Notes: Joe has Huff decision to make

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi will have a decision to make on Saturday: Does he start Phil Hughes or David Huff?

“I don’t know what we’re gonna do,” Girardi said after the Yankees defeated the White Sox 9-1 on Monday at the Stadium. “I haven’t made any decisions about changing the rotation."

Later, when asked if Hughes would make his next start, Girardi said, “I haven’t made any changes. I just walked in here. Everyone always asks me and my answer is always the same: I don’t ever make any changes from the time I walk off that field until the time I walk in here.”

Hughes, who has struggled all season and was pushed back in the rotation so he could face the lowly White Sox, retired four of the first five batters he faced before the game was delayed for one hour, 53 minutes by rain.

Following the delay, Girardi inserted Huff, and the left-hander navigated through 5 2/3 innings using just 62 pitches. He allowed five hits, one run, walked none and struck out three.

“If I’m in the bullpen, I’m pretty relaxed, and as a starter it’s the same,” Huff said.

“He was outstanding," Derek Jeter said. "We needed someone to step up. He deserves all the credit today.”

Hughes, who came in just 1-9 at home, was disappointed the weather forced him to leave the game. The 27-year-old right-hander says he’s fresh and available to pitch in a day or two if need be, possibly out of the bullpen.

“I’m obviously available and ready to go,” Hughes said.

With the Yankees facing the Red Sox for four games Thursday through Sunday, it will be interesting to see if Girardi tries to avoid using Hughes. While it might be unconventional, Girardi could look to start Hughes on Wednesday against the White Sox and push CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Andy Pettitte back a day. Tuesday’s starter, Hiroki Kuroda, would then go Sunday on regular rest.


The Yankees have now used a franchise-record 52 players this season after Cesar Cabral and J.R. Murphy made their major league debuts in the eighth inning. Cabral pitched a scoreless frame and recorded his first strikeout, while Murphy notched his first big league base hit -- an infield single. Murphy received the lineup card and gave it to his parents, who were in the stands, going crazy. He has yet to receive the ball. Chris Stewart joked that it was thrown into the stands.

GARDY GREAT: Brett Gardner doubled and scored a run in the first inning. Six of his past eight hits have been doubles and he's scored at least one run in each of his past four games.