Yankees: Do you think not starting Phelps is Hughes mistake? - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees: Do you think not starting Phelps is Hughes mistake? - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees: Do you think not starting Phelps is Hughes mistake? - Lady Loves Pinstripes

Yankees: Do you think not starting Phelps is Hughes mistake?

Phil Hughes during pregame warmups prior to a ...

Phil Hughes during pregame warmup prior to a game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles on August 29, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New York Yankees lost the first of three games today vs. the Detroit Tigers this afternoon, 8-3 making them 1-3 on the season.

I think I speak for many Yankees fans when saying playing in Comerica Park brought back nightmares of the last two postseasons.

Ivan Nova really struggled as the Tiger bats ran up his pitch count early, but he left in the fifth inning with a 3-2 lead.

Then the Tigers bats came to life.

Prince Fielder hit a bomb off both Boone Logan and Shawn Kelly.

Kelly also gave up another homer to Alex Avila, which cemented the loss.

It is beyond me why Kelly is in the bullpen instead of a prospect like mark Montgomery, but it is typical of the Yankees.


Tomorrow the Yankees need to slow down the Tigers hitters to avoid losing another series before seeing Justin Verlander on Sunday night.

David Phelps was scheduled to take the hill, which I was excited about because I think he has good stuff that needs the chance to develop.

My anticipation got cut short when I skimming twitter and learned via NY Daily News Mark Feinsand that Phil Hughes would make the start tomorrow.

What the heck is this was my first thought, as Hughes has been injured and was slotted to make a minor league start in Scranton tomorrow.

Hughes has not faced live major league hitters yet so this news came across as desperate.

Not only that but considering Hughes injury history it doesn’t smart to bring him back without a minor league start under his belt?

I have a terrible feeling that starting Hughes in place of Phelps is going to be a disaster. Hughes is a home-running giving machine and with the Tigers line-up is that really fair to him?

Here are Hughes numbers vs. Tigers:

Miguel Cabrera222092049130.4500.5001.1501.650
Jhonny Peralta181783004020.4710.5000.6471.147
Victor Martinez151562001020.4000.4000.5330.933
Austin Jackson121110000140.0910.1670.0910.258
Torii Hunter10930001140.3330.4000.3330.733
Don Kelly10810000210.1250.3000.1250.425
Alex Avila7710000030.1430.1430.1430.286
Prince Fielder6610011010.1670.1670.6670.833
Ramon Santiago6600000020.0000.0000.0000.000
Omar Infante3300000010.0000.0000.0000.000
Andy Dirks2210000000.5000.5000.5001.000
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com.

Phelps’ numbers vs. Tigers are a minuscule sample size but nonetheless here are his:

Jhonny Peralta3310000000.3330.3330.3330.667
Alex Avila2200000010.0000.0000.0000.000
Miguel Cabrera2200000000.0000.0000.0000.000
Prince Fielder2210000000.5000.5000.5001.000
Torii Hunter2100000110.0000.5000.0000.500
Austin Jackson2200000010.0000.0000.0000.000
Andy Dirks1100000010.0000.0000.0000.000
Ramon Santiago1100000000.0000.0000.0000.000
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com.

The bottom line here is this seems like a panic move by skipper Joe Girardi, and not exactly a fair one.

It puts a lot of pressure on Hughes, who has not had enough time to warm up.

The last time Hughes faced live major league batter was in Comerica Park in Game 4 of the 2012 ALCS. He pitched three innings, giving up a homer, a run; three walks and had one strikeout before being taken out of the game.

Also, Phelps must be frustrated with the inconsistency and lack of confidence the Yankees continue to show in him.

How can this kid develop if the Yankees pull stunts like this?

Starter to reliever to starter to reliever makes no sense. And I hope Adam Warren doesn’t get sent down to make room for Hughes because he has been good.

In reality this is the fifth game of the season and this move seems a tad apprehensive even though the bullpen has thrown a lot of innings.

Not that there isn’t plenty to be concerned, as this team looks outmatched. But pulling Phelps is not the answer, as it causes unwarranted alarm from within.

I just pray that Hughes doesn’t aggravate the bulging disk in his back again by pushing himself too hard due to all the pressure.

What do you think about starting Hughes instead of Phelps? 

Are the Yankees trying to build a sand castle in a tornado here?


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  1. Richard says:

    How many curve balls down the middle can you serve up to your Legions of Avid readers????

    You knew I'd jump in!!!

    Hughes pitched 7 innings of an extended Spring Training game and was scheduled to start today for Scranton. If he wasn't ready for Scranton, would he be ready for the tigers????

    Phelps has already developed into a 5th Starter or long man. He's in the Bigs and happy to help. Just ask him!!!!

    My faith in this team is wavering a bit. Time to play more golf.

    Oh, Montgomery was terrible this Spring and Kelley was not. Typical of the Yankees to go with the better pitcher!!!!!

  2. Richard says:

    Oh Yeah. At least you admit your Sample size is too small. But you try to make your point anyway.

    • LLP says:

      Richard – My point about Hughes starting today was more about his injury. Meaning the added warm-up start or two is probably a good idea especially considering his long history of body parts not holding up.
      Hughes never faced major-league hitters during spring training. Because of his back issues, he was limited to live batting practice, simulated outings and extended spring-training encounters with farmhands. And with Tigers powerful line-up it could get ugly.
      Also Phelps deserves the start. He has worked hard, and I believe that Phelps has the stuff to be a #2 guy but the Yankees cannot keep throwing him around like this. Remember how messed up Hughes and Joba's development got from the same roller coaster?
      Also, Adam Warren will probably be sent down to open up a spot for Hughes, and he has been good thus far. Nova should get sent down for Hughes, as after hearing he was happy with this outing yesterday Nova could use the wake-up call.
      The Yankees do not trust in the prospects enough, and with the money limits now I believe they are keeping them down on the farm in case they need to make a trade.