MIAMI -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi officially set the club's rotation on Monday, finalizing an arrangement that appeared confirmed after right-hander Michael Pineda was sent to the disabled list.
Girardi said that Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia will follow scheduled starters CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, who are set to pitch the club's first two games on Friday and Saturday against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
"I can't wait," said Nova, who will pitch on April 9 against the Orioles in Baltimore. "Yesterday when we got here, I was shagging balls in the outfield [and] I felt something like adrenaline. That was crazy yesterday, so I can't wait to start the season and make my first start."
Girardi said the Yankees are still figuring out how to assign two spots in the bullpen. One will likely go to left-hander Clay Rapada, who would complement Boone Logan as a second lefty option.
"If Rapada's on our club, you're going to see how he does against right-handers, but he's always been more of a left-handed specialist," Girardi said. "I think you can afford to do that if you have enough distance from your other guys."
The Yankees are also considering the trio of D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps and Adam Warren for a long relief job, which was filled last year largely by Hector Noesi.
"It's not something that really any of them has every done," Girardi said. "But one of the theories about breaking in young pitchers is starting them off in the bullpen, kind of like what we did with Noesi last year.
"One of those guys is probably going to get an opportunity to do that. It helps that they've been starters in their career and they can give you distance."