Yankees Daily Briefing 07/02/11

After injuring his hamstring, Bartolo Colon is scheduled to come off the disabled list on Saturday. Colon had a 5-3 record with a 3.10 ERA before hitting the DL, and was easily the second most important starter in the Yankees' rotation after CC Sabathia. Colon will face the Mets' Dillon Gee, who, with an 8-1 record and 3.32 ERA, has been enjoying a successful season himself.

Discussion of the Day: What are your thoughts on the possibility of a six-man rotation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

1) Andrew Marchand writes that while George Steinbrenner may have passed on, the spirit of his ownership is still very much alive. Indeed, Steinbrenner's win-or-else attitude still resonates, and a culture of winning remains one of the hallmarks of the Yankees franchise. The signing of free agents to large contracts is likely to continue, so long as it benefits the Yankees, and while Hal Steinbrenner may be a bit more reserved than his father, his brother Hank Steinbrenner is not.

2) Daniel Barbarisi writes about the Yankees considering a six-man rotation with the returns of Colon and Phil Hughes.

Only one of the Yankees' top five starters via innings pitched has an ERA+ less than 100, and at 96, Ivan Nova is not pitching significantly below league average. The success, then, makes the decision of which pitcher to take out of the rotation for Hughes all that harder. Such a rotation could take some of the innings pressure off of Colon, Nova and Freddy Garcia, but on the other hand, such an unconventional rotation could disrupt the rhythm of a pitcher such as Sabathia, not to mention giving the team's ace fewer starts.

3) Bill Madden writes that the Yankees have been playing so well they don't actually need to make any moves at the deadline. The Yankees have won every series but one since the end of May, and have the best record in the American League even while going just 1-8 against the Red Sox.

It is, however, probably a bit premature to say the Yankees don't need to make any moves. The deadline might not be a make-or-break event for the Yankees as it is for other teams, but if Colon or Hughes falter in their returns from the disabled list it's hard to argue the Yankees would be satisfied heading into the postseason with a Sabathia-Burnett-Garcia-Nova rotation. As in years previous, the Yankees don't need to move mountains, but it's hard to imagine them not doing anything to improve the team.

4) Minor league results were mixed.

Triple-A Scranton beat Norfolk, 9-7.

Dan Brewer was activated from the disabled list. P.J. Pilittere was placed on the disabled list to make room on the roster.

Jesus Montero had two hits, including a double, in four at bats, and walked once.

Double-A Trenton lost to Altoona, 10-5.

Dellin Betances pitched five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits. He struck out six, but walked three and hit three batters. He hit 95 mph.

High-A Tampa lost both games of a doubleheader to Daytona, 2-1 and 1-0.

Slade Heathcott did not play in either game.

J.R. Murphy had one hit in three at bats in the first game; he did not play in the second.

Low-A Charleston beat Rome, 10-8.

Gary Sanchez had one hit in five at bats and struck out once.

Short Season Staten Island beat Aberdeen, 7-4, while the Rookie GCL Yankees were rained out; they will play a double header on Saturday.