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Hughes to make MLB debut Thursday

TSwift25

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Yankees' Hughes to face Blue Jays on Thursday
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Phil Hughes will be making his major league debut earlier than expected.

A day after getting swept by the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees said Monday they plan on having their top pitching prospect start Thursday against Toronto.

Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
Phil Hughes was the only minor league pitcher recommended by the player development staff to make Thursday's start.

New York had been saying all spring that Hughes would progress slowly through the system. But after his team dropped four games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox, Yankees manager Joe Torre didn't rule out that the 20-year-old right-hander, taken in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft, might make more than one start.

"If we're comfortable and we sense he's comfortable, we'll see what we do," Torre said before the Yankees played Tampa Bay.

Hughes is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts this season at Triple-A Scranton, and he pitched six shutout innings last Wednesday at Syracuse, allowing two hits, striking out 10 and walking none.

"It's a necessity for us," Torre said. "They don't think it's the wrong time for him. His ability, his presence, I think he's mature enough."

Torre said Hughes was the only minor league pitcher recommended by the player development staff to make Thursday's start.

"I'm anxious to see him," Torre said. "He doesn't say much. He just goes about his business. I'm sure it's going to be electric for him."

In Sunday's 7-6 loss at Boston, Chase Wright made only his second big league start and became only the second major league pitcher to allow homers to four consecutive batters. Before last week, Wright had not pitched above Double-A.

Wright was optioned to Double-A Trenton on Monday when the Yankees activated left fielder Hideki Matsui from the 15-day disabled list.

"It was a good experience," Wright said. "I learned a lot. Go back to Trenton and just keep working hard and hopefully I'll get another opportunity."

New York is scrambling to cope with injuries to its starting rotation. Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to come off the disabled list Tuesday following a hamstring injury. Andy Pettitte, who already has pitched twice in long relief, starts Wednesday, leaving Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa and Wang to start against the Red Sox this weekend at Yankee Stadium.

Matsui had been out since straining his left hamstring on April 7.

"It took probably 10 days to where I was pretty close," Matsui said through an interpreter.

Mike Mussina, on the DL with a hamstring injury, is scheduled for a bullpen session Tuesday and could pitch in a minor league rehab game Friday, most likely for Trenton at Harrisburg. If all goes well, Torre said Mussina is on line to pitch against Texas on May 3.

Carl Pavano, sidelined with right forearm tightness, played catch for a second straight day, but there is no timetable for his return. He stills feels a "grabbing" sensation when throwing.

"It will work its way out," Pavano said. "Just keep working through it."

Notes

CF Johnny Damon, who has been slowed by back soreness, was not in the starting lineup. Torre said he wanted to give Damon one of the two games off on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field. "I'm very capable of starting tonight," Damon said. "With the outfielders here, it's really easy to rest me." ... C Jorge Posada (left thumb) was back in the lineup. He didn't start the previous two games. ... Backup C Wil Nieves, who dislocated his left thumb catching a pitch during Sunday's game, said he was available to play. "It was scary," Nieves said. "It never happened before."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
 

Guest

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Surprising. While I think the kid will do fine, surprised they didnt go with someone like Sean Henn whos arby clock has already started and still has options.
 

MarlinsFans46

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Surprising. While I think the kid will do fine, surprised they didnt go with someone like Sean Henn whos arby clock has already started and still has options.
Henn is already with the team...
 

MarlinFan10

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It's amazing how the Yankees have been able to stockpile so many solid young arms, but I still love seeing them sub .500.
 

TSwift25

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Yankees are seriously going to go on a tear real soon. ARod is ungodly and Matsui is back to go with a soon to be returning Wang and Mussina.

If I'm the AL, I'm definitely scared, and downright terrified if Hughes is lights-out...to say nothing of Clemens' inevitable return.
 

rorod

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Yankees are seriously going to go on a tear real soon. ARod is ungodly and Matsui is back to go with a soon to be returning Wang and Mussina.

If I'm the AL, I'm definitely scared, and downright terrified if Hughes is lights-out...to say nothing of Clemens' inevitable return.
seriously even though the yanks got swept by the sox...i would be very happy with that series as a yankee fan...u know mo riv isnt goin to blow 4 run leads in october...and the yanks arent going to be pitching n00b minor leagers....the red sox put there 3 aces out and had to come back and win each time
 

Bryan

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I wish they were starting him this weekend.

I wish they had waited a month, but...me too.
 

FishFanInPA

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Shame AJ Burnett is going to be the only stud on the mound tonight.....
 

Ramp

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Shame AJ Burnett is going to be the only stud on the mound tonight.....
:lol
 

The Fan

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4Ks through 4 also. Looks like he has settled down a little.
 

Bryan

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Had some tough luck in the 5th with a bad call and bad defense behind him from Miguel Cairo.

He's out now due to pitch count. He looked fantastic after the first inning though, much better than he did in spring. I fully expect him to stick.
 

FishFanInPA

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Burnett with an OUTSTANDING outing for the Jays......nice work
 

MarlinFan10

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Burnett may be have beaten the Yankees, but he still is and always will be a douche.
 

Passion

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Shame AJ Burnett is going to be the only stud on the mound tonight.....
:thumbup
 

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