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Report: Phil Hughes likely to open season on DL

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

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A bulging disk likely will land Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes on the DL to start the season. (Getty Images)

Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes, who's been limited by a bulging disk in his back, is likely to open the season on the disabled list, reports MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Manager Joe Girardi, however, would not confirm.

Hughes, 26, is coming off a season in which he pitched to a 4.23 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 3.59 K/BB ratio (the latter mark good for 10th in the AL) in 191 1/3 innings. For his career, he owns a 99 ERA+ across 103 starts and 49 relief appearances.

If Hughes is indeed not on the active roster to start the season, then he'll join Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Michael Pineda on the Yankee DL.

On the Hughes front, the Yankees, because of a 12-game stretch without an off day that begins April 3, will need a full rotation from the start. As such, they'll need to find a replacement for Hughes if he indeed opens the season on the DL.

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