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Yankees place Phil Hughes on DL with “dead arm” and move Bartolo Colon into rotation

Apr 15, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

phil-hughes-yankees AP

After watching Phil Hughes post a 13.94 ERA while showing significantly decreased velocity through three starts the Yankees have removed him from the rotation and placed him on the disabled list with what Joe Girardi called “dead arm.”

That sounds bad, but it’s basically another way of saying “fatigue” or “he’s not throwing as hard, but there’s no obvious injury that we can find.” He’ll be replaced in the rotation with Bartolo Colon, who has impressed as a reliever after making the team as a non-roster spring training invitee at age 38.

Hughes’ average fastball clocked in at 92.6 miles per hour last season as he went 18-8 with a 4.19 ERA in a career-high 176 innings, but this year his fastball is down to 89.3 mph and opponents have knocked him around for a .396 batting average and 1.121 OPS.

No one seems quite sure what to make of Hughes’ struggles, including Hughes, so rather than simply skip a turn in the rotation or relegate him to mop-up duties in the bullpen the Yankees have decided to shut him down for at least a couple weeks and presumably give him a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment once he’s deemed ready for game action again.

Meanwhile, this completes a pretty remarkable comeback for Colon, who last started a big-league game for the White Sox on July 27, 2009. At that time he was averaging just 89.1 mph with his fastball, but Colon has upped his velocity to 91.2 mph as a reliever while posting a 13/3 K/BB ratio in 11 innings.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Apr 15, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Hurray for Bartolo! At last, a fat toad I can live with. Can we give him the Win retroactively from last night?

    • bigharold - Apr 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      That munching you hear is me eating my words for referring to Colon as the “fat Chico Marx” lookalike. You going to eat a healthy portion for the “Fat Toad” remarks? His fastball is “KAATN”

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 15, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        No, I’ve always promoted the fat toad for the rotation. It’s THE FAT TOAD I can’t abide.

  2. clydeserra - Apr 15, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Are there standards for using the disabled list? It kinda sounds bogus to just say “dead arm.”

    “Today the Angels announced that Veron Wells will go on the 15 day DL with tired legs. They would like you to ignore his terrible offence and defense this year, it has nothing to do with the roster move.”

    • gabrielthursday - Apr 16, 2011 at 5:10 AM

      Unless the Yankees are hiding something, I don’t see how Hughes is eligible for the DL. You have to be certified by a doctor as disabled to be eligible for the DL.

      One wonders if other teams in the division have complained of this yet.

      • purdueman - Apr 16, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        If that’s true, I bet the Yankees just faxed the paperwork over to the league with old Doc Adams signature on it (yes, that Doc Adams from Gunsmoke!). LOL!

  3. uyf1950 - Apr 15, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Aaron – I’ve been ready on one of the Yankee associated blogs something different about who will be taking Hughes place.
    They are saying the Noesi will be moved into the starting rotation and that Lance Pendleton will be called up from Scranton to replace Noesi when he moves into the starting slot.

    Which is correct?

  4. yankeesfanlen - Apr 15, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    uyf- all I’ve seen is that Pendleton has been called up. How could they call two up to replace Hughes?

    • uyf1950 - Apr 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      There not calling up 2. Noesi is/was being called up to replace Feliciano since he’s done. But now instead of Noesi going into the bullpen to replace Feliciano he will replace Hughes and Pendleton is replacing Noesi in the pen who was replacing Feliciano. Confusing isn’t it. But It’s clear after a minute or 2.

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 15, 2011 at 6:04 PM

        uyf-0K, now I get it, Thanks. I had put Feliciano out of mind there.

      • jwbiii - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:34 PM

        They need a 40 man roster spot for Pendleton, so put Feliciano on your 60 day out of mind list.

      • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:40 PM

        Oh that will send the fear of God throughout the rest of the AL all right! (NOT!!)

  5. phukyouk - Apr 15, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    while I’m impressed with colon so far I think moving him into the rotation is a mistake. I think the spot he’s in now is perfect he can do the same for Nova as he has been for Hughes when nova cannot make it out of the 5th.

  6. purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    I have nothing against Phil, but I have to laugh at all you Yankee Homers (and we all know who you are), who posted repeatedly during spring training after reports on Hughes alarming loss of velocity was “no big deal because it is after all only spring training”. To those of you, I say, OH YA???!!!

    Upon making the decision Yankees GM Brian Cashman reportedly immediately made a full sprint for his PC to check the old waiver wire (LOL!). How about trying to lure Mike Hampton or one armed former Angel starter Jim Abbott out of retirement, Brian??? (LOL!)

    • jwbiii - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:38 PM

      I have the number of the bar in Fort Lauderdale where Sidney Ponson hangs out around here somewhere. . .

      • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:58 PM

        Bwahahahahahaha! Good one!

        You’re too late though… my sources tell me that a little over two hours ago Cashman picked Sir Sidney up in a stretch limo headed for Cheetah’s!!!!

  7. uyf1950 - Apr 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    purdueman – would that be all your highly educated two advanced degree sources. Or the ones that your wife the recruiter for a fortune 500 company placed in their current positions? For someone who professed to have such a high education and multiple degrees your posts sound more like they come from a bitter person who has never tasted success and who is lashing out fans and teams that are more successful then he could ever hope to be. Of course that’s just my opinion. BTW, enjoy rooting for your favorite team, I think I can guess which one it is.

    • purdueman - Apr 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      ufy… The mere fact that you have to debase yourself and resort to personal attacks speaks volumes as to what kind of a person you are.

      As for any criticism anyone (including me), posts about one of your teams? If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!

      • uyf1950 - Apr 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        Thank you for those kind words. Coming from a fan such as yourself, I can’t help but consider them a compliment. Like I said earlier, enjoy rooting for your favorite team, I think I can guess which one it is.

    • purdueman - Apr 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      uyf… I would ask you to disclose your educational, family and career background so that I can attack you the way you continue to attack me, but I don’t want to lower myself to your level and I likely wouldn’t believe you anyways because I think you’re for whatever reason very defensive of this information.

      Yes, I have two degrees from two different highly recognized major Universities, not mail order degrees that were achieved on the internet (where there is of course no way for such “universities” like U o P to know who’s really doing the work), and am proud of that. Obviously you don’t; please, get over it!

  8. purdueman - Apr 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I just don’t see any reason or need for anyone here to make things personal. I don’t know any of you personally and none of you know me personally either.

    I have no problem with someone posting to the effect of “what’s your problem”, or “why do you appear to hate (plug team name or player name here)”, but I think it crosses the line when anyone starts dragging my wife and personal information into a post.

    I’m proud of my background and past accomplishments, so to attack those that I have shared without honestly disclosing your own background is simply an unnecessary cheap shot. Could it be that you’re too defensive about your background to share it? The only reason that I can thing of to attack me in such a way is out of frustration and jealousy.

    Hey, I may be homeless or I may be a millionaire for all anyone knows here. What’s the point?

  9. jwbiii - Apr 17, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    And in a related move, Mark Prior moves from A+/FSL/Tampa to AAA/Int/Scranton.

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