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The 2013 starting rotation will feature CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and either David Phelps or Ivan Nova.
Now does that sound like a broken record to you?
Well that is because it is the same rotation that the Yankees had throughout most of 2012 season, which is a good thing. They might be a tad older, but they are flat good and all six know how to pitch in tough situations.
Unlike in the past, the rotation is what will carry this team to the playoffs and has the talent to be a devastating force in the AL.
And if fans have any concern about Sabathia’s injury-riddled 2012 carrying over, NBC Sports Joel Sherman recently put those fears to rest. Sherman just saw Sabathia at the BBWAA dinner on Jan. 19 and tweeted that the Yankee ace is in the best shape of his life.
Also note that Hughes is in a contract season, and it is no secret better (pitching performance) equals bigger (paycheck).
And finally, there is Michael Pineda.
Who is that?
In case you forgot, Pineda was the key piece the Yankees got from the Mariners in return for top prospect Jesus Montero at this time last year.
Pineda has yet to throw a pitch in pinstripes, as he came from Seattle overweight and with shoulder tendinitis turned torn labrum that required serious surgery.
Amid the serious rehab needed to come back from such an injury, Pineda got a pretty serious DUI in Tampa, as it was reported he couldn’t speak and had on no headlights.
Pineda displayed ace-like talent in Seattle at just 23 years old, and his return in June could be HUGE but is not a focal point because of what has happened since he became a Yankee. Pineda cannot be trusted until he proves it, but hopefully he will.