When Esmil Rogers takes the mound for the New York Yankees on Friday night, he will be the 12th starter for the Yankees this season. Manager Joe Girardi has overcome injury after injury and currently has his team sitting a 1/2 a game out of the American Wild Card Race. Although the Yankees are always expected to win, Girardi's performance this season has put him into the mix for AL Manager of the Year honors.
Girardi has been dealing with a pitching staff that has seen four of their five starters since opening day, go down with injuries. He has managed to pick and choose starters all season and still have his team in playoff contention. The only two other teams to use as many starters as the the Yankees are the Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers. Both of those teams are a combined 45 games out of first in their divisions.
Girardi manages in the biggest media market in the country and has one of the largest payrolls in baseball. That being said, maybe it's time to give ole Joe the credit he deserves. Girardi pieced together a rotation that included Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano and Shane Greene, and the Yankees took a four game series from the Central Division leading Detroit Tigers, earlier this week.
And it doesn't stop there. Injuries to his everyday players have made his day-to-day lineup look like a daily special board at the local diner. Injuires to Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira have made Girardi juggle his position players for most of the season.
With Teixeira being in and out of the lineup, Girardi has gotten real creative with no true back up at first. Girardi has used six different players, besides Teixeira this season. The list includes; Carlos Beltran, Brendan Ryan, Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann, Scott Sizemore and Chase Headley.
There may be other managers in the American League that are in the conversation for Manager of the Year, but Joe Girardi deserves to be mentioned alongside them.
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