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Postrain notes: Hughes’ bullpen has to wait

Posted By Chad Jennings On April 22, 2011 @ 7:30 pm In Notes | 114 Comments

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At this point, the Yankees know the drill. They’ve been rained out three times this season, and it seemed every single player who came into the clubhouse from the field this afternoon was asked about the weather. It was still raining. Then it was just barely raining. Then the rain was fairly significant. Then it was more of a mist. All of a sudden, the game was rained out.

“We don’t like it because we know that they’re going to probably be split doubleheaders and that makes it tough,” Joe Girardi said. “It makes it tough on your bullpen and it makes it tough on your guys, but what are you going to do?”

Phil Hughes didn’t like it. He was supposed to throw a bullpen today, a bullpen he was hoping would be his final step toward a rehab assignment. Hughes settled for throwing long toss, and his bullpen has been bumped to tomorrow. He’ll throw 45 pitches — three 15-pitch “innings” — and he’s hopeful that Larry Rothschild will give him the green like to begin a rehab assignment within a week.

“Larry will kind of be the judge of that based on how my bullpen looks and how I feel bouncing back after long toss and throwing,” Hughes said. “If I feel fine and sees enough out of me in the pen and feels like I’m ready to go, then I should be ready for a start.”

Hughes said he really can’t tell much at this point. The Yankees haven’t had a radar gun on him, and even if they did, Hughes suspects there would be a significant difference without his usual game-day adrenalin. Having a radar in the bullpen “would frustrate me even more,” Hughes said. He needs a game to truly know how far he’s come.

Here’s Hughes speaking this afternoon.

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[4]• CC Sabathia will start tomorrow. The Yankees haven’t chosen a starter for Sunday because they want to map out the rotation first. “We want to look at how it affects the whole schedule,” Girardi said.

• No makeup date has been announced, but Girardi has been told it won’t happen this weekend. Tomorrow and Sunday should be one game apiece.

• Girardi indicated that it’s possible Francisco Cervelli will be activated during the upcoming home stand. He’ll DH tonight and catch again tomorrow. “We’ll see how he’s feeling,” Girardi said.”I’m not saying we’ll make a decision, but he’s doing pretty good.”

• Without Hector Noesi, the Yankees don’t have a 100-pitch guy in their bullpen, but Lance Pendleton and Buddy Carlyle can both go three innings or so, and Pendleton could probably go a little longer if necessary. “He’s probably going to be called on to pitch more if you get into these 17 days in a row and 33 in 34,” Girardi said. “We’ve just been in a lot of tight ballgames and have had strategic days off that have allowed us to do what we’ve done. You can’t keep up that pace, because we’re not going to have those days off.”

• Curtis Granderson is obviously swinging the bat incredibly well the past few days, and that earned him a bump up to No. 2 in the lineup. “I thought he got off to a slow start because his spring training was a little bit interrupted at the end,” Girardi said. “He’s been swinging the bat with authority. He’s a pull hitter that fits very well in the No. 2 spot.”

• The Orioles are skipping Chris Tillman this weekend. They’ll start Brad Bergesen tomorrow and Jake Arrieta on Sunday.

• Andruw Jones turns 34 years old tomorrow.

Associated Press photos

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