Hughes: I could have gone on short rest

Phil Hughes has never made a start on three days’ rest in his big-league career. So Joe Girardi wasn’t comfortable pitching him on short rest in the ALCS.

But Hughes says he would have been ready, willing and able to go on three days’ rest if that’s the path Girardi had chosen.

“I feel like after three days all the soreness is gone, I’m good to go,” Hughes said on Tuesday afternoon. “But I’ve never done it so, who’s to say whether it would be a success or not.”

Girardi opted to give Burnett one start in the ALCS, rather than have all three of his starters go on short rest.

The Yankees went with a three-man rotation throughout the 2009 postseason, but Girardi was hesitant to give Andy Pettitte the ball on short rest because he missed most of the second half of the year with a groin injury. CC Sabathia may pitch on three days’ rest, though the rotation plans at this point are unclear. Girardi did not reveal which ALCS game Hughes would start.

Hughes, at times, had to deal with a long layoff between regular-season starts as the Yankees skipped his starts periodically to keep him under an innings-limit. Including the seven innings he threw in Game 3 of the ALDS, Hughes has thrown a career-high 183 1/3 innings in 2010.

Hughes, however, said he wasn’t worried about fatigue heading into the ALCS. He’ll have at least six days between starts in the ALCS.