New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said today that Phil Hughes will be used out of the bullpen, if necessary, in this weekend's series against the Boston Red Sox. Hughes, who is thick in the mix of the Yankees six-man starting rotation drama, will be available from the bullpen for the next three days as insurance, the manager told the YES Network.
According to the YES, Hughes is tentatively scheduled to start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels, but all that could change if he throws this weekend.
Meanwhile, Ivan Nova, who had a spectacular 10-strikeout performance against the Chicago White Sox last night, will be kept with the team and may start Thursday. The team is 13-5 in Nova's starts.
The six-man soap opera just keeps getting better and better every day.
In his last start on Tuesday, Burnett had a chance to pick up his first win since June 29 after the Yankees staked him to a 12 run lead, but the struggling hurler didn't last five innings. He is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.
"We are not going to jump to conclusions due to one good start or one bad start," said Girardi.
Meanwhile, it's hard to figure out why the manager would make Hughes available from the bullpen during a mid-season series, other than that's where the pitcher started his Yankees career. The Yankees already have seven pitchers in the bullpen and Hughes threw a three-hit, six-inning gem in his last outing.
Girardi doesn't want anyone to start putting too much thought into which pitcher is the odd man out with these moves-- especially Hughes.
"I would love to get distance out of starters and not use him [this weekend]," said Girardi of Hughes. "But as I said these series get a little crazy at times and you've got to protect yourself."
It's not really the DaVinci Code, if you believe Girardi, it's about beating the Red Sox.
Nova is still hanging around on pins and needles about being called into Girardi's office.
"It's hard, especially in a moment like what if they call you into the office," said Nova. "I hope they don't call me today or the rest of the month because September is almost here."
If anyone thought last week's pitching performances by Hughes, Burnett and Nova against the White Sox cleared anything up, they were wrong.
Stay tuned for for more of the Yankees six-man drama for at least another week.