Phil Hughes takes the ball today against the Rays in what could be his last start until the Aug. 27 split doubleheader in Baltimore. We shall see.
The rotation is about to be cut to five and unless the Yankees are trying to throw everyone off the scent, no signs have been pointing toward Hughes.
CC is CC, even though he’s been off a bit lately. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have done well. Brian Cashman endorsed A.J. Burnett as a starter yesterday. Joe Girardi said Wednesday that Ivan Nova wasn’t pitching for a job in that night’s start against the Angels, and he threw well again. Girardi didn’t directly answer a question yesterday about how Hughes’ performance today could impact the decision. And Hughes has bullpen experience.
Today Girardi was asked how Hughes has handled all the curves thrown at him, including pitching in relief Sunday in Boston and having his Tuesday start skipped.
“I think he’s handled it well,” Girardi said. “It’s a not a fact that we’ve wanted to bounce him around. That’s not what we’ve tried to do. He started off slow. He ended up going on the DL. He was on the DL for a while. He’s been through a lot this year. But his personality has remained pretty constant.”
Girardi said he hasn’t spoken to Hughes about the situation.
“I’m just going to let him go do his work,” Girardi said.
Whatever the Yankees decide, it’s expect to be announced tomorrow or Monday.
“It’s tough,” Girardi said. “But when you look it at, we’re all trying to win. We’re all trying to get to the same point. And you can help in a lot of different ways. That’s the bottom line. I’m sure that there are guys who don’t play every day who would like to play more. But you’ve got to all pull together and be prepared when you’re called upon.”
So who would you chop from the rotation?
*Alex Rodriguez was supposed to play about half the game at third tonight for Tampa at Dunedin after starting as the DH in his first rehab game last night at Dunedin. But the Yankees are going to have him DH again and probably have him do more informal situational work in the field tomorrow. Girardi said he could still play a couple of games in the field for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and be ready to go. That Triple-A work is expected to be done Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Rodriguez went 2 for 3 with two RBI last night.
“It’s hard to be better than a home run and a double in three at-bats,” Girardi said. “I guess he could’ve got another hit. But that’s a good sign.”
As for how the Yankees will use him at first when he returns, Girardi said, “The one thing that we can do is we can possibly DH him a couple of times a week, two or three times a week. We’ll have that option. If we have to work him back slowly and get him in shape where he can play four or five days in the field, we can do that as well.”
*Derek Jeter will be honored with a ceremony before today’s game, saluting his 3,000-hit achievement. Jeter said his parents will be here, but that he doesn’t know what’s planned for the ceremony.