New York Yankees: Who Will Be the Fourth Playoff Starter?

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 1, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 29:  Freddy Garcia #36 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 29, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

During the tenure of Yankees manager Joe Girardi, the Bombers have been known to use a three-man rotation in the playoffs. As clear cut as the first three playoff starters are, if the Yankees were to use a fourth starter, who would that be?

We can pretty much put it in the bank that the Yankees' first three playoff starters will be CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Bartolo Colon, in that order. With the possible innings limits on Nova and Colon, who hasn't thrown this many innings in years, it may not be possible for the Bombers to use a three-man rotation.

The fourth starter may be as clear cut as the first three. A.J. Burnett isn't even worth mentioning. He hasn't even pitched well enough to make the rotation in Scranton-Wilkes Barre, let alone with the big-league club. Barring a miracle, he's out of the running.

Phil Hughes' playoff resume is uglier than an episode of Jeopardy with the Kardashians as contestants. He has been the model of inconsistency this year and without Burnett's ineptitude, would surely be in the bullpen. Like Burnett, I can almost guarantee Hughes will not be a playoff starter.

It doesn't come as a surprise anymore that Garcia has been better than both the guys I just mentioned, at least not if you've been following the Yankees like I have. No question Garcia has been better than the two all year and will have an impact this postseason. 

Whether negative or positive, Garcia will have a hand in the Yankees playoff run, a fact that would've sent Yankee fans into panic mode had they known that in the beginning of the year. In fact, had Yankee fans been told Colon AND Garcia would have a starting role in the playoffs for the Bombers, it might have been pinstriped anarchy in Yankeeland.