Commentary

Sabathia ready to pitch on short rest

Updated: October 17, 2010, 10:43 PM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia says he's ready to pitch on three days' rest in the American League Championship Series. Whether the Yankees choose to give him the ball on short rest in their next series is another matter.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi could opt to start Sabathia in Games 1, 4 and 7. The big lefty says he can handle pitching on three days' rest -- as opposed to the normal four days starters have between outings -- if Girardi chooses to give him the ball.

"Yeah, I feel fine on short rest," Sabathia said. "I'll be ready to go whenever they want to give me the ball."

If Sabathia started three times, the Yankees still may have to use A.J. Burnett in a potential Game 5, because they likely won't want to start Andy Pettitte or Phil Hughes on three days' rest.

Burnett was left out of the ALDS rotation after an inconsistent regular season in which he finished 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA.

"We'll have a discussion about the roster probably on Wednesday," Girardi said when asked if Burnett would be on the ALCS roster.

One thing Girardi doesn't have to worry about is going to Sabathia on short rest. Sabathia pitched twice on three days' rest in the 2009 postseason, giving up just four earned runs in 14 2/3 innings. The Yankees won both games.

Sabathia, however, wasn't his dominant self in Game 1 of the ALDS, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in six innings, the big blow a two-run homer by Michael Cuddyer in the second inning.

No matter what Girardi decides regarding the rotation, his starters will have plenty of rest, as Game 1 of the ALCS is scheduled for Friday.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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