Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yankees notes for Wednesday after a victory

Here were some pregame notes and I will sprinkle in some thoughts after the Yankees a postgame.  The Yankees evened up the three game series by beating the angels 9-3, Ivan Nova continued to pitch well and win games.  The offense went to work tonight on a kid called up from AA. Joe Girardi said that Alex Rodriguez will probably be starting his rehab assignment Friday as a DH and then hopefully play Saturday at third for either Class A Tampa or the Gulf Coast League Yankees.

Girardi wasn’t counting on him being back for the start of the next seven-game road trip Monday in Kansas City, but he does believe he will be back during the trip, barring any setbacks, of course.  The Yankees shouldn't rush him back, they are in a good position in the standings and they don't have to be desperate for anything.  It would be nice to win the division but it isn't a must, as long as you make the postseason. 

As for Mariano Rivera’s back-to-back bad outings, Girardi called them ”a blip.”  I would pretty much agree with that, if Nunez was more experienced or Arod was at third he probably wouldn't have blown that save in Fenway Park on Sunday night.  He is 41 years old and isn't the same guy but I would take him over most. 

“Usually when Mo has his little blips in the screen, sometimes they come back to back,” Girardi said. “Then he usually runs off a really good streak. If my sense is right, I think that’s what will happen. It’s just a little blip here.”

The topic that drew the most attention was the state of the rotation, with six good pieces and five holes. Ivan Nova starts tonight. Asked about whether Nova was pitching for a spot tonight, Girardi said, “No, I wouldn’t say that. Come out healthy.”  I think right now Burnett has to be the odd man out but I don't know if that is what Girardi will do.  It is easier to send a guy like Nova down, Nova though needs to stay at the major league level, it is great to see him develop and improve the way he has. 

“He’s pitched very well for us,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line. As we know, none of our pitchers are going to be perfect. Sometimes they’re going to have some blips. But we feel very good about him taking the ball every sixth day right now. That’s something we eventually have to get down to five here, just for our roster and just for the routine for the guys.

“I think the biggest difference in (Nova) – a month of it he wasn’t really here, three weeks – but the last two and a half months or whatever has been his slider and the ability to get swing and misses and strikeouts on it, and the improvement of that. It’s different weapon for him than his other pitches.”

The Yankees aren't going to go with a six man rotation much longer.  It seems that Burnett would be the odd man out but I am not so sure.  I don't think the Yankees would put him in the bullpen although he may be able to succeed as a reliever.  It will be interesting to see what they do but they can't take Nova out and Hughes will get a start on Saturday.  Hughes hasn't been great either but I think most would rather have him a kid then Burnett. 

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