With the Yankees now off to a 1-3 start to the season, they are pulling out the stops and have activated Phil Hughes off of the DL early and have sent David Phelps to the bullpen for Saturday afternoon’s start.
This is certainly seems like a bit of a panic move by the Yankees. Ivan Nova pitched poorly yesterday and suddenly they don’t trust David Phelps to start any more. More realistically though, the Yankees don’t have a long man because of Hiroki Kuroda‘s finger injury and would rather activate Hughes early than go into a start with their No. 6 starter on the mound and no insurance. It’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B.
Hopefully Hughes is ready to go though. His back problem, which also bothered him in the playoffs last year, seems to be behind him. There is a big difference between minor leaguers and the Detroit Tigers’ lineup and hopefully the back holds up.
Hughes has also had problems getting deep into games throughout his career and there was a reason why Hughes was originally scheduled to pitch one more rehab game before starting the season. If he’s not stretched out enough and struggles even a little bit, we may end up seeing Phelps today after all.
As for sending Eppley down it is a little bit of a shocker just because everybody assumed that Adam Warren would be sent down when Hughes was activated. Eppley struggled the other day, but he’s always struggled when he faces lefties and Warren did well, but the Yankees now basically will have two long men. Perhaps the Yankees just feel they are better off with Warren.
• Ivan Nova has a weird habit of thinking he pitched well in games where the opposite was obvious. “Personally, I don’t think I pitched that bad,” he said.
• Hiroki Kuroda said his finger didn’t bother him during a bullpen yesterday and they expect that he will definitely make his next start.
• Derek Jeter began hitting off a tee yesterday. He still hasn’t done anything in the field since his setback. Joe Girardi said that Jeter won’t need a full six weeks of spring training, but made it clear he’ll need a decent amount of time before he’s ready.
• Former Yankees pitching prospect Daniel McCutchen, who was in the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal with Pittsburgh, but is now with the Orioles, has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for PEDs.
(Photo by Flickr user kowarski).