Barring the unforeseen, Chase Whitley will start Tuesday night against the Rays as the Yankees implement a plan to give their starters extra rest.
"Our intentions are to start Chase Whitley on Tuesday, [Masahiro] Tanaka on Wednesday," Joe Girardi said Sunday. "Could something happen to change that? Yes, [but] I really haven't thought of a scenario where it wouldn't happen that way."
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The Yankees are in a stretch of 30 games in 31 days, and going with six starters at some point during the run was something the club began discussing early in spring.
Adam Warren will pitch on regular rest Monday night at the Stadium, followed by Whitley and Tanaka, who will have an extra day of rest. Michael Pineda, Wednesday afternoon's original starter, instead will pitch in Boston on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Whitley, 25, is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre. He went 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA last season in 24 games, including 12 starts, for the Yankees.
Jacoby Ellsbury, pulled in the eighth inning Saturday because of hip tightness, did not start Sunday night, but Girardi doesn't believe the condition is serious.
"He was better," he said. "He was going to try today. He went through treatment and was getting loose, and I just said, 'You know what? I was going to give you a day off one of these next few days anyway.' So I kind of shut him down. Hopefully, he'll be in there [Monday night].''
Didi Gregorius, hitting .212 with a .263 OBP and struggling in the field, did not start against Jonathon Niese. When asked if he envisions Gregorius continuing to share time with Stephen Drew, Girardi said, "I don't think so . . . I think he's playing better. The first week he tried to do too much, but I really think he's starting to settle in a little bit."