TAMPA, Fla. - Joe Girardi finally made official what had readily apparently for over a week.

Righthander Adam Warren will start the season as the Yankees' fifth starter and righty Esmil Rogers will pitch out of the bullpen.

"[His] consistency, four-pitch mix, threw strikes," Girardi said of things that stood out about Warren this spring. "His ability to get lefthanders and righthanders out. He holds runners, does the little things. Fields his position. he just does a lot of things right."

Girardi said the 27-year-old Warren, who went 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts this spring, will start the fifth game of the season, April 11 against the Red Sox at the Stadium.

Rogers' role will be primarily as a long man and Girardi indicated taking a second long man -- which almost certainly would be righty Chase Whitley -- was a strong possibility.

With the chances of weather issues this time of year that can cause delays and cut a starter's night to two or three innings, more than one long man can be valuable.

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"You have to think about weather, how many delays you're going to have early," Girardi said. "You look at our forecast the first week, there's a lot of rain in the forecast. I think that's something that has to be talked about as well."

Whitley waits

Whitley completed a strong spring Wednesday. He allowed one run and four hits with six strikeouts in four innings against the Rays.

"I feel like I've done what I wanted to do, and that's make it a tough decision," said Whitley, who posted a 1.17 ERA in seven appearances (151/3 innings).

If Whitley is taken, the final bullpen spot will likely come down to RHP Chris Martin and LHP Chasen Shreve.

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Back at first

Girardi said Alex Rodriguez was scheduled to start at first base Thursday in the Yankees' split-squad home game against the Pirates.

It will be Rodriguez's second start at first, the first being Sunday. A-Rod went 0-for-2 with a walk and is hitting .308 with a .426 OBP.