Girardi: Too early to pull Hughes from rotation

Joe Girardi says the struggling Phil Hughes is healthy and that there is no reason to even think about lifting Hughes from the rotation to try and get him right.

"It is way too early to consider that," the Yankees manager said. "Phil Hughes won 18 games for us last year. He threw the ball outstanding. I'm not thinking about that."

On Friday, Hughes allowed six runs (all earned) on seven hits. He lasted just two innings as the Red Sox won their first game of the season. Girardi said the Yankees will think about giving Hughes an extra day before his next start, but nothing more extreme.

Hughes hit 92 once on Friday, but mostly stayed in the upper 80s or 90s. Still, the Yankees don't think it is time for Hughes to see a doctor -- at least, not yet.

"There is nothing physical," Girardi said. "If there was something physical, he would have a hard time making his side work. He is not having any issues. It is just he is not very sharp right now."

Girardi is trying to chalk up the Hughes' starts as nothing more than two outings.

"I want to get him back out there and get this right," Girardi said.

The problem for the Yankees is this is not a new situation. During spring training, there were warning signs that Hughes might not be right, despite Girardi saying on Friday there weren't.

"There was nothing telling us he wouldn't pitch well out of the gate," Girardi said.

This is a bit hard to believe, considering a scout told ESPN New York that Hughes' velocity wasn't right during the spring and pitching coach Larry Rothschild said they tried different remedies to find Hughes' fastball while in Tampa.

Nothing worked so the Yankees have a new biggest issue.

"He is not sharp," Girardi said. "He is just not throwing the baseball the way he is capable of doing. We'll continue to work on it. We'll get him there."

Girardi did mention that Hughes' struggles in the second half last year could have had to do with the Yankees instituting their innings limits.

"We started controlling his innings and sometimes guys get a little out of whack," Girardi said.