Monday, March 27, 2017


The Yankees have three Spring Training games left and are still undecided on their fourth and fifth rotation spots. They have not said if they are leaning toward certain players, but we know one thing is for sure Luis Cessa won't be one of them now that he is in minor league camp. So what have the remaining contenders done to help the Yankees decide?

(Oct. 1, 2016 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)
Bryan Mitchell looked to be in control of his own destiny and on the way to winning a starting gig until his last start on Sunday. It looked like the pressure got the best of him. In just over three innings he gave up three runs on six hits, walked two and hit one batter.

(Sept. 27, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
Mitchell hasn't been dominant but he has been good enough to keep the Yankees in games and hasn't had the same inconsistencies as some other contenders. He's also been here before, he was a contender for a starting role last season until the last week of March when he suffered a toe injury that kept him out of play until August.

Photo: Getty Images
Adam Warren also had a tough outing on Saturday giving up four runs, four hits and issuing two walks in three innings. Just like Mitchell, his last start didn't go the way he wanted and he's been determined to win a starting role. He's versatile, and has major upside in a long relief role and he knows this last outing didn't help get him the starting role, read that HERE. But I have to wonder....has he done enough to win a rotation spot? The Yankees have made some interesting moves over the last few games.

Has anyone else noticed that at the beginning of spring both Mitchell and Warren were coming into the games in a relief role? No surprise there, but here we are less than one week away from Opening Day. Would the Yankees be giving them starts this late in camp while the other guys are throwing three innings in relief if they weren’t the leading candidates for the rotation?

(Aug. 8, 2016 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
So who are "the other guys?" In recent games other starting role candidates Chad Green and Luis Severino came out of the bullpen. Does this mean that the Yankees have moved past the idea of Severino as a starter and think he adds better value as a reliever? He has one more start on Thursday to show the Yankees that he is still the starter they are looking for.

Now if you look at Green's stats on paper he's had a successful spring with a 1-0 record, 1.50 ERA, in 5 games, 2 starts, 12 IP, 9 hits, 2 ER, 6 BB, and 8 K. He has held opponents to one run and five hits over 8 1/3 innings in his last three games but his longest outing has only been 3 1/3 innings. So maybe the short appearances have the Yankees looking at him as a reliever instead?

Photo: Newsday
We can't forget Jordan Montgomery the towering lefty who throws downhill who has had two impressive back to back outings and has left Joe Girardi "curious." He has another start on Wednesday to impress the Yankees and make them give him a starting role but he is not on the 40-man roster, meaning the Yankees would have to make a corresponding move to get him up. Could the challenge of solving the roster situation weigh into their decision making?

Photo: New York Daily News / Jonathan Holder
Speaking of relief roles, there are two names to watch for that could be in the bullpen. Both Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder could both be competing for the same gig. Heller has had a very good spring and pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings over his last five outings, giving up just three hits in this stretch. Holder's had just one bad outing back in February. Since then he's worked 8 1/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The Yankees are looking for someone who can go multiple innings in their bullpen and it could down to one of them for one remaining spot.

So who gets the remaining two rotation spots and have the Yankees given us a clue as to who they favor? The coming days should be interesting.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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