The Yankees are set to recall stud right-hander Philip Hughes to start against the Blue Jays on Thursday. With their rotation looking like it is unshambling, some believe this is a desperation move by the Yankees. I disagree.
Injuries to Starters 1, 2 and 4 have caused the Yankees to test their organizational depth. The likes of Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner, Chase Wright and Kei Igawa have proven themselves to be either incapable or unready. Trying Philip Hughes is the rational decision.
Is he being rushed? No more than Chase Wright was, and nobody called that move deperate. Hughes was expected to be in the rotation in May/June anyhow. Am I to believe that four more weeks of AAA pitching is the difference between a Brett Myers-type starter circa 2005-2006 and the 2007 version? I can't.
The real question is whether or not he will be a fantasy asset or liability. Given he is unavailable in Yahoo! leagues, this question is one every team with the #1 waiver priority is asking.
Frankly, I don't know. As a general rule, I shy away from rookie pitcher because the level the acceptable level of performance for a MLB team is lower than that of a fantasy one. Given the numbers that Yankees' starters have produced, that bar is lower still.
If Hughes can pitch to a Randy Johnson-esque level circa 2006 - 5.00 ERA and six innings per start, Hughes is a lock to remain in the rotation for as long as it takes for Carl Pavano to return.
In a mixed-league format, that is not good enough.