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Still Heavy Competition for Yankees Rotation Spots

Four players for two open rotation spots. That’s what the New York Yankees have on their hands as Spring Training ends in one week. Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Sergio Mitre are all still very much in the competition to earn a spot in the Yankees starting rotation.

Four players for two open rotation spots. That’s what the New York Yankees have on their hands as Spring Training ends in one week. Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Sergio Mitre are all still very much in the competition to earn a spot in the Yankees starting rotation.

While manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman have not made an official announcement, many believe the 24 year-old Nova has secured one of the spots.  The youngster who started a handful of games for the Yankees last season has pitched exceptionally well this spring. The latest example was six no-hit innings against the Orioles last week.

Colon’s recent start, last night against the Tampa Bay Rays, was another step toward the rotation for him. The righty went six innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out five Rays. The lone run was a solo homer in the sixth inning.

All four starters have shown the important ability to throw strikes. In 50.2 combined innings, they have issued just five walks. In comparison, the four have struck out a combined 42 opposing batters this spring.

Mitre and Garcia are next up to try and leave a good impression on the Yankees staff. Mitre gets the start today against the Orioles. Garcia will pitch a minor league game on Thursday.

Going strictly by the numbers, it would appear as though Nova and Colon will be the 4th and 5th starters come Opening Day.

NameW-LERAIPHERBBK
Ivan Nova1-01.29148227
Bartolo Colon1-02.4015104117
Freddy Garcia1-15.9313.2139212
Sergio Mitre1-02.2588206

There is more to it however. Nova is still a young pitcher that had shown great ability to get threw a lineup twice. The third time around had been an issue last season. Colon brings a health issue with him. The veteran has not been able to stay healthy in recent years and missed all of last season. These are things the Yankees staff will need to think about when making their final decisions.

They also have the option to send one or more of these pitchers to the bullpen. Mitre would be the most likely, as he has been a successful long reliever in the past. Garcia does not have the makeup to really be a relief pitcher and he is unlikely to accept a demotion to the minor leagues. If he does not make the opening day roster, I expect the Yankees to release him.

The competition is not over yet. Girardi and the Yankees will most likely use every possible inning they can before making a final call and announcing the rotation. We know it will be CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes. After that, it’s still an open competition.

If you were running this ball club, which of these pitchers would be on your roster come Opening Day?

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