Phil Hughes took the loss in relief last night against the Red Sox, giving up a run in the 10th inning after manager Joe Girardi opted not to leave Mariano Rivera in the game with a pitch count of nine.
Hughes threw only 13 pitches and said afterward that he’d be ready to make his scheduled start Tuesday, but Girardi announced that he’ll be skipped in the rotation instead.
That means either A.J. Burnett or Ivan Nova will start in his place versus the Angels despite Hughes throwing six shutout innings in his last start and six innings of two-run ball in the outing before that.
He was clearly disappointed by Girardi’s decision, telling Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York:
It is always disappointing when you are not able to start. I thought I made some good progress in my last start, so if I have to wait around that won’t be something that is fun to deal with. But, again, I don’t really make these calls or something like that.
It’s certainly a questionable move by Girardi, particularly since Hughes threw just 65 pitches in his start last week and seemingly had a chance to build some momentum heading into the stretch run. He’ll presumably stay in the rotation after the one skipped start, but the Yankees haven’t said when his next turn would be.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.
The Cardinals announced a handful of roster moves ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Pirates. Outfielder Dexter Fowler and pitcher Kevin Siegrist were placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right heel spur and a cervical spine strain, respectively. Outfielder Chad Huffman was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. The club recalled outfielder Randal Grichuk and pitcher Mike Mayers and purchased the contract of first baseman Luke Voit from Memphis.
Fowler, 31, apparently suffered his heel injury during Saturday’s game against the Pirates. He had previously missed a few games due to a quadriceps injury. He’s currently hitting .245/.336/.481 with 13 home runs and 35 RBI in 277 plate appearances.
Grichuk, 25, struggled to a .222/.276/.377 triple-slash line over his first 46 games in the big leagues, so the Cardinals sent him down to Triple-A. In 14 games with Memphis, Grichuk hit three doubles and six home runs.
Voit, 25, has crushed Triple-A pitching so far this season, batting .322/.406/.561 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 293 PA. He may see the occasional start at first base, but he’ll be used mostly as a bench bat.