Well, we know Sergio Mitre gets the start on Saturday in Pettitte's place. Mitre will need a little time to build arm strength as he was just completing a rehab stint, but he is the logical first candidate.
Other than that, I have been monitoring the goings-on and the rumors most of the day and here is what I can tell you right now.
- Buster Olney of ESPN, whose reports I would trust a whole lot more than a lot of what is being speculated out there, tweeted this morning that the Yankees' priorities are improving the bench and the bullpen -- not the starting rotation. That makes sense to me. No matter how the Yankees replace Pettitte there will be increased pressure on the already suspect middle of the Yankee bullpen. BTW, I would love to see Toronto's Scott Downs in pinstripes. Besides, do you really want Ted Lilly or Roy Oswalt long-term?
- Joba Chamberlain will not be bumped into the rotation. In the process of shooting that down, Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman also took what can be perceived as a shot at the inconsistent Chamberlain. "Sergio Mitre outpitched Joba Chamberlain for the starting rotation competition in spring training anyway. I think we have the personnel, but I think our bullpen has been inconsistent and everyone in there, other than Mariano, has not pitched up to their capabilities and their track records." Fact is, Cashman is right about that. Mitre is the guy who deserves the opportunity and the Yankees could not afford to take Joba out of the bullpen anyway.
- Cashman also said the Yankees will not be recalling Ivan Nova to replace Pettitte between between now and Saturday, when Mitre will be recalled to pitch. My money is on Jonathan Albaladejo, who has done everything he should need to do in order to earn another Bronx opportunity.
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