Things haven't exactly gone as planned for the Yankees' starting rotation since Cliff Lee spurned them as a free agent over the winter.
Staff ace CC Sabathia hasn't won a game despite posting a 1.45 ERA over his first three starts. Even including his numbers, the Yankees' starters have combined for a 5.90 ERA over their first dozen games, with 2010 18-game Phil Hughes placed on the disabled list Friday with a "dead arm" as the Yanks' only explanation for his ongoing battle to regain the mid-90s velocity on his fastball.
"We saw him get up to 91-92 (miles per hour on Thursday) and then it was like he just ran out of gas after two innings," Joe Girardi said of Hughes' most recent start. "We just feel he's going through a dead-arm phase.
"That's not something unusual for pitchers to go through, but usually you go through it early in spring training and there's time to get rid of it. He
hasn't been able to get rid of it. So there's concern, because we know the importance of Phil to our rotation and how important he was to us last year."
former AL Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon, who has a 3.97 ERA over three relief appearances for the Yanks after not pitching in the majors due to arm problems in 2010, will take Hughes' spot in the rotation. Freddy Garcia, another injury-plagued veteran, is slated to make his first start of the season Saturday against Texas. Two more recent signings, Kevin Millwood and Carlos Silva, are standing by in the minors as insurance if further injuries arise or the ineffectiveness continues.
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