The New York Yankees plan to skip A.J. Burnett’s spot in the rotation during their American League division series against the Minnesota Twins.
CC Sabathia will start Game 1 in Minnesota today, with Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes making the following starts in the best-of-five playoff series, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said yesterday at a news conference. Sabathia would then take the mound on short rest if Game 4 is needed and Pettitte would pitch Game 5 on regular rest.
Burnett, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Yankees in December 2008, went 10-15 with a 5.26 earned run average this season, dropping seven of his last eight decisions.
Sabathia and Pettitte are left-handers. Burnett is a righty.
“A.J. will pitch out of the bullpen, but if we need him to start a game, he will start a game,” Girardi said. “We felt with all the left-handed hitters we would try to throw four lefties at them in five games.”
Burnett went 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA in five starts during the Yankees’ championship run last season. He allowed one run on four hits in Game 2 of the World Series and lasted just two innings in Game 5, allowing six earned runs in an 8-6 defeat. The Yankees went on to claim their 27th championship in six games.
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