Quick Hit: Girardi Announces Early Spring Game Starters

The Yankees open their 2016 Spring Training game schedule in a few days, and now thanks to Erik Boland and Joe Girardi, we know who will start the first few games.  Luis Severino will get the ball first against the Tigers on Wednesday, Ivan Nova on Thursday against the Phillies, and Bryan Mitchell against the Tigers again on Friday. There's not much to be taken from the rotation order in the early part of the ST schedule, but there's excitement as a fan in seeing Severino's name as the first one to make a start in a 2016 game.  He's being looked at as a big piece of the rotation now and going forward and the Yankees aren't holding him back.  I'm sure he won't be out there long and his regular season workload will be carefully managed, but Severino is ready to pitch in games now and there's no reason for the Yankees to not start him if he's ready.

As for Nova and Mitchell, I guess we can consider this announcement the official start of the 6th starter competition.  Nova and Mitchell are both out of the Opening Day rotation picture as long as everybody stays healthy, but if that doesn't happen then the 6th starter spot is a more advantageous position to be in than the middle relief spot.  Nova and Mitchell each have their own things to prove after their tough finishes to 2015 and it looks like Joe and his staff are going to give themselves plenty of opportunities to evaluate both guys.

No word yet on who will start the games after Friday, but I'm sure that announcement will be coming soon.  I was anticipating seeing Michael Pineda out there in the mix early since he seemed further ahead than the rest of the projected OD rotation.  I bet he starts one of the weekend games.