The Yankees announced today Phil Hughes will make extended spring straining starts in Tampa before making his first start of the season on April 15 against the Angels.
In other words, the Yankees will play their first eight games with 24 players. Check LoHud for full details of the plan, and explanation.
When I first heard the news, I thought why don’t they just start him in Triple-A for the beginning of the year? Girardi was asked that question by a reporter. Here’s the answer:
There will be nights when Hughes is available as an emergency, extra-innings reliever. “There’s a situation that could arise where you might need him to make a spot start, or you get rained out and they want to play a double header,” Girardi said. If Hughes were optioned, the Yankees would have to wait 10 days before calling him up (unless someone got hurt).
Jennings and Girardi make good points. Not every game is played on its scheduled time and lasts nine innings. It’s good to have an option like Hughes for emergency purposes.