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Yankees Daily Briefing 08/02/11

In 18 career innings versus the White Sox, Phil Hughes has an ERA of just 1.00 and has struck out 17 batters. He'll have to try to replicate that success on Tuesday night if he hopes to stay in the Yankees rotation. He and the Yankees will face Chicago's John Danks, who is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.98 since early June.

Discussion of the Day: Taking the recent trade deadline into account, do you think Brian Cashman should return as the Yankees' general manager next season? Why or why not?

1) Wallace Matthews writes about the choice facing Joe Girardi concerning whether Hughes or Ivan Nova will be in the rotation going forward.

Girardi has bought some time to make the decision by going to a six-man rotation this week, but the Yankees can't have a six man rotation for long without sacrificing starts that would otherwise go to CC Sabathia. The crux of the matter is pretty straightforward: Nova has outpitched Hughes in every meaningful category (ERA, WHIP, strikeouts per nine, walks per nine, strikeout-to-walk ratio), but that is more of a reflection on Hughes' <a href= disaster season -- and Hughes is the one who was once the fourth-best prospect in all of baseball.

2) Filip Bondy writes that the Yankees' rotation is thin after Sabathia.

The rotation has ostensibly been the weakest point all year -- A.J. Burnett and Nova have ERAs over 4.00, Bartolon Colon hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009 and has a history of arm injuries, Freddy Garcia wasn't supposed to be more than a fifth starter/insurance policy and Hughes' troubles are well known. Somehow, though, the Yankees rank in the top 10 in team ERA, and when the team has one of the best offenses in baseball, there is some more room for error than if, say, the Yankees had a weaker offense. Still, it's unlikely that the questions about the rotation will be answered until October has come and gone -- if the rotation can keep it together long enough to get there.

3) Kevin Kernan writes that Garcia is no fluke for the Yankees.

By some measures, Garcia is having his best season since 2004, and his ERA+ of 130 is indeed striking, so fears that he may regress into a true fifth starter may not be totally unfounded. Still, Garcia has given the Yankees quality starts again and again; he's surrendered more than three runs just twice since the start of June. Like Colon, he's given the Yankees more than expected, and, like much of the rotation, the Yankees have to hope that he can continue to perform at this level for the rest of the season.

4) Minor league results were mixed for the Yankees' affiliates.

Triple-A Scranton split a doubleheader with Lehigh Valley, losing the first, 4-2 and winning the second, 4-1.

Jorge Vazquez was named the International League Player of the Week; reliever Randy Flores will be released on Tuesday.

Jesus Montero had one hit in four at bats in the first game, and a double in three at bats in the second. There are rumors Montero will join the Yankees very soon.

Double-A Trenton had a scheduled off day.

High-A Tampa lost to Charlotte, 7-4.

Preston Clairborne was named the Florida State League pitcher of the week.

Low-A Charleston beat Asheville, 9-8.

Gary Sanchez had three hits in five at bats, including a home run.

Short Season Staten Island beat Jamestown, 5-0, while the Rookie GCL Yankees beat the GCL Tigers, 4-0.