Yankees' Hughes Better Off in Bullpen

Yankees' Hughes Better Off in Bullpen

The decision is coming, finally, and as much as it may pain Yankee fans to hear it, this team is better off putting Phil Hughes in the bullpen, even if it means giving A.J. Burnett an undeserved free ride as a starter.

Fortunately for the Yankees, they can make it to October even if they have to drag Burnett along with them to the finish line. Once they get there, Burnett won't be a factor.

Hughes won't be either, not as a starter, anyway. Even on nights when his stuff is crisp, as it was last night against the Red Sox, he's still not able to maintain it deep into the ballgame, for whatever reason.

The velocity comes down a tick or two, from 93 to 91. His curveball isn't quite as sharp. And so there he was last night, giving up a bomb to David Ortiz in the fifth inning, then unable to get through the sixth after the Yankees had rallied to take a one-run lead.

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