Game Five: Hughes ReturnsBy
In what can be considered both an act of desperation and necessity, Phil Hughes has been activated off the DL and will start this afternoon against the Tigers. He was originally supposed to make one final tune-up start with Triple-A Scranton today before rejoining the rotation next week, but an overworked bullpen — 13 innings in the last three games despite Andy Pettitte‘s eight-inning start on Thursday — necessitated the addition of an extra arm. David Phelps shifts into a long-man role.
Hughes made zero Grapefruit League starts due to his bulging disk, though he did made a handful of minor league starts late in camp. By keeping him out of regular Spring Training games, the team was able to backdate his DL stint, which is why he can be activated off the 15-day DL six days into the season. These Major League rehab starts, so to speak, always make me nervous because who knows how ready the pitcher actually is. We haven’t seen Phil on a mound since Game Three of the ALCS against these same Tigers, so we’re sorta going in blind. Here’s the lineup…
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- 3B Kevin Youkilis
- DH Travis Hafner
- LF Vernon Wells
- RF Brennan Boesch
- C Frankie Cervelli
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- SS Jayson Nix
And on the mound is the impending free agent, St. Philip of Hughes.
This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 4:05pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Try to enjoy.
Roster Move: Cody Eppley was optioned to Triple-A Scranton to make room for Hughes. I figured they would send Shawn Kelley down considering he threw 43 pitches yesterday and will probably be unavailable until Sunday at the earliest, but I guess not.
Eduardo Nunez Update: Nunez is still in “a lot” pain after taking a pitch to the right biceps yesterday, but he does feel much better. He’ll try to hit in the cage today and if that goes well, he might be available to pinch-hit and pinch-run.
Derek Jeter Update: The Cap’n took about 40 ground balls hit directly at him on the field in Tampa today. He also hit off a tee and played catch, his first time doing any real baseball activity since having his setback about two weeks ago.