With 6-man staff, rotation questions loom for Yanks

TORONTO — The decision to go to a six-man rotation isn’t as cut-and-dry as “it gives those veteran arms an extra day of rest.” Just ask Freddy Garcia, Sunday’s starter and a guy you’d think would be perfectly suited to get extra time in between starts. Talking to him Saturday, he sounded rather peeved at the idea that he has to wait so long to make his outings. Sure, he’s 34 and has probably already thrown more innings (136) than the Yankees expected to get from him all season.

But he doesn’t feel pitching on five- or six-days’ rest is in any way ideal.

“You want to pitch every five days, man,” Garcia (pictured left by The Associated Press) said. “You get used to pitching every five days. It’s too long. Seven days, it’s a long time. But, you know, that’s the way it is right now. You have to deal with that.”

Garcia and 38-year-old Bartolo Colon — who has thrown 156 innings so far — each have higher career ERAs on five days’ rest than they do with the standard four. But the bigest problem may be ace CC Sabathia, who has a 4.56 ERA in his last eight starts, with seven of those coming on extended rest.

“We have a six-man rotation, so what are you going to do?” Garcia said. “That’s what we got.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has kept his staff at six games for almost two months now, and he’ll keep it that way at least through Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Rays. After that, it’s time for some tough choices. Who will be sent to the bullpen? Who will make up the postseason rotation? And, perhaps most importantly, how is he going to make it so that CC starts Game 1 of the American League Division Series?

Girardi is dodging any postseason questions right now because he just wants to clinch first. But tough decisions are on the horizon.

If you had to pare the rotation down to four for the playoffs right now, who would it be? …


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