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Yankees prepping Phil Hughes for bullpen role in playoffs

Sep 26, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

phil hughes getty throws Getty Images

Phil Hughes hasn’t pitched since September 12 because of back problems and now that he’s healthy enough to potentially see some game action again the Yankees are preparing him for a bullpen role.

“That is what we are going to look at during the playoffs,” manager Joe Girardi told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, noting that Hughes will be available out of the bullpen for the final series of the regular season versus the Rays.

Hughes has pitched poorly for most of the season and doesn’t have enough time left to build back his arm strength for lengthy outings, but his track record as a reliever is extremely strong. He spent nearly all of 2009 in the bullpen and has made 47 of his 118 career appearances as a reliever, throwing 54 innings with a 1.51 ERA and 68/14 K/BB ratio.

New York’s rotation is a big question mark, but Hughes joining David Robertson and Rafael Soriano in setting up Mariano Rivera could make the bullpen a major strength.

  1. yankeesgameday - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    This will be a disaster.

    If Hughes can’t get anyone out as a starter because if his velocity and location, then he wont be able to do it in relief, which will cost the Yanks dearly in the late innings of close games.

    Leave him off the playoff roster entirely if he can’t start a game for you.

    • yournuts - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      What are you talking about yankeegameday? Let Joe Girardi and the Yankee officials do their thing. They know what their doing. Can’t you see what this team has done this season without you extreme knowledge. The pitching held up, the additions of Garcia and Colon was masterful. I dare say that they know a hell of a lot more than you. Having Hughes as a long reliever or as someone that can get an out from the right side is a wise choice. Phil Hughes will be fine Yankeegameday. Take a valium and chill out.

  2. yankeesgameday - Sep 26, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    What Yankee fan wants to see Hughes pitch to Miguel Cabrera in a tie game in the 7th inning? If I could underline disaster I would. That is the kind of match you’re talking about. Noesi us the long man. Hughes is ineffectual in that role.

    And Giradi is a real genius…right. He gets a lead off walk to Tex in the bottom of the 9th last night, pulls him for Golson, a pinch runner and the DOESN’T LET HIM STEAL. All he was hoping was he could score from first on a double in the gap. Which never happened.

    No outs, bottom of the 9th, golson steals easily against saltalamachia, then Swisher bunts him to Third. Now you have 1 out, runner on 3rd. A grounder through the drawn in infield, sac fly, whatever… And the winning run scores easy.

    But Giradi shackled him to first and another 90 minutes and 4 innings later his team loses.

    Yeah, he’s a real genius. He obviously realized trying to win would suck more than losing.

  3. pisano - Sep 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    If they use him as a long man in a blow out, no harm done. From the sixth inning on they don’t need him nor anyone else. They have Corey Wade for the sixth, Soriano for the seventh, Robertson for the eighth, and Mo for the ninth and it’s game over.

    • yankeesgameday - Sep 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM

      Right. Key words: they don’t need him.

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