Some good news for the Yankees today, as Phil Hughes tells Andrew Marchand that he is healthy and able to pitch after leaving Game Three with back stiffness in the fourth inning. Hughes says that he could have continued pitching in the game, but manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild weren’t comfortable with what they were seeing out of him and decided to make a pitching change. That was the right move, in my opinion, as Hughes was having al ot of trouble locating his pitches at that point, and you can’t leave an aching fourth starter in a game like that and risk having them let things get out of control.
Hughes also say that he feels like he could pitch out of the bullpen as early as today, something that I doubt we’ll see. Aside from any lingering issues with his back, the Yankees will likely need Hughes to start a potential Game Seven if the series goes that far, thanks to the rain out of last night’s contest. In most cases you wouldn’t want to worry about that yet, but the reality is that the Yankee will have to get that far in order to win the series, so winning the next three games while leaving yourself without a viable pitcher for that game would likely prove to be a Pyrrhic victory at best. Continue reading Hughes healthy, available, after early exit Tuesday