MLB Round-Up: New York Yankees New Rotation Battle

Raul RodriguezContributor IIIAugust 12, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10:  Ivan Nova #47 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the bottom of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 10, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Ivan Nova of the New York Yankees did a nice job against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday, giving up three earned runs through six innings.

His season ERA is now at 3.85, which is above-average for a rookie starter. He definitely does not have a chance at beating out players like Michael Pineda or Jeremy Hellickson for Rookie of the Year honors, but Ivan Nova has been outright impressive this season.

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, as well as SNY, reports that Ivan Nova is no longer in a battle for a spot in the rotation. The pitchers duel has shifted to include both Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett. I am sure that New York Yankees fans are hoping that AJ Burnett loses this one to the youngster.

AJ Burnett's statistics are mediocre, but not as bad as last year. That being said, he is definitely on track to put up final numbers that resemble last year's. Currently, Burnett's ERA has ballooned to a 4.60 through 148.2 IP. He also has an 8-9 record.

Usually, no one puts too much stock into a pitcher's record. However, when that pitcher is on the New York Yankees, who have arguably the most prolific offense in the game, that pitcher should not be losing more games than he has won. This is the case with AJ who, despite getting a nice amount of run support, never seems to pull out the "W."

Phil Hughes has to be favored in this matchup. Disregard his numbers against the Boston Red Sox, as he was having a short outing in a pressure-cooked situation out of the bullpen. I don't think anyone really expected him to be 100% coming out of the 'pen on Sunday.

Hughes is on the rise, as he put up superb numbers against the Chicago White Sox at Chicago last week. He had a shutout through six innings. He also could have gone further in the game if it hadn't been for the torrential downpour that postponed the game and later called it in the seventh inning.

Phil Hughes' stats do not look very pretty this year, either. He is 2-4 with a 7.11 ERA through only 38.0 innings.

These bad stats of Hughes show that he does have the ability to falter, especially against a better team in the Tampa Bay Rays. The Chicago White Sox are struggling, so we cannot be sure that it was Hughes' success that won  the game, as opposed to the White Sox untimely hitting.

We'll figure everything out by this weekend, though. Phil Hughes will take the mound on Saturday against these very same Rays. According to Joe Girardi, the rotation will be set by Monday. He apparently wants to do this because CC Sabathia is frustrated with the six-man rotation.

Gotta keep the big guy happy!