Setting expectations for Phil Hughes

Updated: July 6, 2011, 11:41 AM ET
By Eric Karabell

I certainly understand why New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova needed to get the proverbial heave-ho out of the rotation to make room for recovering Phil Hughes, although it didn't mean I was pleased about it. I have Nova in a deep league and was enjoying the wins (eight of them in 16 starts) and relative reliability of late. After a rough April, Nova boasted a 3.90 ERA in May and 3.58 ERA in June. There's nothing wrong with that.

Of course, Hughes, scheduled to pitch Wednesday after missing nearly three months with a shoulder problem, has considerably more upside and showed it in 2010, and with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia pitching well -- who woulda thunk it? -- Nova was pushed out. The Yankees have something of an embarrassment of starting pitching riches with the old pitchers performing well and Hughes suddenly healthy, though we know how quickly that can change. Let's go pitcher by pitcher and analyze for fantasy purposes: