Archive for David Huff

Left-hander David Huff will start against the Red Sox on Saturday, Joe Girardi announced. Phil Hughes is moving to the bullpen and could be available as soon as tomorrow. Clearly the right move based on this morning’s poll.

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(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

For the third time in the last two weeks or so, left-hander David Huff came out of the bullpen to give the Yankees a quality long relief appearance yesterday. He’s been so effective — one run on six hits and five walks with ten strikeouts in 14 innings across three extended outings — the team should consider putting him in the rotation over the generally ineffective Phil Hughes. Like seriously consider it. Not think about it for two seconds and maintain the status quo.

“I haven’t made any decisions about changing the rotation,” said Joe Girardi to Brian Heyman after yesterday’s win, which isn’t surprising because the Yankees rarely announce a rotation change after a game. That’s something they tend to announce the next day after sleeping on it and talking to everyone involved. Starters only pitch once every five days, so there’s no reason to rush into a decision like that.

The 29-year-old Huff is pretty much a known commodity at this point. He spent parts of three seasons in the Indians’ rotation and pitched to a 5.50 ERA and 4.93 FIP in 258.2 innings. That’s awful. Actually worse than Hughes has been this year. That said, Huff has pitched pretty well of late and sometimes that’s enough of a reason to make a change. Replacing the guy who has been pitching poorly with the guy who has been pitching well isn’t crazy idea, especially when both have track records of being below-average pitchers. Maybe the other guys throws the month of his life. Who knows?

Given the weirdness of yesterday’s game with the rain delay and everything, I see the Yankees having three options with Hughes, Huff, and the rotation. Let’s break ‘em down before we vote on which is best.

Option One: Do Nothing
The easiest option and one that always exists. The Yankees could simply leave Hughes in the rotation and start him Saturday against the Red Sox as scheduled. Huff remains in the bullpen and that’s that. Nothing changes. It’s boring and probably a bad idea, but it is a justifiable option given Huff’s career performance as a starter.

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Option Two: Replace Hughes with Huff
The second option is pretty straight forward. Take Hughes out of the rotation and replace him with Huff. Simple. Phil joins the middle relief crew — he’s never not been awesome in the bullpen, which would hopefully continue — and Huff gets the ball every five days with a short leash. He was stretched out as a starter with Triple-A Scranton, but it has been a while and he was pretty clearly starting to run out of gas around 55 pitches yesterday (he threw 62 total). That could be because he threw eight pitches on Sunday.

The Yankees won’t get a full 100+ pitches out of Huff, at least not right away, but it’s not like Hughes was giving them much length anyway. He failed to complete five innings of work in four of his last six starts prior to yesterday’s rain-shortened outing. Either way, Girardi & Co. would have to plan to use their bullpen heavily whenever this rotation spot comes up. Thank goodness for September call-ups.

Option Three: Start Hughes on Wednesday
People like the word creative, so let’s call this the creative solution. Because he only threw 20 low-stress pitches before the rain yesterday, the Yankees could start Hughes tomorrow and have his rotation spot avoid the upcoming four-game Red Sox series. The long-term concerns are nil — Phil is almost certainly a goner after the season — and with expanded rosters, there are plenty of extra arms to soak up whatever innings are leftover. Hughes might not be able to give the team a full 100-pitch start on what amounts to one day of rest, but it’s not like he was pitching deep into games anyway.

By starting Hughes against the White Sox on Wednesday, they would push CC Sabathia back to Thursday and let him start against Boston with an extra day of rest. Sabathia has not been good against the Red Sox this year (or anyone else for that matter), but I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’d rather see him out there against Boston than Hughes or Huff. Having the worst starter face a last place team instead of a first place team is the best case scenario.

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Long relievers are like backup quarterbacks in the sense that it always seems like the guy on the bench could do a better job. In reality, there’s usually a very good reason they’re on the bench, or, in this case, the bullpen. Huff’s track record says he would really stink in the rotation, but so does Hughes’. The Yankees are picking between two grenades and hoping they get the one that hasn’t had the pin pulled.

What should the Yankees do with their fifth starter's spot?

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As expected, the Yankees have called up left-hander David Huff. Dellin Betances was sent to Triple-A Scranton to clear a 25-man roster spot, and David Phelps was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot. Phelps is out with a forearm strain that was expected to be season-ending, and this pretty much confirms it.

Huff, 28, has a 3.84 ERA (2.79 FIP) in 68 innings for Triple-A Scranton this year, and he threw 105 pitches on Sunday. I’m guessing the Yankees called him up a) to have a second lefty reliever for this weekend’s Red Sox series, and b) spot start during Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays. They’ll need a spot starter at some point, either Tuesday or four days later, so I suppose Huff’s workload this weekend could determine when he makes the start. We’ll see.

