New York Yankees: Phil Hughes

Girardi on Hughes: 'We need him'

September, 2, 2013
NEW YORK -- How bad has Phil Hughes been this season?

Let’s look at the numbers:

W-L: 4-13

ERA: 4.91 (fourth-worst in AL)

HR: 23 (ninth-most in AL)

BAA: .286 (fourth-worst in AL)

IP: 135.2

H: 152

The 27-year-old right-hander was pushed back in the rotation so that he could face the lowly Chicago White Sox (56-79) on Monday afternoon.

“We need him to compete,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s all we expect from all of our starters when they go out there is to compete and give us everything they have. And if we need to make a change, we’ll make a change.”

Girardi said he’d like to see Hughes have some quick innings and get some early outs. He hasn’t been able to do either very often this season, struggling to put away hitters when he gets ahead in the count.

Batters have particularly enjoyed seeing Hughes throw fastballs. According to FanGraphs, they are hitting .324 with 15 home runs in 312 at-bats against Hughes’ heater.

“You can talk about replacing him [in the rotation], but two of the guys you possibly would replace him with are injured -- David Phelps and Michael Pineda -- so he has to get it done, and we expect him to get it done,” Girardi said.

Phelps (forearm strain) is playing catch, Girardi said, but with just a month left in the season, it appears unlikely that he returns. Girardi said long reliever David Huff is available despite pitching in Sunday’s game.

Hughes battered in the Bronx, again

June, 19, 2013
NEW YORK -- Phil Hughes' spot in the Yankees' starting rotation may be in jeopardy.

At least it should be.

Hughes was rocked yet again at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, giving up five runs on 10 hits in six innings in the Yankees' 6-0 loss to the Dodgers in the nightcap of a doubleheader. His record on the season dropped to 3-6, and his ERA rose to 5.09.

[+] EnlargeHughes
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsHow much longer can Joe Girardi tolerate Phil Hughes' poor pitching?
Manager Joe Girardi was asked about Hughes' job status after the game.

"I haven’t really thought about moving Phil out of the rotation," Girardi said. "I think he’s capable of doing a good job for us. But right now he’s struggling."

Hughes gave up hits to the first four batters he faced, and five of the first six. The Dodgers posted a pair of runs before the Yankees were saved by an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

"The first inning, his fastball was running, it was running back to the middle of the plate," Girardi said. "He was just missing his spot with it, and got him in trouble."

Added Hughes: "I really didn’t have good control in the first inning. Fortunately I got a double-play ball to get us out of that. From then on, it was just a struggle to find any sort of rhythm."

The Dodgers scored another run in the third, thanks to doubles by Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier. They tacked on two more in the fifth. Hughes hit young phenom Yasiel Puig with a pitch to start the frame. Puig stole second, and eventually scored on a Hanley Ramirez single. Ramirez later came around to score as well.

"You can mix your pitches, and he tried to do some of that too," Girardi said. "But it comes down to not making mistakes, and he made some mistakes."

Hughes has made a lot of mistakes this year. He's been erratic overall, and downright brutal in the Bronx. Even before Wednesday night's game, Hughes had the third-worst home ERA in the American League (6.52), behind only Jason Hammel and Ubaldo Jimenez.

And the Yankee Stadium dimensions weren't a contributing factor this time around. The Dodgers' 10 hits off him were all singles and doubles. He didn't allow a single home run.

Hughes didn't have much to offer in way of explanation, either, when it comes to his struggles this season. "I have to be better," he said. "That's for sure."

But should he keep getting the ball every fifth day? The Yankees do have other viable options. Ivan Nova has made three starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in June, and is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and four walks. Vidal Nuno gave the Yankees three good starts in May, although he's now on the disabled list with a groin injury.

Adam Warren has been excellent in long relief, including hurling six shutout innings in an 18-inning game in Oakland last week. And don't forget about Michael Pineda, who made his first minor-league rehab start 10 days ago, beginning his climb back to the big leagues.

Hughes was asked if he ever contemplates the possibility of being replaced in the rotation.

"My only concern is pitching well," Hughes said. "Things that I can’t control, I don’t really concern myself with. My No. 1 baseball priority is pitching well every five days, and that’s really all I worry about."

But more often than not in 2013, Hughes hasn't pitched well.

And his time may be running out.

