Here's Joe's breakdown of the rotation through the first 11 ST games, courtesy of Mark Feinsand of the Daily News:
March 3 vs. Pirates: Gaudin/Mitre/Aceves
March 4 at Phillies: Sabathia
March 5 vs. Rays: Hughes/Chamberlain
March 6 vs. Blue Jays: Burnett
March 7 at Twins: Mitre/Gaudin (Pettitte will throw simulated game in Tampa)
March 8 vs. Phillies (split-squad): Vazquez
March 8 at Pirates (split-squad): Aceves
March 9 vs. Pirates: Sabathia
March 10 at Tigers: Chamberlain/Hughes
March 11 vs. Braves: Burnett
March 12 at Nationals: Pettitte
March 13 vs. Orioles (split-squad): Vazquez
March 13 at Tigers (split-squad): TBA
1) It makes sense that Joe would put Joba and Hughes together for their outings, but I don't see how pitching them in the same game will help determine who wins the 5th spot in the rotation. In each of their games, the lineup one guy faces will probably not look like the one the other guy will face, so there's really no accurate way to gauge who pitched better against completely different competition. But the same thing would apply if you split their starts up so maybe this is the best way to judge the competition.
2) Joe isn't taking anything for granted with Joba and Hughes, evidenced by his focus on the under-the-radar Chad Gaudin vs. Sergio Mitre battle for the 6th (7th?) spot in the rotation. These 2 are paired up twice as well and Gaudin's performance could be the difference between getting a spot as the long man in the 'pen or being released to help cover Chan Ho Park's expenses.
3) An already smart plan to keep Andy's workload low looks even smarter when his only "real" competition will be against the Nationals. I bet Pettitte will have a harder time in the simulated game on March 7 than he will pitching against the Nats on the 12th.
Some peace and love for this holiday season
2 hours ago