Hughes: Starter Or Reliever?

william beovichContributor IMay 25, 2009

BALTIMORE - MAY 09:  Phil Hughes #65 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 9, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Well Phil Hughes just finished pitching 8 strong innings against the Texas Rangers, now Joe Girardi has a dilemma. What does he do with Wang when he is ready to come back into the rotation.

I know everyone is saying that it is time to put Joba back in the bullpen and this might be true, but Joba has pitched very well as a starter with a 3.70 ERA and has 41 K's in 41.1 innings. Wang is not a relief pitcher, a reliever must be able to come in and strike someone out and Wang is not a strikeout pitcher.

If Wang comes back to the rotation and pitches like the ace he has been for the Yankees the last few years, the Yankees might want to do consider an option that no one is talking about...... Phil Hughes as a relief pitcher. Yes that's right Phil Hughes. Not Joba Chamberlain.

Bruney is on the DL again, leaving the Yankees in trouble with the bullpen situation. Veras is awful and walks way too many people, and Coke can't pitch every night. Putting Hughes in the bullpen might help on many levels. Hughes being in the bullpen will also help him learn how to pitch in big spots, not to mention that he has a very live arm and has the ability to get the strikeout. If Hughes did stay and got hit around it wouldn't hurt the Yankees to try it. Look at the success that Joba had and how it has translated into him being a very good starting pitcher.

The bullpen is a better option than the minors for many different reasons, many being that it will help Hughes' confidence and continue the process of making him a reliable big league pitcher that the Yankees expect him to be someday. I feel that Hughes being with the big club makes them a much better team. Whether it is in the rotation or in the bullpen remains to be seen.