This morning, Wally Matthews of ESPN NY, wrote that Kyle Lohse could be an option for the Yankees with Phil Hughes‘ Opening Day availability up in the air. Hughes has a bulging disc in his back and will be out at least two weeks which is not a good start to his Spring Training no matter what the Yankees might say.
Lohse, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals last season, finished his 2012 with a 16-3 record and a 2.86 ERA. As good as that may sound, there are a few factors in play. Lohse is a Scott Boras client, is 34-years-old and as we’ve seen this offseason, the Yankees aren’t too keen on signing pitchers – especially those who are of an “advanced” age – to anything other than a one-year deal.
Another factor, as Matthews says, is Hughes’ response to treatment. Maybe he’ll respond well and all of this will be for naught. But on the other hand, Hughes has now had back issues three seasons in a row which is problematic for anyone, let alone a starting pitcher in the Majors.