March 26, 2017

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has the top of his starting rotation lined up with Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda.

After that, the situation remains muddled.

The Yankees started spring training looking to fill two spots in the rotation, and it's still not clear what they'll end up doing. Bryan Mitchell, Luis Severino, Chad Green, Adam Warren and late entry Jordan Montgomery are in the mix.

''We're narrowing it down,'' Girardi said. ''We haven't made any final decisions yet. We're going to let these guys go through their last turn before we make the decision.''

Mitchell, set to be the fifth starter last year before breaking a bone on his left foot in his final spring training start, went 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA in five late-season starts. He allowed three runs over three-plus innings in the Yankees' 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

''I think the results sting a little right now,'' Mitchell said. ''At this point in the game, you can't say we're not putting pressure on ourselves, but all we can control is our game out there. I feel good about the whole spring. I tried to build off what I did last year.''

Severino, a top contender early on, has been inconsistent, while the versatile Warren seems destined for the bullpen.

Montgomery, who has just six starts at Triple-A, emerged after going the final four innings of a combined no-hitter against Detroit on March 11.

Green has the ability to start or relieve.

The Yankees open the season next Sunday at Tampa Bay. The fourth starter will be needed late in the opening week, but a decision on the fifth slot doesn't have to come before the Yankees break camp, because the rotation can be set with that spot not needed until April 16. The eventual choice could make a couple minor league starts in preparation.

RIGHT FIELD

Girardi said Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are ''taking it down to the wire'' in the starting right field competition.

When asked if a platoon situation was in play, Girardi said: ''There's different things we could talk about.''

MOVING DAY

The Yankees released left-hander Jon Niese. He was signed to a minor league contract on Feb. 20.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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