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Around the Yankee Galaxy: More on the fifth starter

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Joe Girardi's deadline for choosing the fifth starter is less than a week away -

"We could talk for hours and we may still not come out and have a decision," Girardi said. "But obviously we're getting to a point where we're going to have to make one."

Girardi has been pointing to Thursday or Friday as the day that everything will begin to fall into place, as much to settle the rotation as to line up his sequence of relievers for the season ahead.

  • George King of The Post believes Marcus Thames will make the opening day roster despite batting .120 in ST so far -

When the Yankees inked Marcus Thames to a minor league contract, they believed his ability to hit lefties would enable him to make the club and play left field against southpaws. Nothing has changed, even if Thames is batting .120 (3-for-25) and leading the team with nine strikeouts.

"He has had good at-bats," manager Joe Girardi said "I don't get caught up in the numbers. It's a small sample."

Girardi is overrating Thames' lefty-mashing ability. While he has an excellent SLG vs. LHP in his career (.516), his BA and OBP are below league average (.256 and .329, respectively). Last year, Thames hit just .257/.347/.457 vs. southpaws, and his defense ranges from below-average to poor. Is that a guy really worth keeping a roster spot for?

  • The Yankees were told by MLB to speed up the rate at which they play. They averaged the longest games in MLB last year (3:08). That's all nice and good, MLB, but with a great offense comes long games. That's the nature of baseball. You can't run the clock out.

The fact that I didn't start catching until late [in the minor leagues] has helped keep me strong to this point. Most catchers get to a certain age and things start to break down, like their knees. But except for my shoulder [which was operated on in 2008], I've never had a major injury. I like to think it's because I've taken care of myself.

While he's correct about his durability, his hitting will inevitably decline, and his defense has begun to catch up with his age.