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Wang vs. Hughes: Why Travis is wrong

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With apologies to my man Travis, I think he is as wrong as he could possibly be when he says Phil Hughes should stay in the rotation instead of Chien-Ming Wang.

I have absolutely zero issue with the Yankees moving Wang back into the starting rotation and bumping Hughes.

All things considered, this is the move the Yankees had to make.

This move has nothing to do with Hughes' development, which seemed to be Travis' primary objection to the change. This move is about the best way for the Yankees to win the American League East and, hopefully, a lot more than that.

Reality is, Wang at his best is clearly better than Hughes. In 2006 and 2007 he won 19 games, and was 8-2 last year before getting hurt. so, for 21/2 years he was easily the Yankees' best starting pitcher. At his best now, he would be the Yankees' No. 2 starter.

I love Hughes, and I think he has shown he is on his way to becoming a terrific starting pitcher. He probably will do a good job in the bullpen, which will help the Yankees by the way, and he will start more games this season. I am glad the Yankees are keeping him on the roster instead of wasting him at AAA.

Wang, though, already is a front of the rotation guy who is one of the best 10-15 starters in baseball when he is right. To me, if he is healthy it's a no-brainer that the Yankees need to start him and find out if he is still that guy. If he isn't the Yanks can always make a change.

If this were Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore or one of those other places where it's about development and not winning, I might feel differently. But, obviously, it is not.

The Yankees did not spend $423 million on free agents to waste a front-line starter just so they don't slow the development of a young pitcher.

It is about winning -- now. Wang, if he can be the pitcher the Yankees expected, gives the Yankees a better chance to do that. They have to find out.