The Yankees made their biggest decision of the Spring Training on Thursday.
I guess it really wasn’t a surprise, but Phil Hughes will open the season as the Yankees’ 5th starter. In four outings this spring, Hughes has struck out 10 batters in 13 innings. Hughes has developed a change-up to pair with his fastball and curve ball. Coming into the Spring, Hughes wasn’t considered to be the favorite to get this role.
Joba Chamberlain was the odds-on favorite to win the job. However, Chamberlain floundered his opportunities early. In six innings this spring, Chamberlain has allowed 12 runs on 10 hits(16.75 ERA). Chamberlain will head back to the bullpen, a place where he has excelled in the past.
Don’t assume that Chamberlain will automatically move back into the set-up role.
“We’ve got to see how he(Chamberlain) does here in the bullpen,” Girardi said. “There’s no guarantees that if you were in that five-man race, you’re automatically going to the bullpen. In a sense, you’ve got to prove yourself. But we do like the way the guys are throwing the ball.”
The Yankees are making the right move. Hughes has proven this spring that he’s ready to start again. His repertoire of pitches has been extremely impressive. I’m excited to see Hughes start again. Last May, he threw eight shut-out innings against the Rangers striking out six hitters. This is just a preview of what Yankee fans hope to see from Hughes in 2010.
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