5 MLB Pitchers Who Need a Huge Week to Keep Their Jobs

John Altamura@@JohnAltamuraBRContributor IIMay 7, 2012

5 MLB Pitchers Who Need a Huge Week to Keep Their Jobs

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    The first month of the MLB season is in the books and there are several pitchers who are in danger of losing their starting jobs.

    One of those pitchers, Phil Hughes of the New York Yankees pitched his best game of the season on Sunday in a 10-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. He will need to have another strong outing later this week if he hopes to hold onto his spot in the rotation.

    Here are five pitchers who need strong pitching performances this week in order to keep their starting jobs.

Phil Hughes: New York Yankees

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    Phil Hughes put together a strong outing on Sunday as he pitched the New York Yankees to a 10-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

    “I kind of got into a groove after the second inning,” Hughes said in a Washington Post article. “The few times there were guys in scoring position, I was able to execute my pitches and get out of jams.”

    The win on Sunday was huge for Hughes as he came into the game with a 1-4 record with a 7.48 ERA. With Andy Pettitte's imminent return and Mariano Rivera lost for the season— Hughes will need to have another strong start this week to secure his spot in the rotation.

    Hughes seems to be taking all the rumors in stride.

    “I don’t worry about that stuff,” Hughes said Saturday in a NJ.com article. “I let the organization make the decisions on those sorts of things. I just go out and pitch and do what I’m told, that’s pretty much it.”

Chris Volstad: Chicago Cubs

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    Chicago Cubs pitcher Chris Volstad can't seem to avoid the big inning.

    The second inning did Volstad in on Saturday as he gave up three runs en route to a 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

    “Runners on from the stretch has been a struggle; it’s no secret,” Volstad said in an ESPN.com article. “That one inning. I just have to be better in those situations. That’s all it comes down to.”

    Cubs skipper Dale Sveum seems to think Volstad's woes could be associated to his mechanics from the stretch.

    “It might be pitching out of the stretch for some reason,” Sveum said. “Not being as effective out of the stretch or he can't keep the ball down out of the stretch. Whatever it might be we've got to get it fixed.”

    One thing is for certain, Volstad will need to figure what is going on with his stretch mechanics if he is going to hold onto his spot in the rotation. Volstad is scheduled to start on Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Patrick Corbin: Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin lasted only 3.1 innings on Saturday en route to a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets at Citi Field. Corbin fell behind hitters throughout and was tagged with all four runs in the loss.

    Corbin told reporters that he may have been trying too had to throw the perfect pitch. 

    "Maybe just trying not to give up a hit instead of going out there and just throwing," he said in an azcentral.com article.

    Corbin will have to find command of his pitches soon if he is going to keep his spot in the Diamondbacks starting rotation. He is scheduled to pitch Friday against the San Francisco Giants.

Tyson Ross: Oakland A's

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    The pitching woes continue to mount for Oakland A's starter Tyson Ross as he gave up seven runs in 3.1 innings in a 7-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays last Friday.

    "They're the hottest team in baseball...but at the same time, I know I didn't put my best foot forward and they made me pay," Ross said in a sfgate.com article .

    Ross could lose his spot in the rotation this week as he has given up 16 runs in his last two starts. He is scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Detroit Tigers.

Francisco Liriano: Minnesota Twins

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    Minnesota Twins starter Francisco Liriano will be looking to notch his first win of the season when he takes the mound against the LA Angels at Target Field Monday night.

    He was roughed up in his last start on May 1 as he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Angels in Anaheim.

    "I know he gave up four runs but he really wasn't that bad," manager Ron Gardenhire said in a seattlepi.com article. "He stayed after it after giving up a few runs early, so it was a step in the right direction and we'll build off of that one."

    It is crucial for Liriano to have a good start Monday as another loss may force Gardenhire to look elsewhere to shore up the back end of the Twins rotation.

    Liriano has an 0-4 record with a 9.97 ERA in five starts.