What would you do with Hughes?

June, 2, 2013
I wrote a column on Saturday night in which I said that if you don't really want Phil Hughes to pitch against the Red Sox at home, you can't sign him to a big-money contract this offseason. Here is part of it"

At 26, Hughes still doesn't have enough consistent diversity to his repertoire. He had a plus-fastball on Saturday but leaned on it too much, and, ultimately, it led to his undoing against a Boston Red Sox team that has scored the third-most runs in baseball.

After being up 0-2, a telegraphed fastball resulted in Mike Napoli's third-inning grand slam that basically decided Saturday night's 11-1 Red Sox beatdown.

Too many times Hughes doesn't finish what he starts. Since the beginning of 2012, he has allowed 11 homers after being up 0-2. That is four more than any other pitcher in baseball.

With Hal Steinbrenner's $189 million mandate, the Yankees are going to have to be choosy with how they spend their money. Hughes conceivably is coming into his prime, but he is not the right fit for pinstripes.

Click here to read the rest.

QUESTION: What would you do with Hughes this offseason?

First Pitch: Which Hughes will show up?

June, 1, 2013
Which Phil Hughes will show up Saturday against the Red Sox?

The Phil Hughes who has given up just two runs in his past 13 innings or the Phil Hughes who gave up seven runs in just two-thirds of an inning on May 15 against the lowly Mariners?

Who knows? Since his All-Star first half in 2010, the Yankees and their fans have had no idea.

The 26-year-old right-hander enters Saturday’s start with a 2-3 record and a 4.97 ERA.

The home run continues to be an issue for Hughes, who is on pace to give up 34 dingers in 2013 -- one fewer than he gave up in 2012. As always, fastball command will be key for him.

In his career against Boston, Hughes is 5-6 in 20 games (12 starts) with a 4.95 ERA. He last started against the Red Sox on Sept. 13, 2012 at Fenway Park and earned the victory after giving up just five hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Yankees would love another one like that. It’s just a matter of whether or not they’ll get it.

With Hughes, though, you never know.

UP NOW: Johnette Howard writes about CC Sabathia’s dominance on Friday night. Andrew Marchand has the news story on Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis’ return to the lineup, plus other notes. I wrote about the manager’s ejection in the fifth.

ON DECK: Marchand and Matt Ehalt have you covered for Saturday’s game in the Bronx. The 7:15 p.m. matchup will feature Hughes going for the Yankees against Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29 ERA).

Hughes' night goes wrong on Wright at-bat

May, 28, 2013
An eight-pitch at-bat sent Phil Hughes home empty-handed on Monday night.

Hughes lost a lengthy battle to Mets third baseman David Wright by serving up a game-tying homer in the Mets' eventual 2-1 win. On the eighth pitch of an at-bat in the seventh inning, Wright crushed a ball to left-center to tie the game at 1-1 and leave Hughes with a no-decision.

[+] EnlargePhil Hughes
Elsa/Getty ImagesPhil Hughes reacts to Davd Wright's solo home run.
"I pitched OK. Made a bunch of mistakes, but that's part of the game. You're going to have to battle," Hughes said. "With a 1-0 lead, I have to do a better job of trying to get through that part and just wasn't able to do it."

With the Yankees nursing a 1-0 lead in the seventh, Wright led off and fouled off four of the first seven pitches to put the count at 2-2. Hughes, having retired Wright on an inside fastball earlier, tried to go inside again -- but he left his pitch over the plate and Wright jumped all over it.

Hughes, aided by great defense, had one of his best starts of the year as he gave up just four hits and one run while striking out six, but Wright's at-bat kept him from potentially earning the win.

"Just trying to make quality pitch after quality pitch," Hughes said. "Eventually, sometimes, you're going to miss a little bit."

NOT AN ISSUE: When Daniel Murphy gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in the eighth with a go-ahead single against David Roberston, he violently slammed his bat to the ground in a tomahawk motion while running to first. Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not have an issue with Murphy's reaction.

"It is an emotional game. Some guys are going to show more emotion outwardly than other guys," Girardi said. "I only have a problem if I feel a guy is doing it to show up the other guy. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary."

STEWART'S FINE: Yankees catcher Chris Stewart slipped while attempting to retrieve a passed ball in the eighth, but said he was fine afterward. He was sidelined recently with a strained groin.

