Yankees Pin Hopes on Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia at Back End of Rotation

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March 26, 2011

Our weekly look at one item tying together each of the Red Sox' opponents in the AL East surveys the Yankees, whose rotation took shape with a handful of moves.

The Yankees have announced their starting rotation after a series of shuffles finally brought the picture into focus.

After CC Sabathia, A. J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, the Yanks will go with Ivan Nova and veteran Freddy Garcia. Bartolo Colon, who, like Nova, had a very good spring results-wise, will work out of the bullpen.

The decision by manager Joe Girardi came a day after Sergio Mitre, all spring a candidate for a starting role, was traded to Milwaukee, and the club signed veteran Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal for insurance.

While all the talk has surrounded those last two spots, New York's season will rest more on how the front end of the rotation performs. Sabathia allowed a run in 6 2/3 innings in his most recent start, Hughes gave up three runs in seven innings in his and Burnett carries a 2.77 ERA and 11 strikeouts against no walks into the weekend.

The competition between Nova, Garcia, Colon and Mitre was a pretty good one. That gives the club a little more confidence that it has some arms it can rely on. But if they ever begin to falter fans will rue the day Cliff Lee got away and will pine for Andy Pettitte to make a comeback.

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