New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes, who spent 4 1/2 hours enduring a battery of tests at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center yesterday, will undergo more tests to determine the cause of the righthander's "dead arm." The Yankees don't want Hughes to overdo it with the MRI's because of the dangers too much radiation could pose.
"They want to try to rule out everything they can. We don't really know why he's having this issue," said Joe Girardi. The manager expressed concern about depending too much on the MRI's because of radiation overexposure. "They say you can only get a certain amount of MRI's a year. I don't want him walking around like Spider Man."
Spider Man. Okay. Right now, Hughes is a wimpy Peter Parker on the mound.
No results were available after yesterday's onslaught of tests. The 24 year-old pitcher's problem had baffled and frustrated the Yankees even before his "numb" throwing arm put Hughes on the 15-day DL on April 15.
The Yankees concern goes beyond Hughes' problematic arm and missing time on the mound due to a thorough testing procedure. There is the worry of overdoing the diagnoses and over analyzing.
Hughes says he doesn't feel any pain in his arm and thinks the 'deadness" could be an internal problem--something the doctors have overlooked. It sounds like he's ready to put up with that green glow if more MRI's means finding the problem.
"If they find something, they find something. I'm just anxious to figure out what's going on," the dejected Hughes said. "I talked to the doctors this morning and basically want to get as many tests done as possible so we can paint a clear picture of exactly what's going on. As much information as we can gather, basically. The more the better."
The Yankees are being cautious with Hughes. The team wants to know why a once-healthy fastballer could suddenly lose his zip and suffer from numbness in his arm.
In three starts, Hughes' ERA blew up to 13.94 and there was no velocity on his fastball. The Yankees thought Hughes just needed a couple of weeks to rest and build up his arm strength until bullpen sessions the other day proved otherwise.
Now it looks like more tests and half-hours inside an MRI tube, trying to rule out structural damage, then implementing some sort of rehabilitation.
"It's frustrating," said Hughes. "I wish we were sitting here talking about the great start we've gotten off to. But it's the road we're on right now."
Girardi may have been only joking when he mentioned the comic book super hero but, if the radiation did afford Hughes a single super power, I bet he wishes it would be that his starter could throw a 106 mph fastball.