I’m too upset about this game to write much about it. Good, the Yanks scored runs. Good, everyone hit. But Brian Cashman says Phil Hughes will go for an MRI when the team gets back to New York. We’re talking months here, not weeks. And Hughes had just laid claim to the fourth starter slot in the rotation with those first six innings. At least this won’t affect his workload late in the season. Bah.
Update (12:23 a.m.): Peter Abraham, our man on the ground, has more from the horse’s â€” or is that the Cash’s? â€” mouth, and the news is not good:
Yes, itâ€™s a left hamstring and itâ€™s a â€œsignificantâ€ one according to Brian Cashman and Joe Torre.
Given the Mike Mussina was just out three weeks with a minor tear, you can expect Hughes to be out 6-8 weeks at the very least.
Hughes told us that he reached back on that 0-2 pitch to really bury a curveball to Mark Teixeira. He extended his left leg too much and thatâ€™s how he was injured.
Could this have happened in Scranton? Obviously it could have. But Hughes would not have been reaching back to try and make a great pitch to a hitter like Teixeira in Scranton.
Thereâ€™s a reason prospects pitch in the minors. Itâ€™s to develop their bodies along with their skills. Hughes was pitching in high school at this point in 2004. Tonight he was in the majors trying to finish off Mark Teixeira. His arm was ready. His left hamstring wasnâ€™t.
Personally, I don’t buy Abraham’s excuses, but he’s always been convinced that the Yanks were rushing Hughes. I think Hughes was just too pumped, and shit happens. That’s where the Yankees are right now.
So Hughes will hopefully return by the All Star Break. Realistically, that’s when we all expected Phil Hughes to arrive in the Bronx anyway. He’ll have to build up his arm strength, but now he’ll be all set for the end of the season. We won’t need to worry about overextending him for the innings.
For me, this was a giant tease. We now know what Phil Hughes can do. Tonight, in Texas, he had three plus pitches working for him. He was hitting spots; he was confusing hitters. He struck out Mark Teixeira looking on three straight devastating change-ups. But the Yankee leg problems bit him again.
The future looks bright for Phil Hughes and the Yankees; the next few months look like Darrell Rasner and Carl Pavano and whatever else the Yanks can find.
Matt DeSalvo pitched another great game for Scranton tonight. In 25.2 innings, he’s given up 15 hits and 3 ER while striking out 23 and walking 13. With that 1.05 ERA and convenient scheduling, I would guess we’ll see DeSalvo. But he’s no Phil Hughes. Not many pitchers are.
Update 2 (12:38 a.m.): The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner notes that Joe Torre anticipates Hughes to miss 4 to 6 weeks. So no one really knows yet how bad this is going to be. Best case scenario is 4 to 6 weeks. Worst case scenario is probably early July or post-All Star Break. Hughes is the fifth Yankee starter to hit the DL this season. The sky is not falling…right?