New York Yankees' starter Phil Hughes is closing in on his pitching limit, which seems to be around 200 innings.
Hughes, 24, has currently pitched 140 and 2/3 innings this year.
At this rate, he would have to miss one start before the start of the playoffs if New York makes it (which they probably will).
He is currently 15-5 with an ERA of 3.90, great stats in preparation for October.
Now the question is will Hughes be starting in October?
Manager Joe Girardi doesn't have too many options when the time comes. Even though he does have C.C. Sabathia as his No. 1 starter, there aren't many strong pitchers behind him.
Andy Pettitte is already 38, and he will start to throw off of flat ground Friday to see if he will be able to start in the postseason. Even if he comes back, we don't know how well he'll do after the injury.
A.J. Burnett is the most inconsistent pitcher you can find in Major League Baseball, so he can throw a no-hitter one day and allow 10 runs in one inning the next.
We don't know how Hughes will react as a starter in the playoffs, especially after throwing, at minimum, 140 innings during the season. His arm may have taken a beating.
Other starter options include Ivan Nova, but he's still a rookie and just made his first career start last week.
Dustin Moseley might be on the playoff roster, but he's not a pitcher you would like to start in October.
Girardi always being himself will probably stick to his ways and will start just three pitchers. Since Sabathia is already chosen, two spots are left. If Pettitte struggles after coming back, Girardi will still choose him, saying how he's an experienced veteran and how he has had success before in the playoffs. Girardi also always depends on Burnett, no matter how inconsistent he may be.
An example that shows Girardi's ways is that he would trust Sergio Mitre for a year before he learned his lesson.
So, Girardi will probably say how he trusts the young pitcher in Hughes and go with a four man rotation in the playoffs. Too bad Girardi had a record of ruining young arms when he was with the Florida Marlins. He probably will keep relying on Hughes, and eventually Hughes will get fatigued.
Hughes will start in October, but only time will tell of his performance in the playoffs and into next season.
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