Fifth starter decision expected today

It sounds like the Yankees have reached a decision about their fifth starter, and all signs are pointing to Phil Hughes. He said today that he’s been told he’s starting tomorrow night’s game against the Phillies because it was the only time he could fit in a start, and that lines him up to pitch behind Javier Vazquez as things begin to take shape in the rotation.

It will not be Chad Gaudin, who was informed this morning that he has been unconditionally released. The Yankees would have liked to have sent him to Triple-A as insurance, but at $2.95 million, Brian Cashman said that was not realistic. Cashman tried to trade Gaudin but found that he couldn’t do it.

Other quick notes before I hit the highway:

Sounds like Marcus Thames is going to get the 25th man job, but it’s not a lock because there may be other players available late in camp to acquire. Cashman thinks the batting average has suffered from bad luck but there’s a belief Thames can help the Yankees in 2010 …

Cashman said that he had no regrets about the Jamie Hoffmann move, even though it cost Brian Bruney; “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he said. “I don’t think that it was a bad claim, even though it didn’t work out for us.” Hoffmann showed he could play big league defense but his bat needs more time. …

Cashman said that he did not feel that the Yankees would be able to carry two situational lefties, which might be bad news for both Boone Logan and Royce Ring. “I would say, from my personal perspective, that you’d prefer to do two lefties, but you don’t want those two lefties in theory to be situational lefties, especially in the American League. It’s hard to carry that.” He does view Damaso Marte as the first situational lefty, saying that you’ll see him used similarly to what you saw in the postseason.

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