For the past several years, the Yankees have had a spring training competition to determine the fifth starter in the rotation. This year is no different, and with only a little over two weeks left until Opening Day, Joe Girardi is going to have to make a decision soon. In an interview on Thursday, Girardi shed very little light on who was at the forefront of the competition between Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Michael Pineda.
Here are their stats so far:
Phelps 13.2 IP 4 ER 2 HR 2 BB 11 K 2.63 ERA 1.24 WHIP .273 AVG
Pineda 4.2 IP 0 ER 0 HR 1 BB 9 K 0.00 ERA 1.07 WHIP .235 AVG
Warren 4.1 IP 1 ER 1 HR 2 BB 3 K 2.08 ERA 1.85 WHIP .353 AVG
Nuno 2.0 IP 1 ER 1 HR 0 BB 3 K 4.50 ERA 1.00 WHIP .250 AVG
For some reason, Phelps has pitched the most innings, by a lot. Pineda has the best stats overall. Is it just me, or does it feel like it's really more of a competition between Phelps and Pineda? I mean, Robert Coello has pitched more innings than Nuno at this point, and the former has been terrible. Girardi, of course, refused to discount anyone. Nuno is a lefty, so he could break up the string of right-handers. Warren, Phelps and Nuno have experience as relievers, so they could all still make the team, regardless of whether they win the spot in the rotation. If Pineda doesn't make it into the rotation, he'll be starting in Triple-A.
Girardi said something interesting on the topic of Pineda, though. "Let's just say, hypothetically, he was a starter at some point. You're going to have to adjust. Because you're not getting 200 innings from [Pineda]." How would Pineda being on an innings-limit work out if he's the fifth starter? If he's pitching well, then it certainly would be a bummer if he didn't get to pitch the last half of the season (and, you know, during the postseason). On the same note, if he's pitching well, then it would be a waste if he's in Triple-A. What a dilemma.
How would you solve the Pineda innings-limit problem? Answer the poll below and let us know whether you think Warren, Phelps, Pineda or Nuno will win the fifth spot in the rotation.