Given the unprecedented career workload that Sabathia and Burnett faced in 2008, the Yankees intend to ease their prized new starters into form when pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13.
"We’re going to be careful with them and make sure they peak April 6, not March 20," Eiland said, referring to opening day. "We’ve already got a plan in place."
Eiland didn’t divulge the details of that plan, but the cautious approach is no surprise given the Yankees’ $243.5 million investment in the two starters.
Eiland has already spoken to Sabathia and Eiland about the gradual approach. "We’re not going to jump right in the fire of spring training," Eiland said. "We’re not going to push them too early."This is obviously a smart move by the Yanks. You want to protect all your pitchers, and especially those who cost you $250 million.