The acquisitions of Jaime Garcia and Sonny Gray solidified the rotation, but to the point that Joe Girardi has been answering questions about using a six-man rotation. It seems like Jordan Montgomery might be the odd man out.
C.C. Sabathia’s spot is safe. Masahiro Tanaka is safe, as is Luis Severino. And Garcia and Gray will be starting this week. Montgomery will make his next scheduled start but Girardi didn’t commit to using a six-man rotation full-time.
“In theory, it sounds great but now you have six relievers and six starters,” Girardi said.
It’s something that would be easier in September when the rosters expand but it’s tough to construct a 25-man roster with a six-man rotation. “It puts you in a bind. If the commissioner would let me add another man on the roster and have 26, I would really think about it,” said Girardi, before adding “But I called and he said no.”
For what it’s worth, Garcia hasn’t dwelled on the rotation since being acquired from the Twins. “I don’t pay attention to what number,” Garcia said in a press conference. “All I know is that I’m going to be starting a game here coming up soon, and I’m focused on that start.”
At the start of the season the concern was that the Yankees might lack the starting pitching to be a playoff contender. Now they have six starters for five spots.
Montgomery will make his next scheduled start, and after that the Yankees will have a decision to make about the rotation. Girardi noted that an extended rotation could be beneficial to a pitcher but not if it screws the other staters up. “That’s a problem,” Girardi said. “So worry about September in September but right now I am leaning not, we’re not going to. We’re gonna add one here but it’s not something that I’m saying that we’re going to do.”
The trades should help a team that has lost Michael Pineda for the rest of the year and Montgomery pitches down the stretch of what is his rookie season.
The six-man rotation wasn’t ruled out for the final month, but it looks like after this week, it will be a traditional five-man rotation.