The Yankees aren't taking any chances with Phil Hughes, even if that means sacrificing what this season has been pretty much a guaranteed victory.
New York will skip their sensational young right-hander in the rotation as they look to control how many innings he pitches. The Yankees haven't announced what his innings cap is, but reports have put it in the range of 175-180. He has pitched 82 1/3 innings so far.
Hughes is 10-1, tied for most wins in the American League, with a 3.17 ERA and a 78-25 strikeouts-to-walks rate.
Hughes, a native of the Los Angeles area, had been slated to start Friday at Dodger Stadium, the day after his 24th birthday. Now his family and friends won't get to see him in action.
"It's definitely disappointing," Hughes told reporters. "Joe [Girardi] told me if I wasn't disappointed, he'd be a little worried."
Instead, Hughes will start against Seattle at Yankee Stadium on June 29. If everyone stays in rotation, that would put him on track to pitch the day of the All-Star Game, which he is a strong candidate to start.
It might seem odd for a team narrowly leading a crowded division race to voluntarily forgo using one of its biggest weapons. But the Yankees have a homegrown star in the making they want to protect for the coming years. If they let him pitch 180 innings, that's still a huge load for a pitcher who has never thrown more than 106 1/3 professional innings in a season.
Also Monday, the Yankees designated catcher Chad Moeller for assignment and called up Colin Curtis.
-- David Andriesen
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.