TAMPA, Fla. — Joe Girardi said whomever the Yankees use as their fourth and fifth starters remains in question.
But, the manager said Tuesday, Adam Warren is no longer in the competition.
“We’re going to put Adam in the bullpen,” Girardi said Tuesday. “Everyone else is kind of in play.”
That includes rookie lefthander Jordan Montgomery, who starts Wednesday afternoon in Dunedin against the Blue Jays.
Luis Severino, still presumed to be getting one of the spots though that’s not in stone, will start Thursday in Clearwater against the Phillies. Luis Cessa already has been optioned to Triple-A, leaving RHP Chad Green, who has a 1.50 ERA in five appearances, Severino and Montgomery alive for the two spots.
“The competition’s fairly close,” Girardi said.
Warren, having excelled in the swingman role in 2015, was all but certain to end up there again, regardless of how he pitched this spring.
“He’s done such a great job in the bullpen [before], he’s very versatile for us,” Girardi said. “And his stuff plays up in the bullpen a little bit better.”
Opening Day starter Masahiro Tanaka entered Tuesday night’s start unscored on in 18 2⁄3 innings, having allowed just six hits and three walks (with 22 strikeouts). Against the Tigers Tanaka allowed two runs (one earned), three hits and two walks over five innings. Tanaka, who allowed both runs in the first, struck out six. Tanaka described himself as “all over the place” in the start — his sixth of the spring — but nonetheless said he’s “definitely ready to go” for Sunday’s opener.
Two days after cutting Jon Niese, the Yankees brought the lefty back on a minor-league deal, as was expected if the 30 year old didn’t land a major-league job with another club. Niese, coming off knee surgery last August, is still building arm strength.