Handicapping the fifth starter race

Joe Girardi is planning on meeting for “healthy discussions” tomorrow about the fifth starter competition, and a decision appears to be coming up for Thursday or Friday at the latest.

“We’re going to discuss it in the next couple of days,” Girardi said. “We’ve got to start to iron some things out because we’re running out of innings and we’ve talked about wanting a decision to get the guys in the bullpen.”

It’s always possible that the Yankees could want to see a more starts from their contenders, especially Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, but it also stands to reason that – at this point – the Yankees know exactly what they have and don’t need any more data to sway their choices.

If that’s the case, then here are the resume bullet points for each of the five pitchers:

Alfredo Aceves, 28, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 1-1, 3.77 ERA in four games (two starts); 14.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • 2009: Was 10-1 with one save and a 3.54 ERA in 43 appearances (one start).
  • Last outing: Charged with 5 ER in 4 1/3 IP vs. the Astros in Kissimmee.
  • Quote to note: “It’s part of the game. It’s baseball. You always keep
    the bad and the good things. You just fix it to the next game, those
    details. … I don’t want to use that word, ‘happy.’ But so far, it’s been a good Spring Training — for everybody.” – Aceves.

Joba Chamberlain, 24, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-0, 16.20 ERA in three games (one start); 6.2 IP, 10 H, 12 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 5 SO.
  • 2009: Was 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts).
  • Last outing: Allowed 2 ER in 5 IP vs. Yankees intrasquad in Tampa
  • Quote to note: “I’ve just been in a routine. It’s just one of
    those questions you’re faced with every day. It’s human nature when you
    get asked every day to think about it, so it’s just something where
    I’ve gone back to having fun. I’m just enjoying being out here, putting
    this uniform on and competing with these guys.”- Chamberlain.

Chad Gaudin, 27, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-3, 8.38 ERA in four games (two starts); 9.1 IP, 16 H, 9 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 5 SO. Has been placed on waivers by Yankees, according to a report.
  • 2009: Was 5-10 with a 4.76 ERA as a starter in 2009 with the Padres and Yankees
  • Last outing: Allowed 4 R (3 ER) in 2.1 IP vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte
  • Quote to note: “It’s not that I’m not competing, I’m trying to feel a rhythm. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. It’s
    inconsistent. But [Friday], I didn’t get the job done. No excuses.”- Gaudin.

Phil Hughes, 23, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-2, 4.15 ERA in four games (one start); 13.0 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 5 HR, 2 BB, 10 SO.
  • 2009: Was 8-3 with three saves and a 3.03 ERA in 51 appearances (seven starts).
  • Last outing: Allowed 4 ER in 4.1 IP vs. the Phillies in Clearwater
  • Quote to note: “I’ve done all I can do. We’ll just have to see where
    they want to go from here. … I’ve kind of learned around here just to
    roll with the punches. What you say isn’t going to affect anything. You
    just have to go out and do the best you can, and see what decisions
    come from it.” – Hughes.

Sergio Mitre, 29, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-0, 3.21 ERA in four games (two starts); 14.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 SO.
  • 2009: Was 3-3 with a 6.79 ERA in 12 appearances (nine starts)
  • Last outing: Allowed 2 R in 5 IP vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte
  • Quote to note: “I would think he’s probably pretty healed. He had the
    offseason to rest, and I think part of it is just the constant grind.
    Having the offseason, I think he’s probably where he’s going to be.
    It’s probably nice for him to feel much better after every start.” – Girardi.


Seriously folks, If the Yanks are concerned (as they say they are) about some of the routes that Granderson takes to the ball in center, then they ought to be positively mortified at the thought of Gardner out there instead. At least half the time he couldn’t find the ball with a map. All of his antics in the field (leaping grabs, misjudged lunges, rolling near misses) are merely the deperate corrections he has to make at the last minute. He is a buffoon in the field and has a spaghetti arm. So much ofr speed.
Scooter Phil


What I’d like to see is more of going from first to third on singles (the Mike Scioscia school of thought.) Along with Jeter, a few other guys with some speed need to pick up their base running. I believe this is one of the positive skills of Winn and I’m thinking of A-Rod and Cano besides Gardner and Granderson.


Let’s see back in the day the only guys in the “Bullpen” Sucked because they couldn’t start!The Yankees have five starters,C.C. A.J. Andy,Javier, Gaudin. Then you can have a really deep Bullpen..Joba,Hughes,Aceves,Mitre,Robertson,Mariano.I know i”am forgetting the lefty,However the point is mute because of the “Sissy Pitch Count”!If they were allowed to finish what they started your Bullpen would be stronger on days that your starter didn’t have it,Then again I’am old school,As far as Gardner remember you can’t steal first base!!!!!!!!!!!Girardi’s pet,The most over hyped Yankee !


Hey guys please come on over and check out my view on who should be the 5th starter for the Yanks. http://tinyurl.com/y865ysa


** supposed to be Shortstop.

To clarify: Gardner had 127 AB in 2008. I am using the rule of 130 or less ab’s keeps the “rookie” status on a player. For example, Scott Rolen had exactly 130 AB in 1996. He was the 1997 Rookie of the Year.

As far as time on the roster in 2008, I don’t believe Gardner exceeded the “rookie limit” there either.


Interesting. A rookie (yes, Gardner was a ROOKIE last year) hits .270 and people say he “can’t hit.” Simply because he can’t hit with power. Whatever happened to the other elements of baseball, like speed and defense? Oh, I forgot. People want beer-league softball lineups, forgetting that one of the most important things there is is the ability to RUN THE BASES. Go from 1st to home, 1st to third, 2nd to home. For too often, Boston was a station-to-station team, thus contributing to “the curse.” Dave Roberts stolen base proved how important speed is. Do you really want a team of slugs and sloths running the bases? We’ve seen that.

Gardner also has a history of improving the second year at each level. Let’s wait and see how he does. We are talking about the #9 hitter here. Sheesh.

Granted it’s a different era, but I remember Baltimore winning 109-109 and 108 with .228 career hitter Mark Belanger at SS from 1969-1971. Belanger hit worse than Gardner and wasn’t nearly as fast. The 1986 Mets won 108 despite Rafael Santana at SS. Granted Gardner is an OF but the Yankees have **** and 2B that don’t hit like **** and 2B. They hit like outfielders.

Sheesh. Sarcastically, I say that I guess the Cardinals should have dumped Ozzie Smith. After all, he couldn’t hit either (.262). All he gave was speed and defense.


Let’s get real: If Girardi were on his game, he would cut the nonsense and make a reasonable decision, go with it, and change course if it doesn’t work out. Joba clearly belongs in the bullpen as a setup guy. Hughes and Aceves could start. Mitre obviously needs more time to heal.

While we’re at it, can you top perpetuating the fiction that Gardner is a major league center fielder? I know they had to say that to justify trading Melky, but Gardner is a no-hit, lousy fielding minor leaguer if I’ve ever seen one. OK. he’s the fastest base runner on the team, but that is saying nothing.

Scooter Phil


TUE – MAR – 23 – – – – – –
WED – MAR – 24 – vs Nationals – 7:05 PM – –
THU – MAR – 25 – at Orioles – 1:05 PM – –
FRI – MAR – 26 – vs Phillies – 7:05 PM – –
SAT – MAR – 27 – at Tigers – 1:05 PM – YES
SUN – MAR – 28 – vs Tigers – 1:05 PM – YES


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