A Baseball Weblog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Phil Hughes wins 5th starter spot

Earlier today, Joe Girardi made the official announcement that we've all been waiting for --- Phil Hughes has been selected as the team's 5th starter in 2010. It's hardly a surprise, given Hughes' solid spring performance (and also since it had been unofficially reported multiple times). This leaves the fates of Alfredo Aceves, Joba Chamberlain, and Sergio Mitre undetermined (the other man up for the job, Chad Gaudin, was released earlier today). Girardi said that the three would compete for jobs in the bullpen, and was clear that nobody had a guaranteed spot. When asked if Chamberlain would slot back into the 8th inning role, Girardi answered, "You've gotta earn your spots." As Ben Kabak at River Ave. Blues speculated this afternoon, maybe Girardi was referring to Chamberlain's spot on the team and not as just as primary setup man. Conceivably, the Yankees could send him to Triple A Scranton and keep him stretched out as a starting pitcher, though I figure that won't happen.
Congratulations to Hughes. It is easy to forget that Hughes was in the rotation for much of his injury-derailed 20-year-old season in 2007, and started the third game of the year in 2008 before injuries bit him once again. I must say that Chamberlain was my pick for the job since his innings were managed so that he could pitch 200 innings this year, while Hughes will still have some restrictions. However, Hughes would need to pitch one way or another, so it's not an easily reconcilable problem --- though it is the kind of problem that many teams would love to have.

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