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Phil Hughes will start Saturday

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

#65 SP
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM9
  • W2

  • L4

  • BB14

  • K20

  • ERA7.11

Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes will start on Saturday against Tampa Bay, manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday afternoon.

Hughes' last start was Tuesday when he blanked the White Sox, 6-0 in a rain-shortened outing. He allowed just three hits and walked none in six innings.

Hughes' next start was put into question after he pitched out of the bullpen for the Yankees on Sunday night in Boston. He lost the game in the tenth inning.

He will probably not be used out of the bullpen before Saturday's start, according to Girardi.

Girardi also confirmed that left-handed ace CC Sabathia will start on Friday in the series opener against the Rays and veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia will start on Sunday as the Yankees continue to go with a six-man rotation.

Ivan Nova, sent to Triple-A Scranton to make room for Hughes' return from the disabled list, will start Wednesday. He was recalled on July 30 and has pitched well in both his starts since.

Ivan Nova

Ivan Nova

#47 SP
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM19
  • W10

  • L4

  • BB38

  • K67

  • ERA3.81

The 24-year-old right-hander won his 10th game of the year in a fantastic performance last Thursday against the White Sox. He held Chicago to six hits, all singles and two of them infield hits, and one run in 7 2/3 innings. He walked none and struck out a career-high 10 in winning his 10th game of the season.

Aside from CC Sabathia, with 16 wins, only one other Yankees starter, Garcia, has won as many games.

On Tuesday, Girardi attributed Nova's success since his call-up to a rejuvenated slider.

"The difference in this kid is the development of that pitch," the manager said. "It’s a real swing and miss pitch and he’s gotten strikeouts when he’s needed it."

Prior to Hughes' six shutout innings Tuesday, his performance had been uneven since his July 5 return from the disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation.

He went 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in four starts before the Chicago outing. Hitters batted .322 against Hughes over the four-start span.

It is assumed that either Hughes or Nova will be removed from the rotation once the team goes back to a standard five-man rotation.

"I don’t know how much longer we’ll stick with that," Girardi said of the six-man rotation. "Obviously we’ve got the double header coming up in Baltimore (on Aug. 27) and we have to be prepared for that."