A.J. Burnett returns to the mound Friday against the Blue Jays with a renewed sense of confidence after a positive bullpen session Wednesday with pitching coach Dave Eiland by his side.
Speculation is that Burnett's recent slide - an 11.35 ERA in his last five outings, all losses - was exacerbated by the absence of Eiland, who left the team for more than three weeks for personal reasons.
Burnett made it sound as if he was not on the same page as fill-in pitching coach Mike Harkey.
"I felt like my last two, three bullpens were what everybody else wanted me to do and try, not what A.J. wanted to do," Burnett said. "Sometimes you've got to be selfish and go to the pen and tell them what we're going to do, and that's the way we did it . . . When you're scuffling like that, you want to get help. You don't want to block somebody out and say, 'I can figure this out on my own,' because obviously that wasn't the case. So you try things. You get different opinions and some stick, some don't. I went back to square one and it went pretty good."
Burnett said he's working on a mechanical issue in which he has been rushing his delivery. "Everything's open and everybody in the stadium can see what I'm throwing," he said. And then there's the mental side, which he says is better. "I felt real free upstairs," he said. "It's not like it's the biggest start of my life or anything like that. But I can't wait to get out there."
Extra basesThe Yankees are expected to add righthander Dustin Moseley to the roster Friday. Moseley, 28, was 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His contract required the Yankees to bring him up or let him go by this date.