Saturday, August 28, 2010

Girardi, Yankees losing patience with Burnett

AJ Burnett is really starting to wear on the nerves of the New York Yankees.

The fact that manager Joe Girardi did not dismiss the possibility of shipping AJ to the bullpen is a sign that he is clearly frustrated by managing the weekly headache that Burnett has become.

Imagine the very real possibility of Sergio Mitre or Chad Gaudin pitcLinkhing key games for the Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays or Boston Red Sox in September because Girardi & Co. simply don't know which AJ will show up on the mound at any given day. As risky as it may be, Girardi may need to trust Mitre or Gaudin more than he trusts his supposed #2 starter as the Yanks fight for the American League East.

I think Girardi's biggest frustration comes from Burnett's inability to step up when the Yankees need him, especially now with Andy Pettitte's injury taking longer than expected to heal and Phil Hughes closing in on his innings limit. The Yankees manager would much prefer to send Mitre or Gaudin to pitch the last four innings of Hughes' September starts. Instead, he may have to use them in Burnett's place and hope they can win big games in a tight division race.

It's a bad spot for the manager to be in and that's partly Burnett's fault.

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