New York Yankees: 2012 starting rotation two down and three to go New York Yankees: 2012 starting rotation two down and three to go New York Yankees: 2012 starting rotation two down and three to go
 

New York Yankees: 2012 starting rotation two down and three to go

English: Photograph of Hiroki Kuroda on pitche...

Kuroda on the mound as a Dodger. Image via Wikipedia

It is no secret that the New York Yankees main focus this Spring Training is to figure out the 2012 starting pitching rotation.

Up to now, skipper Joe Girardi has only confirmed the obvious, that ace CC Sabathia will be the Yankees’ Opening Day starter vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, on April 6th at Tropicana Field.

Now you can add Hiroki Kuroda to the list, as Girardi revealed that the right-hander is the second confirmed arm in the 2012 rotation. As via the Associated Press, Girardi said:

“We’ve got six guys for five spots … and you really can look at it as, you’ve got CC and you’ve got Kuroda. So, you’ve got four guys for three spots.”

This Kuroda news should come as no surprise, as it did cost the Yankees $10 million bucks to bring the 36-year olds talents from Dodger-land to the Bronx for the 2012 season. And GM Brian Cashman did not make that deal for Kuroda to come out of the bullpen that is for sure.

Actually, the Yankees skipper summed it up best:

“You signed Kuroda to start, you signed all these guys to start. Kuroda has a big track history.”

What about the 3, 4, & 5 spots?

You can bank on the two sophomores, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda nabbing the third and fourth spots, with a last slot competition between Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes.

My guess is Girardi will confirm Nova and Pineda as part of the rotation pending on how they throw. I would guess a week or two before the end of Spring Training so they can mentally prepare themselves.

Remember that Nova and Pineda are just 25 and 23 years old respectively, which is still quite young and the pressure will be on.

See both are coming off exceptional rookie seasons, and that means Yankee fans will have zero tolerance for anything less because now they expect things from the two youngsters, which can be tough mentally.

Also, it is Pineda’s first year in the Bronx after pitching in Seattle in 2011 and it is a whole different monster in New York City; so letting him know sooner than later when and where his first start will be is probably a good idea.

And lucky for Nova that the Yankees start the 2012 season with six away games because you got to figure that a sizable group of Yankee fans are still stewing about the two home-runs he gave up in 2011 ALDS Game 5. So, coming in with one win down would be ideal.

6 Comments

  1. richard griffith says:

    The Yankees pitched to a 3.27 ERA that game and sure Nova gave up 2 solo shots. We had 2 runs on 10 hits and could not get it done. CC gave up the eventual go ahead run in the 5th. Are we going to booooo him?

    No, knowledgeable Yankee fans know our offense let us down!!!!

    • Also there are some Yankee fans who are not that knowledgeable, they just like to booooo and with Burnett gone there is an open space for a new target other than A-rod.

      I have never boooo-ed A-rod as I am a huge fan!

  2. Richard – you are right about the offense but Nova was hurt and he should have said something before he got on the mound and gave up 2 homers. The Yankees lost the game 3-2 and as someone who has grown up going to Yankee stadium, this kid starts off badly you can bet there will be boo-ing from some Yankee fans.

    • Richard Griffith says:

      Yankee fans will boo a ham sandwich. It's part of the game. Means nothing. And if 5% or 2,500 fans boo Nova, again it means nothing.

    • Richard Griffith says:

      I think you were at that game. I watched the tape and he had good velocity and bite with all his pitches after the HR's. You just assume that the injury caused the 2 HR's.

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