New York Yankees: Is It Time to Consider Trading Phil Hughes?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IApril 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14:  Phil Hughes #65 of the New York Yankees leaves the game in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the home opener at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

It's beginning to turn into another horrible April for Phil Hughes.

He pitched so poorly in April last year, the Yankees put him on the disabled list so they could figure out what was wrong with him.

It took them a while to discover that he had shoulder fatigue, and he didn't return to the rotation until July.

This year, there's no arm fatigue, no shoulder fatigue. Hughes is healthy.

He's just pitching horribly.

In his first two starts, he's lasted just eight innings, allowed 13 hits, eight runs and is 0-2. He's struck out 11 batters, but he's also giving up a lot of big hits and forcing himself out of games early.

Normally teams would just let a 25-year-old pitcher work himself out if it. But the Yankees can't afford to let Hughes have continuous starts like this and bury them in April.

They have rookie David Phelps up as the long man in the rotation, and he's been brilliant in his brief stints for the Yankees.

If Phelps continues to have a few more stints like he's had, he could end up taking Hughes' spot in the rotation, which would lead me to my next point.

If Hughes can't cut it for the Yankees and pitching in New York, it might be time for Yankees GM Brian Cashman to start to consider trading him.

The Yankees have been dealing with same old song and dance from Hughes since 2007, where he made two starts as a rookie, then went on the DL for four months after being injured while he was pitching a no-hitter.

That's the trouble with Hughes. He'll have games where he has no-hit stuff and dominate teams, and then there are days where he can't get out of his own way.

He was a dominant reliever for the Yankees in 2009 and an All-Star who won 18 games in 2010, but since then he's been an issue for the Yankees.

Bartolo Colon resurrected his career as a starter last year for the Yankees after Hughes got put on the DL, and Colon was out of baseball for an entire season.

Colon was only thought of to be a long-reliever and spot starter, and he ended up becoming the Yankees' No. 3 starter in 2011.

If Hughes has a few more starts like this, Phelps may end up getting his well-deserved shot to take over in the rotation with Hughes out.

In all honesty, I think it might be time for the Yankees to look into dealing Hughes.

It hasn't worked out like all Yankees fans had hoped after he was drafted in 2004 and came up as a rookie in 2007.

Because he has no-hit stuff and is only 25 years old, he still has a lot of value to trade for, and the Yankees could get something decent in return.

But unless Hughes starts turning in some gems and saves himself, he could not only see himself out of the rotation, but maybe sent out of town real soon.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.