Joe Girardi confirmed that the Yankees plan to have Freddy Garcia start the second game of Saturday's doubleheader in Baltimore.
Garcia allowed two runs in four innings during a rehab outing with Triple-A Scranton on Monday. Girardi said on Tuesday afternoon that, barring any setback to the cut on Garcia's right ring finger, the veteran righty is expected to return to the rotation Saturday night.
New York Yankees
Garcia was placed on the disabled list late last week, retroactive to Aug. 8, due to the cut, which he suffered in an accident in his kitchen.
Garcia's return Saturday means the Yankees will go with a six-man rotation for at least one more turn.
Girardi has indicated that the Yankees will go to a five-man rotation after the Baltimore series. There's been speculation that either Phil Hughes or A.J. Burnett will be demoted if the Yanks go down to five.
Hughes, who starts Thursday against Oakland, has pitched well in his last three starts. Burnett has struggled, to put it mildly, going 1-4 with a 7.12 ERA in his last nine starts.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Monday that Burnett's salary ($16.5 million in 2011) would not be a factor in the Yankees' decision making.
"We’re going to make whatever we feel is the best decision for this club, going forward," Joe Girardi said on Tuesday. "There’s been a lot of questions asked about do contracts have anything to do with it. Are guys familiar with the bullpen? We’ve got to do what’s best for this club"We're going to do what's best for our ballclub."
The Yankees could avoid having to demote another starter altogether by skipping one of their pitchers during the next turn through the rotation.
Girardi hinted that Bartolo Colon may get skipped the next time through. Colon, who is starting Tuesday against Oakland, has struggled recently, winning just twice in his last eight starts.