Just finished talking to Joe Girardi. Phil Hughes is the Yankees fifth starter. More when I get to the press box…
UPDATE, 11:59 a.m.: Still on the field, but here’s the short version of Girardi’s comments.
The development of the changeup was key in the Yankees decision to go with Hughes. They expect his innings limit to be slightly higher than Chamberlain’s was last year. Probably around 170. Still no decision on when Hughes will make his first regular-season start, but tomorrow’s spring start is an attempt to get him lined up behind Vazquez.
Girardi said everyone else has to “earn” their role in the bullpen. Chamberlain isn’t automatically going into the eighth inning. Girardi didn’t even rule out the idea of keeping Chamberlain stretched out in Triple-A, but that seems unlikely.
Still no decision on whether they’ll carry a second lefty.
UPDATE, 12:24 p.m.: Here’s the Girardi audio. He gets into some bullpen decisions and other roster issues, but it’s mostly about Phil Hughes and the impact on the rest of the pitching staff.