Phil Hughes will return earlier than expected, as he will board a plane soon and head to Detroit according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. Hughes was in line to return on April 11 at Cleveland, but instead will start tomorrow.
Hughes last pitched in extended Spring Training on Monday, going seven innings, and said he felt “really good.” He was scheduled to start in a rehab game tomorrow for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, but that has since been called off.
Hughes has been sidelined since February with bulging discs in his upper back. After resting for a few weeks and working out in a pool, Hughes was able to throw again - eventually building himself back into game shape. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News tweeted a quote from Hughes, in which he said: “In a perfect world, they wanted me to get one more rehab start. But it doesn’t always work out that way. I’m ready.” Feinsand says that the decision to pitch Hughes on Saturday has nothing to do with Hiroki Kuroda’s bruised finger – the bullpen is taxed and the Yankees need arms.
Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch reports that David Phelps, the original starter for tomorrow, will now move to the bullpen and serve as the long-relief man. With so many injuries crippling this Yankees
team early, it’s good news to get a guy back on track earlier than expected.
Cashman just confirmed Hughes will start for Yankees tomorrow in Detroit
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) April 5, 2013