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The Hughes Rules: the 3 Step Plan

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No, I have no idea how the Yanks will handle it.  But here's my hope:

1) Make Hughes win his spot out of Spring Training (which I think he will).

Gaudin, Mitre, Aceves, Chamberlain, IPK, Nova, Kontos, McAllister, even Igawa.  If he's not one of the 5 best guys in Tampa, he goes into the mix in the bullpen or down to Scranton where he can start and have his innings closely monitored.  He can then be the first to the rotation in the event of injury or ineffectiveness.

2) Let him pitch to his MLB career high (86) and then move him to the pen so his innings can be managed.

Joba was solid (though not brilliant) up to and just past his previous career high (110IP, 3.58ERA, 1.40 WHIP), and he was putrid beyond that (46.2IP, 7.52 ERA, 1.89 WHIP).  The plan needs to be to make those 'learning' innings as low leverage as possible.  The prospect of a late season return by Wang plus whoever is effective from the supporting cast listed in Step 1 should give the Yanks the depth next season to handle Hughes more gently than they handled Joba last season.

3) Shut him down if he has a Joba-esque September.

No command, no confidence, no reason to be on the mound.