The New York Yankees left pitchers Javier Vazquez and Ivan Nova off the roster for their first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Twins.
Vazquez was 10-10 with a 5.32 earned run average this season while making $11.5 million with the Yankees, who have the highest payroll in Major League Baseball. Joe Mauer is the only Minnesota player with a higher salary, at $12.5 million.
Nova, a rookie, made seven late-season starts for the Yankees and went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA. The Yankees also left relief pitcher Chad Gaudin off their roster for the American League Division Series.
CC Sabathia will be the Yankees’ starting pitcher tomorrow in Game 1 of the best-of-five series. Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes will follow in the next two games, while A.J. Burnett won’t be a part of the starting rotation, ESPN reported, citing a baseball official. Burnett is making $16.5 million as part of his five-year, $82.5 million contract.
Burnett, Sabathia and Pettitte were the only pitchers to start in the 2009 postseason for the Yankees, who became the first team since the 1991 Twins to win the World Series using just three starters during the playoffs.