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Gaudin likely to start Sunday for Yanks

Gaudin likely to start Sunday

NEW YORK -- For some time now, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has alluded to the fact that Joba Chamberlain's schedule for the rest of the season is "mapped out," without revealing the details of that map.

Girardi did not do so Tuesday, either. But he did offer a crumb.

Asked if Chamberlain will take his regular turn in the rotation Sunday in Seattle, Girardi would not answer. Asked if Chad Gaudin would start Sunday instead, he rolled his head from one side to the other before finally nodding. He had not yet told Chamberlain of his plans, and had no intention to do so until after his start Tuesday night against the Jays.

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But, barring a change, Gaudin seems likely to start in Chamberlain's place Sunday.

"There are going to be times where he is going to be on five days, and then there are other times where he might get a little extra rest," Girardi said of Chamberlain. "That's all part of it."

"That's the first time that I've heard of it," Chamberlain said when told of Girardi's plan after the game. "I don't know. I'll just sit down and talk to Joe and [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] and see what the plan is, and adjust accordingly."

Girardi has stressed throughout this season that Chamberlain -- still just 23 years old and already having surpassed his innings total from last season -- would not necessarily make every one of his starts down the stretch. But other than an eight-day layoff before, during and after the All-Star break, the righty has so far received nothing more than a routine extra rest after team off-days.

But the Yanks were encouraged by Chamberlain's performance after his All-Star vacation, a run that included four consecutive wins and an 0.83 ERA in his first three starts back.

New York has been famously prudent with one of its greatest talents since Chamberlain burst onto the scene as a reliever in 2007, creating the "Joba Rules" to determine exactly when and how much then-manager Joe Torre could use him. Then, in '08, the Yankees kept Chamberlain in the bullpen to limit his innings before shifting him to the rotation mid-season.

Girardi did not reveal whether or not Chamberlain will receive one or more extra days of rest this time through the rotation -- only that Gaudin, who was regularly starting games in San Diego before New York acquired him, would likely make a spot-start in his place.

"They told me that I could be used in a number of different ways," said Gaudin, who also had not yet been informed of Girardi's plans. "I guess that means as a starter, too."

As a starter this season, Gaudin is 4-10 with a 5.23 ERA. And considering that he has spent much of the past two seasons bouncing between the bullpen and the rotation in San Diego, Chicago and Oakland, Gaudin is used to pitching on unusual amounts of rest.

"I guess it's as hard as you make it," Gaudin said. "I think a lot of this game is mental. If you prepare yourself for a start or for coming out of the bullpen or for whatever the case may be, I think you have a good shot."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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