Much is being made of A.J. Burnett's start tonight. If he pitches well, he stays in the rotation, if he doesn't, maybe not.
In the larger post-season picture, this will be a matter of little importance if Andy Pettitte comes back stong, of utmost importance if Pettitte does not.
The Yankees will be in the playoffs, either by winning the division or getting the Wild Card. CC Sabathia,Pettitte and a shaky Phil Hughes are the projected starters.
What if Pettitte can't take the ball? .
That's where Burnett and the other D-list starters come into play. The Yankees want a strong September from Burnett so they don't have to trust a playoff game to Javier Vazquez, who might be fooling everyone--himself included--with his last two successful relief appearances.
The wild card, no pun intended, would be rookie Ivan Nova. If he continues to perform well, does Joe Girardi pick a struggling veteran over him?
If any event, Pettitte better get well. And soon.