Yankees making plans for the 'Phil Hughes Rules'


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.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.