What If Phil Hughes Does Not Make The 2012 Starting Rotation?

PLEASE NOTE: I believe 100% that Phil Hughes will be a successful starting pitcher in the MLB. This post is based on a likely possibility, not necessarily what I want to happen.

Although the Yankees have not made a move regarding the starting rotation this off-season yet outside of re-signing Freddy Garcia, the Yankees seem to be rumored as in on every pitcher available.

Still, the common belief is that the Yankees will acquire at least one starting pitcher this off-season, whether it be in a trade, a signing, or a hostile takeover of another team.

That brings us to Phil Hughes. The up and down former top pitching prospect is now expected to have to fight for his job in Spring Training once again. Hughes previously beat out Joba Chamberlain, forcing Chamberlain to the bullpen (sigh) then kept his role for the next season.

After a shaky season, Hughes will have to pitch well in Spring Training to get a spot in the starting rotation. What if he doesn't, though? What if Hughes struggles, or someone pitches well enough to knock him out of a spot? It remains a strong possibility, as between Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and others, perhaps at least one can pitch a fantastic Spring Training.

There is no clear answer to the what if, so let's look at the different scenarios.

Yankees Send Phil Hughes to AAA to continue working as a starter- This is what I prefer if Hughes does not make the rotation. I believe (please correct me if I am wrong, I am not 100% sure on this) Hughes has two options left, so the Yankees can afford to demote Hughes if he does not make the rotation.

This is the best move for the future of Hughes, as he can continue to work on the necessary changes, and also continue to pitch as many innings as a starter must.

Follow after the jump for the rest of the options.

Move Phil Hughes to the bullpen temporarily- Hughes would likely be a long reliever in this scenario, though it does not seem very likely. The Yankees already have Brad Meyers, George Kontos, and any possible minor league signings to pitch long relief. Hughes would not be in an important enough role, and still would not be getting enough innings. I do not suggest this option.

Move Phil Hughes to the bullpen permanently- As we saw in 2009, Hughes can pitch in a set-up role. Between Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and possibly Phil Hughes, the Yankees could have the best bullpen in baseball. Even without Hughes they might, as Cory Wade is another solid pitcher in the bullpen.

This is another option I do not suggest, as like we saw with Joba Chamberlain, moving Hughes to the bullpen is not getting full value out of Hughes. The Yankees are not in need of bullpen help, so there is little reason to make the move.

Trade Phil Hughes- Quite possibly my least favorite idea of the bunch. Hughes' value is at its lowest right now, so a rough Spring Training would lower his value to unforeseen levels.

Which option would you pick?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker