I can hear Yankees Featured Columnist Joseph Del Grippo saying somewhere, “another Javier Vazquez article from Doug.”

Yes it is, because tonight could be a major night in deciding the future of the Yankees right-hander.

The Yankees will send Vazquez out to pitch in the second game of their four game series with the Tigers at Comerica Park.

This will be the first time since May 1 that Vazquez will be stepping on a mound for the Yankees to start a game.

In case some of you are wondering why, and didn’t follow the Vazquez situation, Joe Girardi skipped over Vazquez’s originally scheduled May 7 start at Fenway Park against the Red Sox and went with Phil Hughes. The move turned out to be a good one as the Yankees won that night 10-3.

Vazquez was skipped mostly due to his 1-3 record, 9.78 ERA, terrible command and lack of confidence. Putting all of those elements against the Boston hitters in a hitter-friendly place like Fenway just equaled disaster if Vazquez even touched a baseball that night.

This time, he will take his regular turn in the rotation against the Tigers. He will square off against Rick Porcello, who has been struggling in 2010 as well, 2-3, 7.50 ERA for Porcello.

Now, just in case things do get ugly again for Vazquez, they have Romulo Sanchez in the bullpen to throw multiple innings. Sanchez pitched on Sunday against the Red Sox in relief of A.J. Burnett’s bad start.

But the Yankees aren’t hoping it will get to Sanchez, because all eyes are on number 31 tonight. The focus and theme of tonight’s game is how well Javier Vazquez can pitch for the Yankees.

Do we expect seven shutout innings of three-hit baseball with 10 strikeouts out of Javy? Probably not. It would be nice, but it’s not realistic.

But getting through six innings and keeping the Yankees in the game is something they are hoping for. Actually, if Vazquez can go six innings, it will be the first time in 2010 that he reaches that inning mark since his longest mark is at 5 2/3 innings pitched.

Vazquez has had 10 days off to rest, relax, and collect himself, while trying to figure out his stuff. He’s almost become an after-thought in the rotation. Vazquez basically is the fifth starter just hanging on to the spot.

If he succeeds tonight, or even shows any signs of improvement, then Vazquez will keep his spot and get another turn in five games.

But, if he does fail tonight, and some are thinking that he just might with the Tigers lineup, this could be the last chance for Vazquez in the rotation.

Girardi has already skipped him once because he didn’t trust him against Boston. If he fails tonight, Girardi may not trust him to take the ball again this season.

All eyes are on you tonight, Javy. Lets see what you are made of.

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