NOT REALLY SURE: The Yankees' offense once again stalled as it managed just one run and couldn't sustain any rallies against Mets starter Jonathon Niese. Stewart, who hit into a crushing inning-ending double play in the second, couldn't really explain why Niese shut the Yankees down.

"I don't know. I felt I saw good pitches against him, felt like we were in good counts. I couldn't tell you," Stewart said. "Personally I put good swings on him.

"His ball kind of moves different directions occasionally. He'll cut it, two-seam it and just maybe kept guys off balance and just threw good pitches to good part of the plate. ... Tip your hat to him, he did a good job tonight."

NOT FIRST ANYMORE: With the loss, the Yankees are no longer in first place in the AL East, as they have fallen a game behind Boston. It marks the first time since May 8 that the Yankees are not at least tied for first place.

Pregame notes: Game plan vs. R.A. Dickey

April, 28, 2013
The Yankees will face 2012 NL Cy Young award winner and ex-Met R.A. Dickey on Sunday. Despite being just 2-3 with a 4.66 ERA, Dickey presents a unique challenge because of his knuckleball.

Joe Girardi thinks the most important aspects in approaching the knuckler is to look for the ball up and not try to do too much with it.

"I've heard people say, 'Down low, let it go. If it is high, let it fly,'" Girardi said. "The other thing is, I don't think you can go up there with a plan that, 'I'm going to look for one pitch, to pull the ball and hit in the seats.' I think you have to stay up the middle a little bit."

Not many Yankees have a lot of at-bats against Dickey. Vernon Wells has a .538 average (7-for-13), while Robinson Cano has three hits in 10 at-bats vs. the highly publicized pitcher.

HUGHES IMPROVING?: After missing so much time with his spring training bulging disk in his back, Phil Hughes has gotten better from his first start to his fourth. After going seven innings in his first two starts combined, Hughes has pitched seven innings in each of his last two starts, allowing just two runs in each.


"It could just be the innings under his belt," Girardi said. "I thought his last start he mixed his pitchers better than he had in the previous starts. Maybe he is getting more of a feel for his curveball, slider and changeup."

Hughes is on the mound Sunday for the Yankees.

Hughes falling shy of the hype

April, 13, 2013

On a mid-April Saturday afternoon, New York’s two baseball teams sent two first-round draft picks to the mound.

One almost made history. The other was booed off the field.

While the Mets’ Matt Harvey was working on a near no-hitter in Minnesota, the Yankees’ Phil Hughes was getting hammered in the Bronx. Hughes lasted just two batters into the fourth inning, giving up five runs in a 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

“He didn’t really have a good command of his fastball,” said manager Joe Girardi. “He made some mistakes with his fastball today, and they hit ‘em.”

Boy, did they ever. Nate McLouth lined Hughes’ second pitch of the game down the left-field line for a double, and came around to score. Ryan Flaherty launched a long fly ball into the right-field seats in the second inning, making it 2-0.

Hughes almost gave up two more homers in the second as well. J.J. Hardy’s drive to dead center died at the warning track, and Manny Machado’s blast hit off the top of the right-field wall.

But then Nick Markakis took Hughes deep in the third, and Nolan Reimold led off the fourth with another long ball. After McLouth followed that up with another double, Girardi sent Hughes to the showers.

“I have to be better,” Hughes said. “I have to locate my fastball, and be able to throw my offspeed pitches for strikes, and I wasn’t able to do either today.”

To his credit, Hughes made no excuses after the game. He missed time this spring with a back injury, and was pitching on irregular rest because of the team’s two rainouts in Cleveland this week, yet didn’t pin his poor performance on either issue.

But he didn’t have an explanation, either. “I wish I did,” Hughes said. “If I did, I probably wouldn’t let it happen.”

Hughes wasn’t good in his first start of the season either. Last Saturday in Detroit, he surrendered four runs on eight hits over four innings. He’s now 0-2, with a garish 10.29 earned run average.

The Yankees’ starting rotation, supposedly the strength of the team, suddenly doesn’t look so strong. Ivan Nova lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his one and only outing thus far, and Andy Pettitte had his next start pushed back due to back spasms.

CC Sabathia has looked very good. But truth be told, the best pitcher in New York right now is Harvey, the 24-year-old phenom who lost his no-no in the seventh inning, but still improved to 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA for the crosstown Mets.

