For whatever reason, the phrase ?Hughes Rules? doesn?t have the same ring to it as ?Joba Rules.?
Either way, the Yankees are implementing them — for now. Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger is reporting that the Yankees will skip Phil Hughes? next start in the rotation in an effort to try and limit the young right-hander?s innings total.
Hughes? Friday night start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers will be the one he?ll miss, which has got to sting even more for the young righty who is a native of southern California.
Not surprisingly, Hughes seemed less-than-thrilled about the decision made by the Yankees? front office.
?There?s no really talking him out of it,? Hughes said of the decision. ?It?s an organizational decision and that?s that. You just want to make sure we?re on the same page.?
Hughes has arguably been the Yankees? best starter and it?s debatable that he?s been the best pitcher in the AL up to this point. He?s 10-1 with a 3.17 ERA, but it?s the 82 1/3 innings he?s already logged that has the Yankees? organization worried.
In 2009, Hughes, working primarily out of the bullpen threw 86 innings for the Bombers.
The article speculates that the Yankees are trying to limit Hughes to 175 innings or so, but it?s worth wondering at least what they would do if they continue playing stellar baseball.
Despite losing to the Diamondbacks Monday night, the Yankees still own the best record in baseball at 43-27 and cling to a half-game lead in the AL East over the Red Sox and Rays. For the Yankees to repeat as World Series champions, Hughes will obviously need to play a vital role.
The move gives A.J. Burnett at least one more chance to prove he?s not going to need to skip at a start –or more — as a result of his poor pitching as of late. Burnett gave up seven runs in just four innings of work in Monday?s loss to the Diamondbacks including giving up three first inning home runs.