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Via Donnie Collins: It appears the Yankees are calling up left-hander David Huff. The 28-year-old has a 3.84 ERA (2.79 FIP) in 68 innings for Triple-A Scranton this year, and he threw 105 pitches on Sunday. Huff would presumably be available on three days’ rest tomorrow. There has not been any kind of official announcement.

There’s no obvious reason why the Yankees would call up the southpaw, but there could always be an unknown injury on the pitching staff somewhere. I suppose they could also want a second lefty in the bullpen for the upcoming series against the Red Sox. The Bombers would need to make both a 25-man and 40-man roster move to accommodate Huff, though Dellin Betances is an obvious send down candidate. At this point I have to think Luis Cruz and/or Zoilo Almonte is a 60-day DL candidate as well.

It’s probably worth noting that right-hander Brett Marshall is scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton on Thursday. He’s on the 40-man and would have been the easier move had the Yankees needed something simple like a spot starter or long reliever.

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June 4th: Francisco has cleared waivers and been released. So that’s one loose end tied up.

May 26th: The Yankees have designated Ben Francisco for assignment to clear room on the 25-man active roster for the recently claimed David Huff, the team announced. Thy are now carrying a 13-man pitching staff and have an open 40-man roster spot.

Francisco, 31, hit a weak .114/.220/.182 (12 wRC+) in 50 plate appearances for New York this year. He never did emerge as a reliable right-handed complement to their lefty-heavy outfield, so his days have been numbered for a while. In fact, Francisco hadn’t even appeared in a game in nine days now. My guess is Huff (or at least the 13-man staff) will stick around only until the next position player is ready to activated off the DL, which could be Mark Teixeira as soon as next weekend.

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Left-hander David Huff has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. The Yankees claimed him off waivers last weekend before designating him for assignment to clear room on the roster for Joba Chamberlain when he was activated off the DL.

Huff, 28, allowed one run in his only inning of work for the Yankees and allowed six runs in four big league innings total this season. He owns a career 5.41 ERA (4.88 FIP) in 289.1 innings, but almost all of those have come as a starter. Huff’s days in the rotation are over and he’ll continue to work out of the bullpen for the first time in his career with the Triple-A squad.

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The Yankees have activated Joba Chamberlain off the DL, Joe Girardi announced. David Huff has been designated for assignment to clear a 25-man roster spot, and as an added bonus the Yankees now have two open 40-man spots.

Joba, 27, has been sidelined for one month and one day with an oblique strain. He made a handful of Extended Spring Training relief appearances and is apparently good to go. Huff, 28, appeared in one game for the Yankees after being claimed off waivers from the Indians over the weekend. There’s a decent change he’ll clear waivers and remain in the organization as a non-40-man roster player.

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(Jason Miller/Getty)

(Jason Miller/Getty)

The Yankees have claimed left-hander David Huff off waivers from the Indians, the team announced. Fellow southpaw Francisco Rondon has been designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster. A 25-man roster move will be made when Huff joins the team at some point in the next 72 hours. You might remember when he took an Alex Rodriguez line drive to the head in 2010.

Huff, 28, owns a 5.40 ERA and 4.88 FIP in 288.1 career innings spread across 52 starts and six relief appearances. His days as a starter are pretty much over and I assume the Yankees will try him out in relief. According to PitchFX, Huff sat right around 90 mph with a four-seamer as a starter, but that jumped into the 92-94 mph range in relief this year. His best secondary pitches are a low-90s cutter and a low-to-mid-80s changeup, which usually isn’t a lefty specialist mix. A low-80s curveball is a distant fourth pitch. Lefty batters have tagged him for a .391 wOBA in his career.

Because he is out of minor league options, the Yankees can not send Huff to Triple-A without exposing him to waivers. Considering he made it all way to New York on waivers this time, he might go unclaimed if they decide to slide him through again a la Sam Demel a few weeks ago. If they decide to keep him around with the big league team for the time being, I guess Ivan Nova is the top send-down candidate. Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne have been too effective to send down in favor of a second southpaw.

Rondon, 25, was added to the 40-man roster after last season to prevent him from being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. He had success out of the bullpen in 2012, but the Yankees moved him back into the rotation this year for whatever reason and the results were terrible: 7.46 ERA and 5.83 FIP in 35 innings while repeating the Double-A level. Rondon broke off some nasty sliders in Spring Training, and I suppose there’s a chance he will get claimed off waivers since he’s left-handed and has all three minor league options remaining.

As Joel Sherman notes, the Yankees were considering Huff in the first round of the 2006 draft. When the Indians grabbed him with the 39th overall pick, New York was left to take Joba Chamberlain with the 41st selection. Their interest in the southpaw was long-standing.

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