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Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia Look Like Starters For Yankees

New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi says he won’t announce the team’s fourth and fifth starting pitchers until the organization holds a “long meeting” but speculation is growing that the team has already made its decisions. It appears that youngster Ivan Nova and veteran Freddy Garcia will be in the rotation, with Bartolo Colon either in the bullpen as a long man or at Triple A as insurance.

Is this the right decision? I believe that it is. Here’s why.

Nova, 24, pitched well enough in 10 games with the Yankees last season (1-2, 4>50 ERA) that the Yankees felt he was ready for a spot in the rotation. With a 1.29 ERA over 14 innings this Spring, including a six-inning no-hit performance, he has done nothing to lose that opportunity.

That leaves one spot for either Garcia or Colon is the rotation. Colon has had the superior Spring (2.40 ERA to 5.93 for Garcia), but Colon has not pitched a big-league game since the middle of the 2009 season. Garcia went 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 28 starts for the Chicago White Sox last season.

“We have a pretty good feel on what Freddy can do," Girardi said.

Colon deserves to be rewarded with either a roster spot or the option to accept a chance to go to AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre and prepare for whenever the Yankees need an extra starter — which you know they eventually will.