I understand why they may want to write him off, because boy howdy has he been awful. He got shelled last night. He’s been shelled a lot this year. While he has had some bad luck in recent starts due to weather and other things, it’s hard to argue against the notion that he has earned that 10-15 record and 5.33 ERA.
It’s a performance — combined with Phil Hughes’ nice outing on Sunday — that almost certainly means that Burnett won’t get a start in the ALDS. The Yankees could go Sabathia-Pettitte-Hughes and use Sabathia once on short rest if need be. It’s certainly what I’d do.
But if they make it beyond the first round they pretty much have to use Burnett, because I can’t see Sabathia AND Pettitte AND Hughes going on short rest, nor can I see the Yankees as an organization using Ivan Nova over Burnett unless there is just no shot whatsoever that Burnett can throw some half-decent baseball. And while he’s been bad, he hasn’t shown that he’s utterly lost or hurt or something.
Boo him today Yankees fans because, let’s face it, he’s earned it. But you’re going to have to get behind A.J. Burnett if the team is to go deep into the postseason. Well, maybe you don’t have to get behind him, but you’re going to have to depend on him.