After his last two starts resulted in only 8 innings pitched, 16 hits, 9 runs scored and two no decisions, I am starting the question how much longer Sergio Mitre should be the Yankees fifth starter.

I’ll admit it’s probably too early to yank him out of the rotation but then again, he has done nothing to impress me.  Sure he won his first start, but it was against lowly Baltimore and he allowed 3 ER in 5 2/3 innings.  I would give him 2-3 more starts depending on how well the first two go.

The issue we run into is something that Joe Girardi said last week – the Yankees really don’t have many other options.  It could be Phil Hughes.  In fact, the great Peter Abrham had this post on July 31st…

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Are the Yankees trying to stretch out Phil Hughes?

July 23: 2.0 innings, 28 pitches
July 24: off
July 25: off
July 26: 1.1 innings, 39 pitches
July 27: off
July 28: off
July 29: off
July 30: 2.0 innings, 35 pitches

Probably not. But he’s certainly throwing more pitches per appearance than the average set-up man would. It’s probably just circumstance, but bears watching. If he throws 45 pitches on Tuesday, something is up.

Regardless, Hughes is at 62.1 innings in the majors after throwing 19.1 at Scranton. He has lot left in the tank.

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After the 30th, Hughes did not appear until Aug 2nd throwing 14 pitches and then appeared again on Aug 4 throwing 26 pitches.  So despite Hughes success, he is not stretched out enough to be a starter and would most likely need to go down to the minors for most of August to get stretched out.

And they can’t bring up Kei Igawa…can they?  After all, why keep him at all if they don’t plan on ever bringing him back to the majors.

Unfortunately, that is the problem with the Yankees choosing to keep Phil Hughes in the bullpen when Chien-Ming Wang came back from the DL the first time.  Hopefully, that is not the factor that hurts the Yankees in September when it really counts.