Monday night's game for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays might have been just another game in the regular season schedule, but the 5-2 loss the Yankees suffered should have some significant meaning because it's the game the team needs to realize Phil Hughes is finished as a starter on the team.
The Yankees have owned the Blue Jays in the 2013 regular season and had won their last 10 previous meetings with them, and given that it was also the return of Derek Jeter off the DL, the Yankees should have steam-rolled a Blue Jays lineup that would be more fitting to be starting in Class-AAA rather than the major leagues, but injuries and a poor season have done that to Toronto. Yet, Hughes couldn't get it done. Saying "Hughes couldn't get it done" has become a recurring theme in 2013, especially given his record.
4-13. That's Hughes record this season with his latest blunder in Toronto. A year ago, Hughes was 16-13 and deserved to be the Yankees fourth starter as they went to the postseason. But fast forward to a year later, Hughes hasn't even been good enough to pitch in Class-AAA for the Yankees, much less in their starting rotation at the major league level.
If the Yankees want any hope of seeing playoff baseball, Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi have to make the necessary move and remove Hughes from the rotation as soon as possible and his start in Toronto should be his last one with the Yankees. By continuing to put in a starter who continues to give the Yankees lackluster effort game after game, it hinders their chances with each loss that he takes.
Rick Sutcliffe of ESPN strongly suggested that the Yankees should trade for Philadelphia Phillies starter Roy Halladay if Hughes struggled against the Blue Jays in Monday night's start; which happened since Hughes couldn't get out of the fifth inning; another recurring issue as in the 25 starts he's made in the season, Hughes hasn't gotten past the fifth inning in nine of them, which is why his record is 4-13. If Cashman were smart, he would take Sutcliffe's advice and at least make a phone call to Ruben Amaro, Jr. to see if Halladay is available.
If for some reason Halladay is not available via trade, putting Adam Warren, David Huff or anyone else in Hughes' spot would be a better use of a rotation spot than continuing to throw out a guy who basically puts the Yankees into a hole every time he takes the mound. A team who wants to see baseball in October can not continue throwing him out there every five days and expect him to magically remember how to pitch better when it's now the end of August.
A lot of experts felt that if Michael Pineda or David Phelps were healthy enough to be recalled to the majors to take Hughes' spot, the team would have made the move, especially since Girardi said that in order for one of them to get called back up, they'd have to pitch better than the people in the rotation. With Hughes' performances, it would be really easy to take his spot, but because they aren't healthy enough to pitch, they can't replace Hughes, thus the team got stuck with him in the summer and the horrid performances continued.
Most Yankee fans would be glad to see Hughes gone, as he has worn out his welcome and Cashman needs to find a replacement for him before the August 31 waiver trade deadline; especially before it is too late and the Yankees can't make up the ground that has been lost because of Hughes burying them too deep.
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- ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe: New York Yankees Should Trade for Phillies’ Roy Halladay If Phil Hughes’ Struggles Continue
- New York Yankees Lose 5-2 to Toronto Blue Jays as Phil Hughes Spoils Derek Jeter’s Return to Lineup
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