SEATTLE - It was a decision that turned out to be not too difficult. When Masahiro Tanaka officially comes off the disabled list Wednesday, Adam Warren stays, Chris Capuano goes.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the announcement before Monday night's game. "He's pitched really well," Girardi said of Warren, who is 3-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 10 starts this season and has a 2.87 ERA in his last five.
Capuano, signed to a one-year, $5-million deal in the offseason, has not impressed in three starts since coming off the DL, going 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA. He'll pitch out of the bullpen.
"I would have liked to have performed better in my last three starts, but you can't really look back," said Capuano, 36, a starter the vast majority of his career, though he pitched solely out of the bullpen early last season for the Red Sox. "You have to try and focus on how to get better, how to get back to where you want to be."
Girardi said that despite Warren's mostly outstanding work in the bullpen in 2014 -- a 2.97 ERA in 69 appearances -- he wasn't tempted to put the righthander back there.
"I think he could be really effective in the bullpen," Girardi said. "But his starts are important, too."
Which is exactly what Warren was drafted to do in 2009 and has always wanted to do.
"I've really gotten back into starter mode," he said. "I'm excited about it. That's what I want to do right now."
Warren entered spring training feeling he had something to prove, which he did in winning the fifth starter's job. But he's taking nothing for granted, knowing this discussion could come up again if and when Ivan Nova (elbow) returns from the DL.
"I still have to continue to prove myself," Warren said. "I know I can get better, have better outings. By no means am I satisfied or getting comfortable."