The Yankees are going to stick with six starters for a while

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The Yankees six starters thing is kind of interesting to me simply because it’s not common, it’s less common on good teams than it is on bad teams and it’s really not that often that such arrangements last longer than a couple of weeks or so.  But the Yankees are still going with it for a while longer says Joe Girardi.

This is an about-face for the him, as he said before yesterday that he’d send either Phil Hughes or A.J. Burnett to the bullpen after the series with the Blue Jays.  But both of them will stay in the rotation for at least one more turn before it’s cut back to five men.

Hard to blame him.  The Orioles are up next, and what better opponent is there to give a couple of shaky guys confidence?  And what possible harm, with a playoff spot locked up, is there to giving the starters who the Yankees will really need to be ready for the playoffs — Sabathia, Nova and Garcia — a little more time off between turns?

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.