The year 2013 has been one big train wreck so far for the New York Yankees. Things began to look just a little better on Friday as the team announced that one of their many injured players will be coming back. Pitcher Phil Hughes will take the mound on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers.
Hughes was put on the shelf back in mid-February with a bulging disk in his back. He hasn’t faced big league hitters yet this season and will have to face one of the best lineups in baseball in the Tigers on his return. He faced the Tigers twice last season with mixed results. He hurled a complete game gem his first time against Detroit, but laid an egg in the second game lasting just 4 1/3 innings.
David Phelps was supposed to start for the Yankees, but now he will return to the bullpen. He will likely see some action on Saturday as the Yankees will probably have Hughes on some type of pitch count. Phelps did a great job out of the pen last season. In 22 relief appearances, he had an earned run average of 2.76 and averaged a strikeout per inning. He will give the bullpen a much needed arm as relievers Joba Chamberlain, Cody Eppley and Shawn Kelley have all struggled out of the gate.
With Hughes back and hopefully a healthy Hiroki Kuroda, maybe New York can find a way to survive April. If they can make it to May around .500 then some of the injured offensive stars will start to come back and the Yankees might still have a shot at a playoff run. If not it will be a long year of empty seats at Yankee Stadium.