Friday, March 26, 2010

Hughes must prove himself worthy of 5th spot

Phil Hughes officially won the fifth starter job in the New York Yankees rotation. Now he has to prove he is worthy of the job and manager Joe Girardi's faith.

Even though Hughes has struggled in outings during spring training, Girardi has liked what he's seen. Hughes has focused on spotting his fastball and working on his changeup. Refining both was a necessary precursor to winning the job.

The fallout from the Hughes victory was immediate. Chad Gaudin was given his release while Joba Chamberlain and Alfredo Aceves are headed to the bullpen. Interestingly, Girardi said that Joba has to earn the role of set-up man for the great Mariano Rivera, indicating that maybe Girardi doesn't have as much confidence in Joba as he does in Hughes.

It's time for Hughes to prove himself worthy of his manager's faith. I think he can pull it off. He's got good stuff and had a strong regular season before his rough outings in the playoffs last year and resulting behavior led to questions about his maturity. Hopefully, he's learned from that experience and is ready to rise to the challenge.

Thanks to Giants27 via Wikipedia for the photo.

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