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Around the Yankees Galaxy 3/22/10

-Perhaps by this time next week (or even sooner) we'll know who will break camp as the 5th starter.  I've already rendered my opinion on the subject, and so has everybody else.  But what happens this week could have a huge impact on what happens next season.  If neither Joba nor Hughes establishes themselves as a starter, and if Andy Pettitte and/or Javier Vazquez do not return....well, now, who really wants to think about that?

It's in the Yankees best interests to have both guys get work as starters this year.  A good 8th inning guy becomes a whole lot less valuable when you're 1st-6th inning guy is somebody like Sidney Ponson or Darrel Rasner.

-Yankees pitchers did a pretty good job of sending a message and protecting their teammates at the plate last season.  I can't help but wonder if this is a little overblown, though.  I've heard stories about guys like Bob Gibson knocking down opposing hitters back in the day after they hit a home run, or if he felt like they were showboating, but if you want to send a message to the hitter, wouldn't the best one be getting him out?  Especially in today's game, when umpires routinely warn teams and eject players over pitches that are often seemingly un-intentional. 

-It's official: Jesus Montero will start the season in AAA.  He needs to work on his catching skills, and I'm not sure what else.  I'm not sure what his best path to the majors is, but it's going to be awfully hard to keep him down at Scranton come June or July if he hits like he has at every other stop in the minors.

-Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre are really competing for the 5th spot in the rotation?  No, actually.  I do think some of us were fooled, but the Yankees are unlikely to keep eight starters on their major league roster (and that's not counting Chan Ho Park).  I think either could actually do a half decent job at the back of a National League rotation, and frankly, getting anything for either of them probably makes the deal worth doing.