By Jon Lane
Read: Great anecdote from Yankees radio announcer Suzyn Waldman, who also pens for WFAN’s Web site, about Phil Hughes and the fire in his belly. Hughes threw eight stellar innings on Monday in an 11-1 win over the Rangers, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out six in the longest outing of his career.
React: And there are those who believe Hughes is better suited for the bullpen, even though it’s temporary. Look, when it comes to Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, the two most cherished arms in the Yankees organization, this yo-yo business is stupid. Once you make a decision – starter or reliever – you stick to it without messing with a young pitcher’s head or routine. Wisely, the Yankees are keeping Chamberlain in the rotation even with the possibility of Brian Bruney gone for the rest of the season and Hughes will remain among the five, Chien-Ming Wang or no Chien-Ming Wang.
Chamberlain is 23, Hughes is 22. These guys represent today and tomorrow, and have a great chance to be frontline starters within a few years. To quote “Wall Street’s” Lou Mannheim, “Stick to the fundamentals. That’s how IBM and Hilton were built. Good things sometimes take time.”
Read: Wang is stuck in long relief purgatory.
React: Adam Jones’ line drive that hit Chamberlain’s knee last week put the Yankees in a bind, forcing them to forgo Wang’s final Minor League start for immediate bullpen help. He’s off the disabled list and the Yankees can’t demote him because he’ll be exposed to waivers. It has them in a quandary with Hughes pitching well and Wang needing in-game repetitions, but it’s one of those nice ones. Joel Sherman of the New York Post sums it up best:
“Last year, Hughes was handed something he had not earned: a rotation spot. This year he is earning his spot. Will we ever say that about Wang in 2009?”
Read: Damaso Marte, out since April 26 with shoulder inflammation, is in Tampa, but it’ unclear when he will return this season. The Yankees seem to have little interest in his return, writes Peter Abraham
“It’s going to take some time,” Joe Girardi said. “His timetable? We really don’t have a timetable when he will be back.”
React: Three years and $12 million for Marte? Abraham isn’t the first to wonder why the Yankees are quick to share injury information about most players but not Marte.