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Hughes ready to go, if necessary

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

#65 SP
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM17
  • W5

  • L5

  • BB27

  • K47

  • ERA5.79

Phil Hughes hasn't started a game since Sept. 12, but he insists he's ready to go if Joe Girardi calls on him to start Game 4.

Girardi mentioned Hughes as a candidate, along with A.J. Burnett.

"I'm going to pitch Freddy (Garcia) tomorrow, and we'll go from there," Girardi said.

Hughes hasn't started since mid September due to back spasms. He made two relief appearances late in the regular season and came out of them pain-free. He declared his back 100% healthy on Saturday.

“I felt food the last couple days when I pitched in Tampa. I felt strong and ready to go and the back’s not an issue,” Hughes said.

The 25-year-old righthander has been through what he described as a "disaster" of a season.

He was placed on the disabled list in May with a mysterious right shoulder inflammation that sapped his fastball velocity. After a three-month DL stint, Hughes returned in July and went 5-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 11 starts before the spams.

Hughes looks at the postseason as a way to redefine his year.

"I pitched in the bullpen in '09 and I came in relief in '07. Just being a part of this is pretty special so whether I'm starting or relieving, I just want to be here so that's the way I look at it," Hughes said.