rotation

Jul 1, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

Texas Rangers v New York Yankees, Game 3 Getty Images

I consider a lot of things.

Ordering organ meats at a fancy restaurant. Growing a mustache. Driving to a natural disaster site and throwing my wallet and cell phone into some burnt or flooded-0ut rubble in order to provide sufficient cover for me to fake my death and start anew in some strange but carefree land.* Doesn’t mean I’m going to do any of those crazy things.

Likewise, Joe Girardi said he’s considering something, though I kind of doubt that he’d really do it:

Bartolo Colon has been cleared to come off the disabled list and start tomorrow at Citi Field. Phil Hughes feels healthy and is anxious to be activated himself. Meanwhile, the Yankees have four starting pitchers all throwing well lately. That leaves six pitchers for five spots.

Or does it?

Yankees manager Joe Girardi left the door open yesterday to going with a six-man rotation.

“It’s something we’re going to think about,” he said.

In the end, it seems like there’s little percentage for a Yankees manager to go with a six-man rotation. It takes innings away from some pitchers who are doing pretty well right now. It smacks of indecisiveness. If either the number five or number six guy have a bad outing, Girardi would get killed.  Yes, he’d get killed if the guy he chose as his definitive fifth guy in a five-man rotation got lit up too, but at least that would have been a conventional choice, thereby limiting the avenues of criticism.

In the end, though, fear of media criticism is not a good basis for decision making.  I’d avoid the six man here simply because it seems like something you should do if and only if you have a lot of similar, unspectacular pitchers, several of whom would benefit from extra rest.  That’s not the Yankees’ situation, though.


*Note: I may have considered this a lot more seriously about four or five years ago than I do now.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    LOL, this is exactly what I said, MOCKINGLY, in an earlier post about Colon coming back a few days ago. I didn’t think Girardi would actually read my post and get the idea of a 6-man rotation from it. Sorry Yankees fans for planting that seed 😉

    Seriously, as some have pointed out, Nova would probably go back into the bullpen, right? They can’t REALLY go with a 6 man rotation can they? That would take, what, 8-10 starts away from CC and that can’t possibly be a good thing.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      DUH!!! For the rest of this season, it’s only about 2 or 3…but still…even 3 or 4 is too many I would think…he can’t be serious…can he?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      You can work around different pitchers. Have CC/AJ always pitch on 5 days rest and shuffle the other players. Also, Nova is the only one who has options left, so he could be sent back to AAA.

    • pjmarn6 - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM

      CC wants 20 wins and to in the running for pitcher of the year and he is not going to get that with a 5/6 man rotation. He had some tough luck outings at the beginning of the year and is looking to make up for them. Well the Yankees have a lot of trade bait so expect them to go fishing.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Jul 1, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    You fell into Girardi’s little trap. He has 25 reporters around in a post-game, his eyes glaze over, and he says “it’s something we’ll think about” which is Joespeak for “whatever”
    Next thing you know, the Post’s back page screams SIX MAN ROTATION.
    Nova and Mitre have a play date in the bullpen.

  3. thefalcon123 - Jul 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Ugggggg. This is ridiculous and makes no sense. If you have six good starting pitchers, you start the best five and have a guy in the bullpen who can become a good starter in the event that one of the others A). Get injured, or B). starts to suck. This is a “problem” that every team in baseball would love to have and no one with half a brain would think the solution is a six-man rotation.

  4. uyf1950 - Jul 1, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    THIS JUST IN. Joe Girardi considers a 7 and even a 8 man rotation. The rotation is rumored to be: CC Sabathia, Barton Colon, AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova and finally Hector Noesi and as a potential 8th and spot starter the newly acquired Sergio Mitre. When questioned Girardi played coy but did not dismiss the idea.

  5. ditto65 - Jul 1, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    This is strange. Coming into this season the Yankees only had 1 or 2 viable starters. They added nobody and now – VOILA! – they have 6? Were the people in the press wrong? Is that even possible?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      Where have you been ditto…they added Cy Garcia and Cy Colon in the off-season. And they will be getting back that 18 game winner Cy Hughes. Added to Cy Nova, Cy J Burnett and Cy Cy Sabathia, that is a phenomenal rotation.

      • ditto65 - Jul 1, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        Had to give that a thumbs up! I am remembering the stories about CC being the ace, Hughes lacking velocity (which was true), Burnett being unserviceable becasue of his mental problems, Nova lacking big pressure experience, and the ever popular “reclamation projects” (or trash heap filler) of Colon and Garcia. Missing out on Cliff Lee was to be the nail in the rotation’s coffin.

        Yet the Yankees have a 2.5 lead over the Sox, AND Joe is “considering” a 6 man rotation? I guess that’s why they play the games. (And yes, I realize it’s is only July 1 – still lots of baseball to be played.)

        For the record, I never sensed that you were yelling at us. Sternly pointing out, yes. But yelling? Nah.

  6. bobulated - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Ned Yost talks 6 man rotation, he’s an idiot.
    Joe Girardi talks 6 man rotation, he’s unconventional.

  7. uwsptke - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    “Driving to a natural disaster site and throwing my wallet and cell phone into some burnt or flooded-0ut rubble in order to provide sufficient cover for me to fake my death and start anew in some strange but carefree land.”

    I’ve never thought of that method. It sounds way easier than buckling in a dug-up corpse and driving my car off of a cliff.

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