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So, does Phil Hughes still go to the bullpen?

Aug 3, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Phil Hughes

Yesterday it was speculated that last night would be Phil Hughes‘ last start and that, when the Yankees get off this six-man rotation thing, he’d be the odd man out, bullpen-bound.

Now what happens?

As we noted in the recaps, Hughes had a fine game.  He shut out the White Sox over six innings, needing only 65 pitches, 48 of which were strikes.  He hit 95 on the gun in the first inning and then settled into a 91-94 groove — averaging 92.5 — which is where he was during his effective 2010 season.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that Paul Konerko wasn’t in the White Sox’ lineup and, overall, the Sox have not been great on offense for the past week or so. Or, to be honest, for the whole year, really. They’re near the bottom in runs per game in the AL despite playing in a hitter friendly park.

Does he get another turn?  Or does Joe Girardi take that first inning heat and decide that it’s highest and best use for the remainder of the year is for short relief appearances?

This is why managing is harder than we tend to think it is.

  1. dailyrev - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    He’ll probably get 1-2 more starts while they figure out if anything’s coming via the waiver wire. This clearly is not a team used to doing nothing at this time of year. I’m not particularly fond of the Yanx (though I live in NYC), but they deserve credit for staying close to the Sawx. Any other frontrunner in baseball (short of Philly, obviously) would have been fading by now in that div.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      What team has the highest payroll in baseball again? Oh yeah…let’s give them credit for “staying close to the Sawx”. The BRAVES deserve credit for staying close to the Phillies as long as they did because they have a crappy payroll. When you have the HIGHEST payroll…you don’t deserve credit for “staying close”

      Oh wait, I forgot that Pedro Feliciano has missed the entire season. You’re right…they deserve all the credit in the world for “staying close”.

      • vintage1496 - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        Don’t let that Philadelphia inferiority complex influence your postings too much, Chris. This is an article about Phil Hughes and his role on the Yankees; maybe we should be commenting on that and not the payroll issue which has already been discussed ad nauseum.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    These things tend to work themselves out, but if I am the Yanks right now, my playoff rotation would be CC, Colon, Garcia and Nova. Let’s hope ‘Hughesy’ cranks it up for the home stretch, because that rotation does not really inspire massive amounts of confidence.

  3. bigharold - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Basically has to be left in the rotation at this point. If he threw another tortured game or if there was a glaring deficiency in the pen then it would make sense to move him there. But, with Soriano back, Robertson cruising right along and the pen in general doing a pretty good job there isn’t the glaring need. Nova might be easier to send back to the minors than Hughes to the pen.

    When he came back it seemed as if the smart thing to do was keep Nova in the rotation and move Hughes to the pen. Nova was hitting a good stride and Hughes has had success in that roll before. It might end up being the best thing overall this season if Hughes does falter later in the season. He’s had set backs this season and his development should take a lesser priority than winning games. Long term Hughes needs to be developed as a starter but is it wise to do that in the middle of a pennant race? I like Hughes and think he will develop into at least a solid #3 start, perhaps a #2 and I think it’s way too early to throw in the towel on him. But, OJT while trying to win the division might be giving him too much slack to the detriment of the team.

    The one thing I like about this is Girardi has done a better job of handling the pitching than has been done in the recent past by the Yankees. I think he’ll figure it out, .. at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  4. pisano - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    I wouldn’t bet the farm on Hughes just yet, he’s been here before. I’d give him another two starts and see what happens. I know this won’t happen, but suppose Hughes is lights out from here on, how about CC, Colon, Hughes,Garcia and Nova with Burnett in the pen as the long man, and hope like hell someone picks up Burnett off the waiver wire. Just a thought.

    • deathmonkey41 - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM


    • bigharold - Aug 3, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      The only chance Burnett gets traded is if the Yankees eat about three quarters of his salary. That’s a lot of dough even for the Yankees.

  5. 1943mrmojorsin1971 - Aug 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Red Sox fans say “no way”

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