Last week the Yankees sounded ready to dump Phil Hughes from the rotation following another poor start and sure enough the team announced that he’s been moved to the bullpen.
Initially the plan was to bump Hughes’ next scheduled start back, but manager Joe Girardi has decided to replace him in the rotation with David Huff, explaining to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York: “It’s been [an] up-and-down year for Phil and Huff’s been throwing the ball well, and we are just going to make the change.”
Hughes has certainly earned the demotion by going 4-13 with a 4.86 ERA and 23 homers allowed in 26 starts and despite all the promise he once showed as a prospect he’s now 27 years old with a 4.72 career ERA as a starter. This season the Yankees are 10-16 when Hughes starts and 64-48 when he doesn’t.
Hughes has been very effective out of the bullpen in the past, but hasn’t been a reliever since 2009 and with free agency right around the corner the timing of the move is rough for him.