Once upon a time, the same kind of greatness was expected of Hughes, who is just two years older. Although Hughes was drafted out of high school and has been in the big leagues since 2007, he hasn’t lived up to the hype.

Yes, he pitched 6 1/3 no-hit innings in his second big-league start, in Texas -- but then he had to leave the game with a hamstring injury. Yes, he won 18 games in 2010, and 16 in 2012. But his career record is 52-38 with a 4.44 ERA.

It’s fair to say more was expected of the 23rd overall pick in 2004.

This could be Hughes’ final year in pinstripes -- he will be a free agent at the end of this season. On the bright side, he has plenty of time to turn this year around, and Girardi said he’s not thinking of making any changes to his rotation.

“I think it’s real early to do that,” Girardi said. “Phil had a pretty good year for us. He’s had a couple pretty good years as a starter for us.”

Hughes was 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA in four starts last April, and recovered to finish 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA. “I went through it last year,” Hughes said, “so at least I know I can turn the page and figure it out.”

If he doesn’t, he’ll hear more boos in the Bronx.

“I’m used to it. Unfortunately,” Hughes said, of the boos. “I’ve kind of learned to deal with it.”

That’s not what Hughes, or the Yankees, were expecting nine years ago.

First Pitch: Can Hughes get better?

April, 11, 2013
Phil Hughes has been in the majors long enough that he will be a free agent at the end of this season. He has been an All-Star, an 18-game winner and an enigma.

In June, he turns 27 and we still don't know exactly if this is all there is. Two scouts classified Hughes as a No. 3 or 4 starter. Sounds about right, but is there more?

"There is more in the tank," an AL East scout said. "The ability is there, but he has been a roller coaster."

Hughes, who starts Thursday against the Indians, is in his sixth full major league season and is coming off of a career-high 191 1/3 innings in 2012.

From team imposed limits to injuries, Hughes has thrown more than 100 innings in only three of his eight complete seasons in professional baseball.

"When he is good, he is really good," a second AL East scout said. "His health and command is always a question."

The scouts likened Hughes to Mike Pelfrey and Edwin Jackson. Those comparisons are far from insults, but they point to middle-of-the-rotation starters who profiled as potential aces. In 2007, Baseball America rated Hughes the fourth-best prospect in all of baseball and that has translated into a good, but not great, career so far.

[+] EnlargePhil Hughes
Joy R. Absalon/US PresswireHughes is in his sixth full major league season.
This past offseason, the 29-year-old Jackson received a four-year, $52 million contract from the Chicago Cubs. Jackson and Hughes own an identical 4.41 career ERA. Since Jackson's ERA has been mostly against National League hitters, you could argue that Hughes' is slightly more impressive.

"He is a middle of the rotation guy, which you can be as a two-plus pitcher," the scout said. "He has command of his fastball and curveball."

Hughes possibly evolved to more than a two-pitch guy when he finished 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA in 2012. He ditched an over reliance on his cutter and went to a more fastball-curveball-change-slider repertoire.

Still with is injury history, which includes a bulging disk in his back that he said he will have to maintenance the rest of his career, it is hard to say what Hughes will be worth at the end of this season. One of the scouts said he would pass on him because Hughes, even with just a pretty good year, will probably be offered big money and the risk-reward scenario for the scout wouldn't be worth it.

"I wouldn't pay for it," the scout said. "He has stuff like Mike Pefrey. Pelfrey is a four. Hughes can't stay healthy long enough to quantify who he is. Plus, a back problem for a pitcher is really bad. But someone will overpay. People sell their souls for pitching."

With the $189 million mandate, Hughes is an interesting free agent question. The Yankees would love to see Hughes breakout this season and make the decision harder and more expensive.

UP NOW: The Yankees were rained out, but we weren't. There is plenty of stuff from Wednesday on the blog.

ON DECK: Mark Simon will go inside the numbers on the newest Yankees. Wally Matthews and I will be on the blog all day and night. Thanks for reading.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Can Phil Hughes get better?

Notes: Rapada to DL, Jeter to minors

March, 22, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are on the road to Ft. Myers today, but a couple of them are headed elsewhere. Clay Rapada, who has been shut down with bursitis in his shoulder and only just started throwing again, is almost certainly headed to the disabled list. Phil Hughes probably is, too, backdated 10 days because he needs more work and the Yankees won't need him until April 6. That's the first day he would be eligible for reactivation.

