This past week, the New York Yankees skipped Hiroki Kuroda in the rotation to give him an extra day of rest following a rain out from their series against the Baltimore Orioles and it may have paid off.
With Kuroda pitching extremely will on Sunday in the team's series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays in which Kuroda gave up just two runs in 6.2 innings and picked up his eighth win of the season, the team could look to do this for the rest of the season for their 39-year-old starter.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the media after the team's 4-2 win on Sunday that the possibility of resting Kuroda was a real one and something they will consider doing going forward for the rest of the 2014 year.
"We do a little bit and we will do it when we can," Girardi said.
While the Yankees playoff chances don't look to be the best right now; sitting seven games back in second place behind the Orioles in the American League East; they do remain 3.5 games back in the American League Wild Card, so the Yankees still have to play baseball like they are in the hunt for the postseason despite all of the injuries and inconsistencies handed to them this year.
The Yankees saw Kuroda fade dramatically after he looked like a Cy Young candidate up until early August and went winless in his final 10 starts during 2013, thus why the Yankees have been more cautious and careful with him. If anything, the rest idea could have worked last season and maybe Kuroda wouldn't have had all of those struggles. But all the Yankees can do is concentrate on now and doing what they can with Kuroda for this season and if rest is helping him be a more effective pitcher, then rest it is.
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