The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pregame notes: Hughes encouraged, waiting for next step

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Apr 23, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

There is no definite plan in place for Phil Hughes. Joe Girardi said he’s not sure when or where Hughes will make his first rehab start, but the Yankees were encouraged enough to believe he’s ready to pitch in a game.

“Larry felt that he got stronger, and that’s not what we saw in his last start, so it seems that this time as been beneficial,” Girardi said. “He’ll do another long toss and a side on Monday and then we’ll make a decision after that.”

Hughes threw long toss then went through a lengthy “pregame” warmup of roughly 45 pitches (he usually throw 30 to 35 before a start). In the bullpen, Hughes did three sets of 15 pitches, sitting between each one to make sure his arm could bounce back time after time.

“I still felt like my arm had some juice in it and Larry felt the same way,” Hughes said. “I was encouraged with today… It felt like there was more in my arm. I was able to sit down and get back up and bounce back.”

As he’s said several times, Hughes once again said it’s impossible to know exactly how far he’s come. He won’t be able to really judge that until he gets in a game, and he said a minor league start should bring enough intensity for him to gauge his progress.

“I think it will be a fair gauge,” he said. “I’ll be up and ready to go for it.”

• The Yankees rotation for the next four days:

Sunday: Freddy Garcia
Monday: A.J. Burnett
Tuesday: Ivan Nova
Wednesday: Bartolo Colon

“As much as we can we’re trying to keep guys on schedule,” Girardi said. “But two days off and rainouts, it’s nearly impossible.”

• Francisco Cervelli is catching today. He’ll take tomorrow off then catch back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, after which the Yankees will reevaluate the situation. “I don’t know if you’d do it right after Tuesday, but he’s obviously getting closer,” Girardi said. “We want him to get his at-bats and know that he can play back-to-back days and be able to bounce back. It’s still pretty early for him in spring training.”

• CC Sabathia has been sick the past few days, but Girardi said he’s better today and shouldn’t have any problems making the start. He would have pitched yesterday as well.

• Kevin Millwood allowed two runs through seven innings today with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He threw 95 pitches, 60 for strikes. Girardi said he’s paying attention to Millwood and Carlos Silva. “If one of our starters did go down and you don’t feel that a young kid is ready, it might be that you turn to one of those guys,” Girardi said.

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Derrek Lee 1B
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Adam Jones CF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Matt Wieters C
Jake Fox LF
Robert Andino SS

Associated Press photo of Hughes




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