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New York Yankees' Week Ahead: Blue Jays, Orioles On Tap

The New York Yankees get up-close looks at two of the young, upstart teams in the American League East this week. The Yankees are on the road for two games against the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday and Wednesday, then in Baltimore for three against the Orioles Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ricky Romero (1.66 ERA in three starts) and Kyle Drabek (1.93 in three starts) lead an impressive young Blue Jays pitching staff. The Yankees have, of course, already seen the Orioles. They swept a two-game series at Yankee Stadium last week.

Yankee notes

  • No word yet on whether Alex Rodriguez will play Tuesday. He missed Sunday night's game against Texas with a sore oblique and sore back.
  • CC Sabathia's line thus far in 2011 is a great example of why many people downplay the importance of victories by starting pitchers. Sabathia has pitched to a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings over four starts this season. He has no wins yet, though. He has twice left games with leads only to watch the bullpen erase his work. By contract, A.J. Burnett is 3-0 but has a 4.67 ERA in his three starts.
  • Have to wonder how long Ivan Nova's leash is. The young right-hander has a 7.36 ERA, and has shown an annoying tendency to come apart at the seams somewhere around the fifth inning. Nova had this same issue in his starts at the end of last season. With veteran Kevin Millwood having just pitched a one-hitter for AA Trenton you have to wonder how long the Yankees will wait for Nova to begin justifying the spot in the rotation the Yankees handed him.

AL East Standings

New York 9 5 .642 0 Won 2
Toronto 7 8 .466 2.5 Lost 2
Baltimore 6 8 .428 3 Lost 7
Tampa Bay 6 9 .400 3.5 Lost 1
Boston 4 10 .285 5 Won 2

(updated 4.18.2011 at 11:38 AM EDT)