Phil Hughes is out. David Huff is in. Finally, Hughes has been taken out of the rotation after compiling a 4.86 ERA and a 4.54 FIP on the season. He's had a 5.71 ERA in the second half and had a 6.46 ERA in the month of August, though his FIP (4.80/4.18) hasn't been quite so out of control. The main reason he's being taken out is because he hasn't earned a win since the first week of July and out of his last 11 starts, he's only made it out of the fifth inning in five of them.
The decision was made not just because he has been ineffective, but because he is taxing the bullpen and not giving the Yankees the best chance to win down the stretch. He had already been moved in the rotation to give the team a better matchup, so it was clear they were running out of patience with him. David Huff at least gives them a better chance.
While Huff has a career ERA of 5.18 and FIP of 4.82, he has stated that his time with Larry Rothschild has helped him more in one bullpen session than his five seasons with the Cleveland Indians. In the second half of 2013, Huff has 0.60 ERA with a 3.57 FIP in 15 innings pitched. While he has provided two 5+ inning outings and surrendered only one run between the two, it's unlikely that the 29-year-old will suddenly be a revelation. What the Yankees hope Huff provides on Saturday is an improvement over Phil Hughes, which shouldn't be too difficult. Perhaps he can at least prove he has a place on this team in 2014, while Hughes is looking more likely to be elsewhere.