Understanding why Hughes is Scranton’s fourth starter

How Nick got here
Game 6: Playing time for everyone

During last week’s Radio Show Joe and I answered a question about why Phil Hughes wasn’t the Opening Day Starter for Triple-A Scranton. I said there was nothing to it, and it’s just how he lined up after starting some split squad games for a big league club late in Spring Training. But as I was enjoying the last few hours of the Extra Innings free preview last night, I remembered that Hughes had a start pushed back late in camp for reasons that were unclear to even him. Then it dawned on me: they lined him up Joba (both start today). Let the conspiracy theories begin, but I don’t take it as a sign that the Yanks are going to move Joba to pen or are afraid he’ll break down or anything like that. They’re just covering all their bases while expecting Joba to make all of his starts.

How Nick got here
Game 6: Playing time for everyone
  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Mike Axisa = Sherlock Holmes

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    Joba’s hurt. That’s why his velocity was down in ST. I just knew it.


  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    Gardner CF
    Jeter SS
    Swisher 1B
    Matsui DH
    Nady RF
    Cano 2B
    Cabrera LF
    Ransom 3B
    Molina C

    On a related note, Gardner’s leading off today?

    • alex

      wow. That’s probably our weakest possible lineup. Why choose to sit Damon even when Tex is out?

      • steve (different one)

        maybe he just feels like Joba can shut down this weak KC offense and he’s rolling the dice on today’s game so that Damon can play all 3 games in Tampa, which are much more important games?

        i don’t know. i wouldn’t have sat Damon, but again, there are some older players on this team, and Girardi WILL have to look at the season as a 162 game marathon. it’s going to lead to some wacky lineups from time to time, but hopefully it leads to a more productive team over the long haul.

        people were upset last year when he would sit Giambi since he was one of our best hitters. but what we don’t know if one of the reasons why he was one of our best hitters was because he was rested every so often….we can’t play out both scenarios and see both results. we just have to trust Girardi and look to history as our guide: old players tend to break down.

        Girardi needs to nurse the Damon/Matsui combo through one more season, and hopefully we get a younger replacement next year.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        Plus: Why do you sit Damon on a day Tex is injured and Posada has a off-day while you are facing the Royals’ “ace”?

        • steve (different one)

          again, one reason may be that Damon is 3 for 27 in his career agains Meche.

          not a huge sample, if you are looking for a day to rest him, maybe you give that a little more weight.

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            I see your point, but you handicap yourself further on a day Tex and Jorge are not in the lineup.

            Even with Damon having career numbers of 3-for-27 against Meche, I still rather have him than either Melky or Gardner.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Yeah, I’d shoehorn Damon in somewhere.Meche is a tough pitcher.

        I dont mind 1-6, its 7-9 that are tough to take. But that’s the deal with Alex out and ‘day game after night game’ for Posada.

    • steve (different one)

      yeah, that ain’t pretty. but with Teixeira scratched again (crossing my fingers and toes), Girardi has to get a little creative.

      Posada will probably sit every single time this year in a day game after a night game.

      i would have put Damon in the lineup, but it seems like Girardi is dead set on giving all of the old guys at least one day off per week. i’d probably wait until tomorrow to day that myself, but Girardi may have a better feel for this type of thing.

      also, Damon has poor career numbers against Meche. i expect to see him later in the game.

      • alex

        That makes sense. I didn’t realize how bad he’s been against Meche. (.111 BA!)

    • Joe R

      That lineup doesnt look scary at all. Almost like here take this game.

      • GG

        but they have to hit teh Joba!!1!

        • C.Panella

          If this game is rained out which it looks like it will be…Will they throw Joba tomorrow or skip him again? anyone have an idea?

          • Raf

            id think they would skip him to keep CC in line for the home opener and everyone on their normal schedule.

          • Chris

            Unless it’s a monsoon they probably won’t have a rain out. This is the Yanks only trip to KC, so they’ll try to get it in. Also, KC draws fans from a long ways away (large parts of Missouri and Kansas) so they do everything they can to get the games in – even if that means ridiculously long rain delays.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        We have Swish in the lineup so we at least 4 runs already in the bank already.

      • Mike R. – Retire 21

        Not scary!?!? With Swisher in there? Nick Swisher is so awesome he once hit a walk off home run in the 2nd inning!

        He’s so awesome his sweat is on MLB’s list of banned substances!

        He’s so amazing he hit an infield single off of Melvin Crousset while vacationing in the DR.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Maybe he’s sitting Johnny Damon because he realizes how pointless it is to risk Damon’s health on the sixth game of the season. The Yanks came in with a plan to keep Damon, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada as fresh as possible. The more days he rests now leads to more consecutive days he can play later on in the season (hopefully).

  • C.Panella

    Ugh now Pete abe is saying Tex was in the orginal line up again today then was scratched yet again…Im starting to get a little worried :(

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Yeah, he was in the lineup 10 minutes earlier, I didn’t even notice that he was taken out when I posted that.

  • CP3

    Maybe Girardi feels that he needs Tex to be a 100% for the games against the Rays. I’m not worried at all.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Keep telling yourself that over and over. Wrist problem + power hitter = worries.

      • UWS

        Thank you, Debbie Downer.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Seriously. Way to ruin my Cadbury Egg feast with your alarmism, Ben….

          /stink eye

        • Mike R. – Retire 21

          You know…feline AIDS is the number 1 killer of domestic cats. :(

      • Troy


  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Expired Milk

    Tex is scared of the Royals pitchers. The fear of Horacio and Meche

  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Expired Milk

    It would infinitely piss me off if Joba is moved to the pen without given a proper chance.And by that I mean until its beyond a doubt that he cannot pitch a full season as a starter .Jobas ceiling is higher than Hughes imo.

    It will be interesting to see how the Yankees handle Joba. If the Yankees are in a heated pennant race and Joba is pitching well do they shut him down when he nears his innings limit?

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Even if Chamberlain got hurt this year, I’d put him in the rotation to begin next year as well.

      • Stephen

        Why would you give a pitcher with that much talent that many chances? I mean, I would put him in the 8th at the first sign of the most minor problem. There’s never been a young pitcher who overcame some injury problems early in his career to go on and be successful.

        /hopefully obvious sarcasm

        • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Expired Milk

          Suzy Waldman -“You have the personality of a reliever”

          Me–face palm

  • Rich M

    Hughes is also lined up to start Scranton’s home opener. That may have something to do with it also.

  • kunaldo

    um…arent they lined up b/c joba is obviously going to need to be spelled once in a while(innings limits), so when they skip him it would be best to have phil up here

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