In an effort to protect the arm of Phil Hughes, who has never gone beyond 146 innings in any one season in his career, the Yankees are limiting him to about 175 innings this year. Many believed this meant that the Yankees would move him to the bullpen in October as a way of keeping that innings total down. It turns out that isn’t the case.
Also from Cashman: Hughes IP limit applies only to regular season. In playoffs, it’s “all hands on deck.” Hughes a candidate to start.
About a month ago, before Andy Pettitte suffered an injury and the bullpen was in shambles, the Yankees probably would have moved Hughes to the pen. But the way things are going these days, with Pettitte’s future in doubt and the bullpen currently firing on all cylanders, it makes sense that the Yankees would do this. You want to protect the future, but not at the cost of a possible World Series.
The Yankees won a championship last season with only three starters, but there are much bigger question marks this year with Pettitte’s health and the consistency of starter A.J. Burnett. Hughes really has been one of their better starters this season and to take him out of the rotation at the most important time during the season could have been devastating. Especially if Javier Vazquez doesn’t return to form, the Yankees are going to have to run Hughes out there as part of the playoff rotation.