Burnett will start second game of season
"It's what we brought A.J. here to do. Bottom line," Girardi said. "In 2009, he was very important for us. Playoffs. World Series. You name it. He struggled last year, but we believe he's going to be back."
Burnett, who was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA last season, has a 2.77 ERA after four exhibition starts.
"It just shows that they have faith in what they brought me here to do," he said. "Either way, just give me the ball."
Hughes will start game No. 3. Both are against Detroit.
Good news for relievers
Three injured relievers made positive strides Saturday, leading general manager Brian Cashman to say, "Right now we still fully expect everyone to be ready by Opening Day."
Boone Logan, who had been expected to miss four to five days with back spasms, instead is penciled in to pitch today. Joba Chamberlain, out since March 11 because of an oblique strain, threw a bullpen session and should be ready to appear in a game. Pedro Feliciano, out since March 9 with left triceps soreness, threw a bullpen session at 80 percent and will try another in a few days.
Russell Martin was supposed to catch for the second straight day, but he was scratched and instead will catch Sunday. He said he is not injured.
Girardi said he decided to give Martin a day off after his rough day dealing with Burnett's explosive stuff Friday. Burnett threw two wild pitches and Martin had a passed ball.
Derek Jeter went 3-for-4 with a steal from the leadoff spot. He also tagged up from first base on a fly ball to left and reached second easily . . . Top pitching prospect Dellin Betances was optioned to Double-A Trenton . . . Manny Banuelos will follow Bartolo Colon against the Rays Monday in what likely will be his final major-league spring training appearance.