Nothing warms my heart better than typing the next three words: Great win tonight. The Yanks overcame Roy Halladay and Kyle Farnsworth to win a thrilling game. They shaved a game off the Red Sox lead and held steady in the Wild Card. Things are clicking.
Today, I would like you all to reserve the Kyle Farnsworth insults for the comments on this post. Instead, as Phil Hughes prepares for another Minor League rehab start, let’s talk about what Brian Cashman said yesterday afternoon.
As Peter Abraham noted last night, the Yanks’ GM spoke a bit about Kei Igawa’s spot on the rotation as Phil Hughes’ return comes closer. Cashman claims that Kei Igawa has been hurt by his irregular spot in the rotation and that Hughes has nothing guaranteed. “Until he’s ready it’s not something we have to consider. He’s not guaranteed anything,” Cashman told the Yanks’ reporters.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: Phil Hughes will always be a better pitching option than Kei Igawa. Kei Igawa won’t magically stop giving up home runs if he starts getting on a regular work schedule. He won’t find a way to make 115 pitches last 8 innings instead of 5 innings, and he won’t magically find a way to get out Major League hitters.
That being said, Brian Cashman here is doing his job as General Manager. He isn’t going to throw Igawa to the wolves even though we know Igawa will end up with the wolves if Hughes returns healthy and ready to go. He can’t say that, yes, Kei Igawa has just two more starts left in the Bronx this year. Considering that Kei Igawa is under contract for four more years, the Yanks won’t be as tactless as to cut him loose now.
Plus, as Abraham later noted, no 21-year-old is ever guaranteed a spot in the rotation based upon his work in 10.2 Major League innings. We know what Hughes can do; we saw it in Texas on the night his hamstring popped. For now, Hughes doesn’t automatically get that spot.
But know this, readers: Phil Hughes will be back in the Yankee rotation if he aces his last two rehab tests. Cashman will be on hand today in Trenton, and if Phil delivers the goods, as I expect him to, Cashman will say to himself at least that Igawa is gone. So don’t despair; Cashman is simply tending to his sheep. As the Yankees’ shepherd, that’s his job.