Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Bart

With Ivan Nova all but locking up the 4 spot in the Yankees rotation, one spot still remains open. It seems Sergio Mitre is destined for the long relief spot in the bullpen. So for the final week of spring, Bartolo Colon will battle Freddy Garcia for the final spot even though that battle seems to be over. Garcia is not likely to see anymore action in the big league camp, although he is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game this week.

Brian Cashman said "We have a pretty good idea of what Freddy can do." He said that Colon was just way more surprising this month. Joe Girardi seems to agree. Girardi explains that he is no longer a power pitcher but he can still get his velocity up to about 93MPH and can still locate very well. A long with his command, he has improved his breaking ball and his change up, essentially reinventing himself on the mound.

Garcia has not pitched badly and, if it came down to it, he could likely do a pretty decent job at the back end of the rotation but the Yankees seem to feel they have caught lightning in a bottle with Colon. There is still some life left in that right arm. The only serious concern remaining about Colon is his weight. Colon is up at 267 pounds and the Yanks are wondering if he can hold up through the dog days of summer. Girardi says that it hasn't been cool in camp lately and Colon has bounced back nicely. But his lack of a full season since his Cy Young year in 2005 begs the question; can he take the ball every 5 days for 6 months? These are the things that the Yankees must think about over the course of the next week but with AJ Burnett being named the official number 2 starter, I imagine the rotation will look like this:

1. Sabathia
2. Burnett
3. Hughes
4. Nova
5. Colon

SIDENOTE: Joba is scheduled to pitch tonight, officially putting his oblique issue behind him. Chamberlain is not worrid but Girardi will feel better after he sees him effectively throw an inning.
Pedro Feliciano (bicep tightness) threw a bullpen session in which he threw 25 pitches and reported no issues.
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