Cashman: I’m comfortable with A.J.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman continues to stand behind A.J. Burnett, again defending the embattled right-hander as he answered fans’ questions at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. on Tuesday.
“I am comfortable with A.J.,” Cashman told a young fan, according to ESPNNewYork.com. “He’s extremely talented and has been inconsistent, but I can tell you I’m comfortable with the effort he’s giving; I’m comfortable with everything that he does, the accountability that comes with him.
“Obviously, we signed him to have more success than he’s having, but it’s a competitive industry and as long as he’s not going to give up on himself, then I’m going to have his back the entire way.”
Burnett figures to be in the mix of contenders for the No. 5 spot in the rotation. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova will likely fill out the first four slots, in some order, leaving Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia to duke it out for the final opening.
“This year, we have a whole bunch of starting pitchers – knock on wood – and so we’ll see how it all shakes out, who plays in what role and where,” Cashman said, according to the website. “But if we have the ball in [Burnett’s] hands, I believe that he’ll do well for us. He won one of our playoff games against Detroit and we only won two, we were trying to win three. He stepped up big in Game 4 and pushed us back to New York to give us Game 5. It’s in there and the ability is there, and he does care, so I’m going to stay with him.”