Via Bryan Hoch -
Phil Hughes may be breaking camp as the Yankees’ fifth starter, but the right-hander can’t bid farewell to spring just yet.
With several off-days reducing the need for his services early in the year, the Yankees have decided that Hughes’ first start will be on April 15 against the Angels in New York. Until then, he will be on the club’s active roster and pitch in a pair of extended spring games in Tampa.
“It gives me time to work on some more things — basically like two extra spring starts,” Hughes said. “It’ll be fine. I’m looking forward to the 15th. It’s the first step of this year, and I’m looking forward to starting off well and keeping it going.”
Hughes, 23, said that the decisions were what he expected and not a surprise. Hughes is slated to pitch his first extended spring game on Monday and then join the Yankees in Boston for the second and third games of the season.
He’ll then take the team charter back to Tampa, hurling another extended spring game on April 10 — a contest that will occur while the Yankees visit the Rays at Tropicana Field — before he flies north with the club to New York.
Tampa to Boston to Tampa to New York in a span of about 8 days – instead of doing it in a span of about 11 days. That’s no biggie. It’s basically the same dance up and down the coast as the rest of the team will be doing in about the same time. It seems like the right thing to do here.