And Travis Hafner, who has won the lefthanded DH job despite his .129 spring batting average, is headed over to the minor league complex to take as many at-bats as he wants in the Class A game today at 1:05 p.m.

Also: Derek Jeter will hit on the field at The Boss at 10:25 this morning, then take some infield practice to test out his sore ankle. If all goes well, he could play in a minor league game this weekend. A trip the DL to start the season is still not out of the question.

-- Phil Hughes will throw 45-50 pitches in a minor league game today. He, too, could start the season on the DL, backdated like Jeter to be eligible to play on April 6, the first time the Yankees will need a fifth starter. At the same time, Hiroki Kuroda will pitch in another minor league game, both at the same complex across the street from The Boss.

-- Joe Girardi said with the Jeter injury, there could be room for both Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix on his Opening Day roster. And for the first time, he acknowledged that Vidal Nuno, who has had an outstanding spring, might be considered for a role on the pitching staff, although he did not say what that role would be.

-- Robbie Cano went to Ft. Myers for the game against the Twins today, but he gets the day off tomorrow when the Yankees travel to Lakeland to play the Tigers. Hafner, Nix, Nunez, Brett Gardner, Kevin Youkilis, Brennan Boesch and Dan Johnson will make the trip, however. Andy Pettitte will make the start.

Hughes: 'Today was a big step'

March, 11, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- A little after 8:30 a.m. Monday, Phil Hughes threw 26 bullpen pitches, taking another stride toward being ready to to start the season on time.

"Today was a big step," said Hughes, sidelined since mid-February because of a bulging disk in his back. "The other day I was feeling my way through these 10 [pitches.] Today, it was like I was throwing a normal bullpen. I wasn't thinking about my back. I was letting it go. I got through that without any issues. For me, it was a big positive."

Hughes will throw a batting practice session Thursday and then he believes he could be ready to pitch a simulated game or in a spring game. Hughes doesn't know the exact dates he needs to start pitching in preseason games to be ready for the regular season.

With a Yankees having an off day in the first week, it is conceivable Joe Girardi could push Hughes' initial start of the season to as late as April 7. In that scenario, CC Sabathia would start twice before Hughes would go once.

"I assume by [pitching coach Larry Rothschild] telling me I have a BP Thursday, I would be on track to be ready to go," Hughes said.

Notes: Boone, CC, Hughes & Rivera

March, 10, 2013
DUNEDIN, Fla. – Some more positive injury news. Let's get to the notes.

1.) Boone Logan (elbow) threw a bullpen and reported no problems. Logan's condition would be important on its own, but is more vital with Clay Rapada (bursitis in his shoulder) down.

2.) CC Sabathia threw four simulated innings in Tampa and his elbow is right on target. He will start his first game Friday.

Joe Girardi has most of his starting pitching set for the week: Hiroki Kuroda on Monday, Ivan Nova on Tuesday, Andy Pettitte on Wednesday, TBA on Thursday and Sabathia on Friday. It will be the first game action for Pettitte, too.

Phil Hughes will have a bullpen on Monday. Girardi said that if Hughes doesn't get in a game by the 15th or 16th of this month, he still could be ready for his first regular season start of the season. Previously, Hughes had said he thought he needed to pitch by then to have a chance to make that start.

3.) Juan Rivera started at first on Saturday. He feels comfortable at the position.

"I first played it when I was 5," Rivera said.

Hughes back on dry land

March, 3, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- It was only a game of catch, 25 easy throws from about 60 feet away, but for the first time in a week, Phil Hughes did his work outside of a pool and said he felt "no issues" from the bulging disk in his upper back that caused him to be shut down Feb. 18.

"That's a positive first step and we'll just have to go from here," said Hughes, who first felt the injury while reaching for a ball during a fielding dril. "First day, they didn't want me to go crazy, especially in the cold."

The next step is for Hughes to play catch again Monday, and the hope is that he will still have enough time left in the spring to be ready to head north with the team for Opening Day.

