If the bad Phil shows again, Joe Girardi could take a chance on David Huff going forward. But Girardi has stuck by Hughes, especially with limited alternatives.
“You look at what he’s done in the past,” Girardi said. “He’s struggled this year at times. There’s no doubt about it. You can talk about replacing him, but two of the guys that we would’ve possibly replaced him with are injured, Phelps and Pineda. So he’s got to get it done. And we expect him to get it done.”
Hughes hasn’t gotten it done. He has no wins to show for his last nine starts, going 0-6 with a 5.64 ERA, the longest winless stretch of his career. He last won a game on July 2. He has dropped 11 of his last 13 decisions since May 15. There have been 18 starts over that stretch, and his ERA has been 5.12. The Yankees are 5-13 in those starts. Overall the free agent-to-be is 4-13 with a 4.91 ERA across 25 starts.
“You want to see him have some quicker innings and get some early outs and where he doesn’t get long counts and they foul a lot of pitches off,” Girardi said.
Phelps is just playing catch these days and isn’t close to returning from his second forearm strain, according to Girardi.
With the September call-ups, Girardi has a few more arms available. So will he have a quicker hook with the starters?
“Yeah, probably,” Girardi said. “But you can’t be too quick because you wear your bullpen out and then you’ve got a lot of days in a row.”
The Yankees had a tough setback Sunday, blowing a 3-0 seven-inning lead to Baltimore and falling 7-3. But Girardi has seen their bounce-back ability.
“I think because you have guys that have played for so long, they understand it’s part of the game, that you can’t really have a carryover effect; you just have to move on,” Girardi said.
Associated Press photo