A.J. Burnett might get bumped out of the rotation

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A.J. Burnett was hammered for nine runs (eight earned) over 3 1/3 innings in a 9-4 loss to the White Sox last night.

When Yankees manager Joe Girardi was asked if Burnett would remain in the starting rotation, he hinted that he could make some changes, reports Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.

“We’ll evaluate after this weekend where we are and what we need to do,”
Girardi said. “Take it the way you want to take it… we’ll do what we
have to do.”

It looked like Burnett was back on track after he went 3-1 with 2.00 ERA
in five starts last month, but including Friday’s loss, the high-priced
right-hander has allowed 26 earned runs over 30 innings (7.80 ERA) in
August.

It’s difficult to keep pushing Burnett out there, but it’s not like the Yankees have many alternatives. Andy Pettitte isn’t expected to return until the middle of September and Javier Vazquez was recently ousted from the rotation in favor of rookie right-hander Ivan Nova. I think we’re probably looking at a spot-start situation. The recently-activated Sergio Mitre piggybacked Burnett’s poor outing last night and tossed 4 1/3 shutout innings, so he seems like the most likely candidate.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.