Pleading the fifth no problem for Hughes

Taking the mound as the confirmed fifth starter felt a whole lot like his previous spring starts for Phil Hughes, as it turned out. The Yankees gave Hughes the ball for 71 pitches on Friday and he burned through them in three-plus innings, but he was pitching on three days’ rest and felt as though he was only missing by a little bit.

“I didn’t really feel like I was wild,” said Hughes, who walked four, threw two wild pitches and struck out five. “It was just adjustments I needed to make. Overall, I felt pretty good.”

Hughes liked testing his mettle and his changeup against the tough Phillies lineup, which serves as a good indication of where he is with regards to competition. His next start should come on Wednesday against the Twins, and after that it’s still up in the air.

He might be selected to pitch the Yankees’ fifth game on April 10 at Tampa Bay, but probably not because CC Sabathia would already be on an extra day of rest then.

The Yankees are planning to go Sabathia-A.J. Burnett-Andy Pettitte-Javier Vazquez in the first four days of camp, but need to further discuss their planning with regard to Hughes because of all the days off the Yankees enjoy in April.

We’re back at you bright and early on Saturday morning, so here are some quick notes before we hit the road:

  • Amaury Sanit was sent to Minor League camp after the game. Sanit was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in six spring appearances, spanning 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. The Yankees are down to 32 players in camp.
  • The Yankees could wait until April 1 or April 2 to sort out the last touches of their bullpen mix, Joe Girardi said.
  • Marcus Thames stroked a solid single in his first at-bat off Jamie Moyer, and the Yankees want to see more of his hitting against left-handed hurlers. Expect him to be in the lineup Saturday as the Yankees see the Tigers’ Nate Robertson in Lakeland.
  • Mike Rivera (right hamstring) will not take batting practice until Monday. He tweaked his leg running the bases in an intrasquad game this week.
  • Francisco Cervelli will have an excused absence from camp on Saturday and Sunday.

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