Phil Hughes, the Yankees third starter is in trouble. Baseball scouts and analysts are using the term “Iron Mike” when referring to Hughes. Should the Yanks be concerned? Is the specter of bad pitching rearing its ugly head in New York as well as Boston? I think Yankee fans shouldn’t be overly concerned.
Last season the question marks surrounded AJ Burnett. He couldn’t seem to pitch worth his life. However, this season he seems to have worked out the psychological problems (I know, it’s still early). Phil Hughes, for whatever reason, is in a far worse position. Not only has he lost his velocity, but what’s worse, reports say he has no movement on the ball. What happened? I would suspect only Hughes knows. Or maybe he doesn’t?
The Yankees were smart this offseason. They brought in Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. I’m not saying these are Cy Young contenders, but if the Yanks can give Colon more innings, I think they will be pleased. Garcia will be reliable. However, probably the most significant addition to the Yankees rotation is Ivan Nova. The simplest resolution to the Yankees pitching questions is simple: move Hughes to the bullpen immediately. By doing so, manager Joe Girardi makes Nova the third starter, Garcia becomes the fourth guy; and Colon rounds out the fifth position.
Of course this is nothing new, but will the Yankees do it? In my opinion, they should. New York will put up runs until the cows come home. Run support is not the problem. Last season the Yanks depended on a three-man rotation. They no longer have the need to do that. They also don’t have Andy Pettitte.
At the end of the day, Girardi needs to make some difficult decisions, and do so very soon.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!