View Full Version : Burnett back in playoff discussion for the Yankees?

09-02-2011, 10:04
Yes, that's right. You read that title correctly.

With his first good start in months, it's painful to say that A.J. Burnett has slightly cracked open the door to a playoff start. There's no doubt Joe Girardi and the Yankees will be intrigued by what they saw from Burnett last night in the Yankees 4-2 win over the Red Sox.

What may have been most important for Burnett was that his pitches looked sharp. The problem is, how much can the Yankees rely on that to happen on a more consistent basis? Burnett still has a lot to prove, but with a strong finish to the 2011 season, he may get another chance to make a playoff start.

Most likely the Bombers will use a 4-man rotation in the playoffs and with Phil Hughes struggling as well, a good start could move Burnett past Hughes in the starting rotation pecking order. From there, a few more good starts and $16 million later, Burnett could see a start in the Division Series. Don't think it's so ridiculous despite how ridiculous it sounds, and here's why.

Don't forget game 2 of the 2009 World Series when Burnett took the ball against the Philadelphia Phillies down 0-1 and threw a gem to keep the Bombers even in the series. That example of successful big game pitching instantly makes him more qualified than his competition, perhaps combined.

So if you take that, combined with the money he is making and you can be certain that Burnett is not yet out of the running to make a playoff start. The Yankees have a lot invested in him and because of this, it's possible the Yankees overlook his horrible season if he can finish strong down the stretch. Burnett's solid start against a World Series caliber team like the Red Sox is his first step back into the discussion as a possible playoff starter.

The leash is very short, make no mistake about it. Burnett will have to be nearly perfect from here on out and as crazy as it sounds, don't count him out yet.

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The Boss
09-02-2011, 10:21
I think this does make it much easier for Girardi and Cashman to delay any decision. it just goes to show that anybody can throw a good game at any time.

A.J. Burnett has had a lot of success in his past playoff experience as a member of the Florida Marlins. The Yankees would know first hand considering Burnett helped lead the Marlins to beat the Yankees in the 2003 World Series.

i didnt remember AJ in that series at all so I checked Wikipedia real quick:

Burnett was limited to four starts in 2003 before missing the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery and thus did not play during the Marlins' World Series championship run.

09-02-2011, 10:27
your 100% right Boss, Burnett didn't pitch in that series he was hurt and I overlooked that and edited it. Even still, Burnett has more experience than his competition.

09-02-2011, 11:01
AJ showed up last night, but will he show up for the end of the season. We applaud a 5+ inning outing as super... We will see with his next start.. So therefore I agree with Michael.