Warren ready to roll in rotation's No. 5 slot

Girardi likes right-hander's four-pitch mix

Warren ready to roll in rotation's No. 5 slot

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees' fifth-starter competition seemed to be decided when general manager Brian Cashman likened Adam Warren to the famous racehorse Secretariat, but the right-hander did not want to assume anything until he was officially told he had won the job.

That message was finally delivered on Wednesday, when manager Joe Girardi announced that Warren would in fact serve as New York's No. 5 starter following a spring in which he posted a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 Grapefruit League innings.

"I tried not to think about it too much, but the longer it gets, the more you start to wonder," Warren said. "You don't really know what to think. For me, I just try to keep my head down and worry about one day at a time. It's tough to do, but that's kind of how I tried to approach it."

Warren made five Grapefruit League starts, permitting 17 hits while striking out 11 and walking one. He said that he was somewhat surprised to be preparing for Spring Training as a starter after posting a 2.97 ERA in 63 relief appearances last season, but he is happy for the opportunity.

"I've always been a starter coming up and I still see myself that way," Warren said. "As soon as they told me that, I was excited to get myself back into a starting role, at least for Spring Training."

Girardi has said that he likes Warren's four-pitch mix and strike-throwing ability, and the Yankees plan to hand him the ball for the first time in the regular season on April 11 against the Red Sox. He will remain in Tampa when the team travels north and is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game on Sunday.

"It's nice to know and to have a goal to shoot for now and get ready for," Warren said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.