Friday, September 17, 2010

Yankees trying to boost Burnett's confidence

Perhaps Dave Eiland is trying to pull off the baseball equivalent of a Jedi mind trick when he insists AJ Burnett is part of the team's postseason rotation plans.

Given his inconsistency, simply slotting Burnett into the rotation for the playoffs seems like a potential disaster for the New York Yankees. How can Joe Girardi put him in a big game when he doesn't know which AJ will show up on the mound? He's a hit-or-miss pitcher and a miss could knock the Yankees right out of the playoffs.

But Girardi and Eiland know their guy better than the rest of us. They know that the root of his problems is always in his head. Maybe they figure if they make it clear that Burnett is part of their plans for the postseason rotation it will take some of the pressure off of him. Maybe they are simply showing they have confidence in him so he can concentrate on pitching like he is capable of pitching, like he pitched during last year’s playoffs.

For the Yankees sake, I hope they are right about Burnett.

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