Phil Hughes looks to get on track vs. Rangers
Phil Hughes is not pitching for his place in the Yankees’ rotation, according to manager Joe Girardi, even though the team is carrying a hungry Ivan Nova on the roster and looking to slot him somewhere into the team’s starting five.
Now, Girardi would never go so far as to put a player on notice about his spot being in jeopardy hours before he takes the mound, but it’s clear Hughes has not given the Yankees much to be pleased about of late. He has lost four of five decisions since May 15, going 1-4 with a 5.86 ERA in those starts, allowing at least one home run in five of those starts.
“It’s important. This is a guy we need to be consistent for us, and to get on a roll like he’s capable of doing,” Girardi said. “It starts with his fastball command, and using his other pitches.”
He’ll get a chance today as the Yankees try to secure a series victory in the rubber game of a three-game series with the Rangers, facing left-hander Derek Holland.
A statistical note for you: Robinson Cano, who is serving as the Yankees’ DH today, needs one hit to tie Frank Crosetti (1,541) for 19th place on the team’s all-time hits list.
Some other updates from Girardi’s session with the media this morning:
- Brett Gardner is out of the lineup today. Girardi said he is under the weather with a head cold, but Gardner has also played in all 77 of the Yankees’ games this season, so he’s due for a break.
- Girardi acknowledged that there are conflicting reports about Alex Rodriguez’s status, but from everything he has been told, A-Rod is making progress. Girardi said that the on-field staff in Tampa informed him that “he’s been making progress, moving better day after day, so it sounds like things are pretty good.”
- It would appear that Zoilo Almonte has been boosted into everyday duty in the Yankees’ outfield, and Girardi did not dispute that. It means, of course, that Vernon Wells has had to take a step back, but Girardi said that Wells has come ready to play every day, is prepared to pinch-hit and believes he has handled the situation “very professionally.”