A.J. Burnett turned in another poor outing last night, allowing four runs in six innings against the light-hitting Angels, but afterward manager Joe Girardi wasted no time telling reporters that the struggling right-hander will remain in the Yankees’ rotation.
Burnett actually held the Angels scoreless through five innings before falling apart in the sixth frame, but he’s allowed at least three runs in seven straight starts and last logged a Quality Start on June 29.
Dating back even further he’s 4-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 16 starts since mid-May, yet while Girardi is willing to move Phil Hughes in and out of the rotation the manager is unwilling to do the same with Burnett, who’s earning $16.5 million this season and will get the same salary in 2012 and 2013.
Yesterday the Mets announced that lefty Jason Vargas sustained a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand as the result of a comebacker during a spring training start. This morning they announced that Vargas will have surgery, which should cause him to miss the first week or so of the season.
Vargas will have the surgery tomorrow. Given that it’s on his non-throwing hand, he won’t miss much time — just a week or so of action, with another few days to get back up to speed afterward. He actually threw a bullpen session this morning. The issue is that he can’t catch a ball right now.
Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the Mets last month. With him missing a couple of starts, the Mets should break camp with both Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler in the rotation. The two had been fighting for the final spot.