Phil Hughes To the Bullpen

The Yankees have three more games remaining this season which would be a good opportunity for them to run starter Phil Hughes out there to test his back, but instead it appears that he will be relegated to bullpen duty, if he pitches at all.

As of right now, Hector Noesi is scheduled to start tonight. Bartolo Colon, who is probably pitching for a spot in the rotation, goes Tuesday.

They have not announced Wednesday’s starter yet, but it won’t be Hughes, it could be just a way to get him some innings in relief before the playoffs or it could be that his back isn’t strong enough to make a start.

The Yankees have a bad history when it comes to starters dealing with back issues in the playoffs.

In 2003 David Wells pitched in the World Series and hid the fact that he was dealing with severe back pain. He lasted just one inning as the Yankees lost the game and eventually the series.

There was also Randy Johnson in 2006 who admitted after a loss to Detroit that his bad back should have kept him out of the game. He ended up getting lit up for five runs over 5.2 innings as the Yankees lost the game and eventually the series.

The fact that Hughes did not pitch in relief in last night’s 14 inning game and is not getting a start over the final three games makes me feel like his back injury is worse than they are letting on. He is in the bullpen now, but it seems like he could be off the roster entirely for the playoffs.

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One Response to Phil Hughes To the Bullpen

  1. shavager says:

    Haven't seen anything in the last month that assures Colon needs to be on postseason roster, Burnett's turned in 3 consecutive starts with good showing, he's a bullpen resident along with Hughes if his back's OK, if not Girardi should consider the best of the rookies brought up to the 40 man roster. Chavez and Nunez are keepers for the postseason roster, keep the faster base thief between Dickerson and Golson. Montero's swinging better bat than Romine, he stays on roster as Martin's backup.