Phil Hughes was scheduled to pitch Game 1 of the Yankees’ doubleheader against the Rays today, but he’s unavailable because of back spasms that have bothered him since last week.
Hector Noesi will get the Game 1 start instead, but he’s been used strictly as a reliever this season and is expected to throw just 50-60 pitches before Joe Girardi turns things over to the bullpen.
Hughes spent more than two months on the disabled list with what the Yankees called shoulder fatigue, but has pitched reasonably well since returning in early July with a 4.67 ERA and 42/20 K/BB ratio in 64 innings, including back-to-back Quality Starts.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.