Hughes could pitch in relief vs. Sox

There is no final decision on the state of the Yankees’ rotation, except that Ivan Nova can settle in for the weekend without danger of being sent out. Joe Girardi said that the Yankees are going to hold firm on their staff until Monday’s off-day.

“Right now we’re going to stay with all our pitching,” Girardi said Friday at Fenway Park. “This has been a ballpark and a (Red Sox) club you can go through some pitching. They can put some long at-bats on you, so we’re comfortable to stay with all our pitching now. There was not necessarily a rush to make a decision.”

Girardi said that Phil Hughes was scheduled to throw a bullpen on Sunday, but they’ll have him hold off instead just in case he’s needed for emergency long relief on Saturday or Sunday. If Hughes is called into a game, he wouldn’t be available to start on Tuesday.

“If something gets crazy and we need him Saturday or Sunday, Sunday would be his throw day anyway in a sense,” Girardi said. “So we’re just trying to make sure we’re covered on our pitching aspect for the next three days.”

Girardi clarified that he’d prefer not to use Hughes at all in Boston.

“Our plan is to start him on Tuesday,” Girardi said. “I would love to get distance out of every one of our starters and not have to use him and be in a good situation late in the game. But as I’ve said, these series can get a little crazy at times and you got to protect yourself.”

It’s possible Nova could start on Thursday, but that’s still officially undecided. The fact they want to keep him around is a good sign for his chances of sticking here, though, wouldn’t you say?

“That’s a good thing,” Nova said. “I’m still here.”

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