Yankees making plans for the 'Phil Hughes Rules'

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Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the Yankees are making plans to implement the “Phil Hughes Rules” to limit the 24-year-old right-hander’s workload in his first full season as a starter.
Hughes has been fantastic, going 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA in eight starts, but according to Marchand the Yankees will likely take advantage of June’s many off days to give him extra rest between most starts.
Marchand surmises that the goal is to keep him under 175 innings for the year, which would be far less extreme than the previous “Joba Rules” given that Hughes is only on pace for about 185 innings right now (with his next start tonight against the Indians).
Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland both sidestepped questions about Hughes’ workload, but general manager Brian Cashman explained: “That’s all up to Joe and Dave. They know just like last year with Joba what the limits are. We have pitching programs that are all based on things that have happened in recent history and past history.”
Joba Chamberlain threw 157.1 innings last season while starting 31 times and appearing out of the bullpen once, but in addition to the Yankees’ plan for his usage ineffectiveness also helped keep his workload down. Hughes is currently on pace to throw about 10 percent more pitches and log about 15 percent more innings than Chamberlain did as a 23-year-old.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.