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Phil Hughes is probably heading to the pen

Aug 2, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

Phil Hughes Reuters

Yesterday we learned that the Yankees are going to use a six-man rotation. That kind of thing never lasts of course, so someone is gonna be the odd man out soon.  Matthew suggested that it may be Phil Hughes given his recent struggles. Matthew is probably right about that.

Backing him up: Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, who listened to Joe Girardi talk about the situation last night and suspects that that’s the way he’s leaning.  Feinsand is a pretty smart cookie who reads the Yankees tea leaves better than most and he’s usually right about this kind of stuff.

Hughes gets the start tonight. If he’s dazzling, sure, maybe things change.  But we haven’t seen a dazzling Phil Hughes for some time.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    New York is a tough town. It seems that if you do do not pitch well, you might be sent to jail.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 2, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Unlike with Joba, it makes sense to send Phil to the pen. He has only one good pitch (his fastball) and he dials that back so far when he starts that it ceases to be effective.

    That or ship him to the minors and let him work with the pitching guru in Tampa to see if he can learn an effective 2nd and 3rd pitch. It is so frustrating to watch him get up 0-2 on everyone, then have the AB end 10 pitches later with a walk or a double off the wall.

    Learn to put ‘em away Phil!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 2, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      Not saying you’re right or wrong, but this might be the first time I’ve ever seen someone suggest Joba should be in the rotation AND Hughes in the bullpen.

  3. pisano - Aug 2, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    He’s the odd man out, but in reality AJ should be anywhere but the rotation. He’s the weak link, actually he’s the John Lackey of the Yankees. Two f ## king bums that have so hurt their teams that even if you put them in the pen they’d cause havoc. Lackey is by far the worst of the two.

  4. aburns77 - Aug 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    This move is obviously a move of necessity because there are too many pitchers for not enough spots, but I think this is illustrative of the Yankees seeming inability to develop pitchers as of late. That’s not to say that Phil’s and Joba’s or any other yankee pitchers’ struggles are entirely a product of mismanagement by the team, and each guy has their own issues which contribute to their ineffectiveness in the majors, but putting Phil in the bullpen does no help to his development. Phil is a classic “Verducci Effect” guy having thrown so many more innings last year than he ever did and as a result he’s seeing some serious regression, but the solution to that is not making him a one inning guy, the solution is letting him work through those problems as a stater, whether at the major league level or in the minors. Sure, he’s going to be good reliever and he’ll help the team probably more than he would have as a starter (given his general ineffectiveness this year) but this is a guy who needs to grow and develop as a pitcher and putting him in the bullpen does nothing to help that.

  5. yankeesgameday - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    If you struggle to get outs as a starter when you are trying to up your velocity it makes little sense to use a guy out if the pen who can’t get outs in anything less than mop up time in a blow out. Last thing I want to see is hughes pitching the 7th in a tie game against Boston at the end of September.

  6. jolink653 - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    phil has no out pitch that’s always been his problem…he goes 0-2 on so many batters and then winds up in a battle that eats up a lot of pitches…a good fastball will only get you so far but with his stuff he can’t be pitching to contact since there’s not that much movement

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