Earlier today, Marc Normandin and Corey Dawkins addressed Hughes’ missing velocity and dismissed the idea that he is simply “fatigued” and in need of more stretching out. Normandin and Dawkins found the idea faulty because Hughes’ velocity woes are coming throughout his starts and not just at the end of his lines. Sure enough, the Yankees have confirmed what many suspected by placing Hughes on the disabled list with what the team is calling “a sore arm”.
The move is a necessity after Hughes made his third start of the season on Thursday night. He failed to complete five innings and ran his season totals to 10 innings, 16 earned runs, four home runs, four walks, and three strikeouts. While introducing an injury to the fold can alleviate concerns over whether Hughes has lost talent, it also creates concerns over his ability to help the club in 2011. It’s too early to say one way or the other, but be certain this is a bad development for a team that already had rotation issues.
The good news for the Yankees is that Pendleton is not going to replace Hughes in the rotation. Pendleton, a farmhand whom the Astros snagged in the Rule 5 draft only to later return, has garbage time reliever written all over him. Bartolo Colon will slide into the rotation, which is to be expected as an injury always seemed like his key back into a big league rotation (although those scenarios tended to include Freddy Garcia getting hurt).
While Colon is unlikely to maintain his ethereal strikeout rate from his relief work so far (more than a batter per inning pitched), he should be a better option than Kevin Millwood or Carlos Silva. The timing of Hughes’ injury is inauspicious, as the Yankees placed their top pitching prospects (Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances) on the disabled list with blister problems just days ago.