Yanks outline plan for Phil Hughes
After some speculation regarding where the Yankees’ fifth starter, Phil Hughes, will start the season – many have wondered whether or not he would begin the year in Scranton – today the team outlined their plans for the young right-hander, noting that he would be on the 25-man roster come Opening Day. However, though he will be on the active roster, Hughes will not make his first start in the big leagues until April 15th against the Angels, as the Yankees will keep him in Florida for extended spring training – a controlled environment – until then. While in Florida, Hughes will start in two exhibition games.
The decision to leave Hughes in Florida will allow the Yankees to monitor his innings in an appropriate manner, away from the bright lights, and stretch him out accordingly (it also gives him more time to develop his change). When asked why he was not optioned instead, which would have made room for an extra reliever (e.g., Boone Logan), Joe Girardi noted that Hughes could be call upon as an emergency reliever or even a “spot starter.” Optioning him would have prevented the club from having immediate access to him unless there was an injury.
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