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Yankees ready to kick off the 'Phil Hughes Rules'

Jun 21, 2010, 7:23 PM EDT

Consistent with their stated plan to limit his workload this season, the Yankees will skip Phil Hughes in the rotation this week, according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN.

The Yankees will take advantage of scheduled off-days for Thursday and next Monday in order to push Hughes’ next start back until next Tuesday against the Mariners. Hughes was originally on track to start against the Dodgers on Friday.

The 23-year-old right-hander has been one of the best starters in the American League so far this season, exceeding all expectations by amassing 82 1/3 innings over his first 13 starts. That’s an average of 6 1/3 innings per start. Hughes is currently tied with David Price and Clay Buchholz for the American League lead with 10 wins.

As Aaron outlined last month, this plan won’t be as extreme as the way Joba Chamberlain was handled last season. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, this is the only time Hughes will be skipped before the All-Star break. In other words, there’s no need to panic about this decision. The Yankees aren’t about to disrupt another pitcher’s rhythm, but they’ll surely look to find Hughes rest when they can.

  1. SouthofHeaven - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Oh for Christ’s sake. Yes, by all means hang on to your brand new, razor-thin lead in the AL East by babying your second best pitcher (I still prefer Pettite’s unflappability & adaptability, but only by a thin margin. Hughes has the best stuff).

  2. cg - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    By all means, kill a young arm by overworking him when you can easily skip his start and still get effective starts out of 4 good pitchers.

  3. Anon - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    I hate to sound like Bert Blyleven here but, man, honestly. Let the guy pitch. Pitching injuries are generally freaky. There’s no way to plan for them – Hughes could blow out his elbow in his next start whenever that start is. I’m all for being smart, and watching pitch counts or innings per start. But at what point does a team stop over-worrying about this? Year 3? Year 4? Never?
    Just let the guy pitch.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Let’s see- we have four veteran highly paid pitchers who know the demands are that they pitch every fifth day. So why the consternation about when a day off is available, giving it to Hughes? Seems logical to me.

  5. Paper Lions - Jun 22, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    Which mistake would you rather make?
    1) Giving a young pitcher rest he doesn’t need because he will not be at increased injury risk with a heavier work load;
    or
    2) Ignoring the work load of a young pitcher putting him at greater risk for major arm injury?
    In option one, the cost of the mistake is low. In option two, the cost of the mistake is huge compared to the modest gain in value. Sometimes, playing it safe is simply the smarter option, even in the absence of reliable data.

  6. YANKEES1996 - Jun 22, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    I can see the value of a day off for Hughes and on the other hand as of this AM the Rays and the Red Sox are only 1/2 a game back. I believe the AL East is going to be a dogfight until the end and I don’t want to see our best players sitting on the bench, they need to be on the field Joe.

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