"Obviously I can't have any setbacks," he said. "I know that I have to get four or five starts, and every day that I'm not throwing or not on the mound is another day that it's harder to get going again. I just have to take it slow, but I figure that it's not the worst thing in the world to miss a little bit of time now than have this be an issue going forward."

It is possible that Hughes could remain in Tampa to make a minor league start while the rest of the team heads to New York, because the Yankees will not need a fifth starter until April 7 in Detroit.

State of the Binder: Day 11

February, 22, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- Last day of workouts before the games begin and Joe Girardi seems happy about that. As he said today, "I've seen enough bullpens." Tomorrow, he gets to see the real thing. Here's the highlights of his post-workout session:

MO LOOKS "NORMAL": And that's good enough for Joe, who stood behind Mariano Rivera during his 20-pitch live BP session and came away impressed. He also got a kick out of Mo saying to Rob Segedin, the first hitter he faced, "You better swing because all you're going to see are strikes," after the kid let the first two pitches go by. And he cracked up when told that after Segedin lined the next pitch into center, Andy Pettitte cracked from the bench, "That'll shut him up." Joe thought Pettitte, who preceded Mo on the mound, looked good, too.

DON'T COUNT OUT JORGE: He was at least half-kidding, but Girardi refused to rule out the possibility that Jorge Posada, in camp for a few days as a guest instructor, could be seduced by the spring training atmosphere and decide to end his retirement. "I know there was a lefthanded pitcher that said he wasn’t coming back, either," Girardi said, referring to Pettitte. "He came to camp, sat in on a few meetings and all of a sudden he was back a couple weeks later. Any time we have a guy that is doing what Jorge is doing, people are going to speculate. And I think it’s fair to do that."

HUGHES IMPROVES: Phil Hughes said his back felt "significantly better" after three days of anti-inflammatories for a bulging disk, but Joe tempered his enthusiasm somewhat. "It’s still too early. I think you have to see him get on the mound to feel that you’re through it and that it’s not going to be an issue that pops up all the time. But that’s a good sign," he said.

COOL ON AARDSMA: Joe was curiously restrained in his praise of David Aardsma, who is trying to work his way back from Tommy John surgery. when asked how Aardsma looked in his live BP, which preceded Pettitte's, Girardi said "Pretty good," with emphasis on the word "pretty. And when he was asked if Aardsma, a former closer with the Seattle Mariners, was reasonably assured of a bullpen spot, the manager said, "I think we have some pretty good competition here for some spots. I like to say all our guys have to earn their spots. That’s the way I look at it. He’s a guy that has closer experience and a lot of experience. You would expect that to pay off." We'll see.

Morning Notes: Wednesday is Hughesday

February, 20, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- We're settling into a regular routine now, pitchers work early with Larry Rothschild, followed by the full squad on the field around 11 a.m. for stretching, infield practice and BP. Today, we threw in a new wrinkle -- the Phil Hughes injury, which may be more serious than the Yankees first believed.

1. HUGHES' BACKACHE: An MRI revealed Hughes has a bulging disk in his mid-to-upper back, causing stiffness and restricted movement in his right (pitching) side. The Yankees are treating it with anti-inflammatories (a Medrol Dose pack of medical steroids) but GM Brian Cashman called the official diagnosis "new information" and said he expected Hughes to be out at least two weeks.

2. JOBA/YOUK?: Joba Chamberlain will throw a round of live BP today, and if I read the schedule correctly, may very well be throwing to a BP group that includes his favorite target, Kevin Youkils.

3. IS TODAY THE DAY?: The day that Derek Jeter runs the bases, that is? That is one of the few remaining hurdles standing before Jeter in his attempt to make it back for Opening Day. Sounds simple but The Captain hasn't done it yet.

4. TODAY WAS PHOTO DAY: Everybody looked real nice in their sparkly white home uniforms, something you rarely see in the clubhouse, where sweats and yeah, underclothes are the norm. Presumably, the absent Alex Rodriguez will be photoshopped into the picture.

5. YANKEES LIVE CHAT TODAY A little later because of the spring training schedule, but we'll go at 2:30. Here's the link.

Hughes (back) update: Out a week, at least

February, 20, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- Phil Hughes has a bulging disk in his upper back and will be out of action for 6-7 days at best, the Yankees announced. He'll be treated with anti-inflammatories.

More to come.



Masahiro Tanaka
13 2.77 141 136
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146