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Yankees are hoping for rain

With bad weather forecast, Manager Joe Girardi says he may go with a three-man rotation starting with CC Sabathia. A rainout could allow Sabathia to pitch Game 4 with his normal rest.

October 14, 2009|Kevin Baxter

New York Manager Joe Girardi said he may go with a three-man pitching rotation in the American League Championship Series against the Angels.

"We are definitely considering" it, said Girardi, who spoke with reporters Tuesday in a conference call. "But we'll have to take a look at it and see how it goes."

CC Sabathia, who tied for the league lead in wins with 19, is scheduled to start Friday night's opener against the Angels' John Lackey, with A.J. Burnett going Saturday and Andy Pettitte on Monday. With the series scheduled for a one-day break next Wednesday and a travel day next Friday, both Burnett and Pettitte would be able to pitch twice in the series, if needed, on their regular four days' rest.

A shortened rotation would require Sabathia to start twice in five days. Last season, when he was with the Milwaukee Brewers, Sabathia made his last four starts on short rest, giving up one earned run in his final 16 regular-season innings but lasting only 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, in a playoff loss to Philadelphia.

If the Yankees decide to use a fourth starter, Girardi said it would be either Chad Gaudin or Joba Chamberlain, with Gaudin likely to get the nod because Chamberlain has become valuable at the back end of the bullpen.

Meeting of the minds

Girardi and his coaching staff will meet at Yankee Stadium this morning to discuss not only the pitching rotation but the makeup of the team for the ALCS. The roster isn't likely to change much from the one the Yankees used in their division series sweep of the Minnesota Twins.

The Yankees are likely to keep third catcher Francisco Cervelli, although because the Angels are a predominantly right-handed-hitting team, right-hander Brian Bruney could be added to the bullpen, perhaps in place of left-hander Damaso Marte.

Bruney has been working out at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa, Fla., to stay sharp in case he's activated.

Simulated game

Although the Yankees had Tuesday off and Yankee Stadium was closed to reporters, Girardi said Gaudin threw 50 pitches in a simulated game. He was followed to the mound by Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson, Phil Coke and Marte.

Among the batters they faced was Johnny Damon, whom Girardi said asked for the extra batting practice after going one for 12 against the Twins.

Raindrops may be falling

The National Weather Service is predicting a 40% chance of showers for Game 1 Friday and a 50% chance of rain for Game 2 Saturday. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 40s.

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kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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