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Yankees rotation battle heating up

The first weekend of Yankees baseball is officially in the books and there has been a multitude of impressive performances already.

As pitchers and catchers were preparing to report to spring training, one of the hot topics of conversation was how the starting rotation would round out for Opening Day.

Barring any unforeseen injuries, three rotation spots are reserved for Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda. Manager Joe Girardi has allowed for an open competition in spring training for the remaining two spots.

Former top prospect Luis Severino, right-handed youngsters Chad Green, Luis Cessa, and Bryan Mitchell, and veteran Adam Warren are all competing for the final two spots, and the competition is underway.

Through the first three spring training games, four of the five pitchers have already made appearances and all have impressed.

Severino, Mitchell, Cessa and Warren have combined to be nearly perfect through eight innings pitched. The only base runner allowed was in Sunday’s game with the Blue Jays when Severino walked Jays’ DH Anthony Alford in the second inning.

Outside of the lone walk surrendered, the Yankee starters vying for rotation spots have an impressive combined stat line, and it looks like this:

8 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB

There seems to be differing opinions regarding who the current frontrunners to land the rotation spots are. It appears to be a near consensus that Severino has the inside track to landing a spot if he continues to show the consistency and improvements this spring that the Yankees are looking for. It’s worth remembering that Mitchell all but had a spot on last year’s team before a toe injury in spring training sidelined him for nearly six months.

Warren’s versatility may end up hurting his chances to land a rotation spot as he has proven to be very effective out of the bullpen, serving as a long reliever who could jump into the rotation at any time if called upon.

Of the five pitchers contending for rotation spots, only 25-year-old righty Chad Green is yet to throw, as he is slated to start on Monday against the Orioles.


Follow me on Twitter, @JaredSaul

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