While that appears to be the case in regard to the battle for the fifth starter spot -- meaning it will be either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes -- Joe Girardi insisted again after today's game that's not the case. And it's a message Girardi said he hasn't felt the need to repeat to Chad Gaudin, Alfredo Aceves and Sergio Mitre, who each pitched two scoreless innings today and combined to allow just one hit.

“There seems to be so much talk about Hughes and Chamberlain, these other guys are kind of under the radar a little bit, which is not always a bad place to be,” Girardi said. “But we’re going to do what’s best for our club. When you put on this uniform, it’s a lot about, what are we going to do this year? So we’re going to do what we think is best. We’re going to let it play itself out.”

And when it does, you can be 99.9 percent sure it will be either Hughes or Chamberlain in that fifth spot but, still, there's other motivation in play here, which Gaudin alluded to. With Chan Ho Park now in the bullpen, it means there's not too many spots left there to be had.

“I have to make sure I’m ready for the season and make sure that everything I do out on the mound is sound,” Gaudin said. “The competition is there but I’m not focusing on beating other guys out, I’m focusing on getting outs quick and keeping the team in the game and working what I need to work on to get ready for the season."

*** Girardi, asked his top priority for a No. 2 hitter, said this:

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“We want them on base,” he said. “On-base percentage is extremely important to me because the guys behind him can all hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

As many of you know, Granderson’s career OBP is .344; Nick Johnson’s is .402.

Granderson has hit at every spot in the lineup at least two games in his career and doesn't seem to care where he ends up in the order, as long as it's somewhere.

“Will I be there [the two hole]? I really don’t know,” Granderson said. “I really don’t know. I’m not going to be happy or mad regardless because no matter what the situation happens to be, I have to go ahead and get my job done in that position.”

*** Girardi said Sabathia would be on a two-inning or 35-pitch limit Thursday against the Phillies.