The 24-year-old right-hander's innings total this season stands at 140 2/3, and if he continues to pitch as well as he has -- he's gone six innings in four of his past five starts -- he'll likely have to miss at least one start before the regular season ends, the Yankees confirmed before Tuesday's 11-5 win over the Blue Jays.
Although manager Joe Girardi did not identify exactly what Hughes' innings limit is, the number is believed to be just shy of 200 innings -- perhaps from 180-190.
"Even if we pitch all the way throughout, it's not like he's going to be up around 200 innings," Girardi said. "I have to manage this as we move forward and see where we're at, but obviously, you hope he goes seven innings every time."
The Yankees were fortunate in Hughes' most recent start, last Thursday, when a nine-run sixth inning allowed the bullpen to pick up an inning that might have normally been Hughes'.
If the Yankees can receive the same kind of early offense on Wednesday against Blue Jays southpaw Brett Cecil that they got on Tuesday, the club should be able to keep the taxing on Hughes' arm to a minimum. Three homers in the third inning contributed to an early six-run lead in the rout.
Cecil was shelled two starts ago against the Angels, letting up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings, but he bounced back by allowing two runs over 6 2/3 innings against the Red Sox last Friday. Also 24 years old, Cecil took a no-decision in his last start against the Yankees, on July 2 in the Bronx. He let up four hits and one run in a 6-1 Jays win.
Cecil's record, 10-6, isn't as sparkling as Hughes' 15-5 mark, but they have the same ERA -- 3.90. Again mirroring each other, Hughes let up one run on four hits in his last outing against Toronto, a 5-1 win on Aug. 4.
Yankees: Leaning to the left
The Yankees are 15-5 in their past 20 games against left-handed starters this season and are 27-17 against them overall. Robinson Cano has hit an American League-best 13 home runs against lefties this season, one shy of Albert Pujols' Major League-leading 14. Mark Teixeira has hit nine home runs against southpaws, and Jorge Posada has hit seven. Both Teixeira and Posada homered on Tuesday night. ... Derek Jeter went 1-for-6 with a solo home run and a strikeout on Tuesday after sitting out most of Monday's 3-2 loss because of irritation behind his left knee. "It doesn't bother him except to slow down [running]," Girardi said. Jeter left a team-high five runners on base in the victory.
Blue Jays: Lind offers helping hand
Adam Lind is batting .328 with nine RBIs, six doubles, three home runs and one triple in his past 17 games. Though his final numbers will be well down from last year, when he hit .305 with 35 homers and 114 RBIs, Lind has picked it up over the past two months, batting .275 in July and .313 in August. He didn't crack .200 in May or June.
Jose Bautista went 1-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout on Tuesday. He remains one homer shy of the 100th of his career. Twenty-five of Bautista's Major League-best 40 home runs have come at home. ... The Yankees took over the Major League lead for most homers since the All-Star break with five on Tuesday night. New York has 56 in that span, while Toronto has 54.
Wed, 8/25 7:07 PM ET
All Wells that ends well in Jays-Yanks finale
Led by Vernon Wells -- who notched a triple, a homer and a single -- the Blue Jays easily worked a series win over the Yanks, their third of 2010, forcing Phil Hughes to throw 102 pitches in 3 2/3 innings at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays Beat
|Thames, M, DH||4||1||2||2||0||1||0||.319|
|Nunez, E, 3B||4||0||2||1||0||0||4||.250|
2B: Thames, M (6, Cecil), Cano (36, Cecil).
HR: Thames, M (6, 4th inning off Cecil, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Granderson; Cano 2; Thames, M 6; Gardner 2; Nunez, E 2.
RBI: Thames, M 2 (21), Nunez, E (3).
2-out RBI: Nunez, E.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Nunez, E 2; Granderson 2.
GIDP: Teixeira 2.
Team RISP: 3-for-7.
Team LOB: 8.
PB: Posada (7).
3B: Wells, V (2, Hughes, P).
HR: Wells, V (23, 3rd inning off Hughes, P, 1 on, 1 out), Hill, A (19, 5th inning off Vazquez, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Escobar, Y; Wells, V 8; Lind; Buck, J; Hill, A 4; Encarnacion.
RBI: Wells, V 4 (66), Hill, A (49).
2-out RBI: Wells, V 2; Hill, A.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Lewis, F; Lind 2; Escobar, Y.
SAC: Escobar, Y.
Team RISP: 2-for-7.
Team LOB: 8.
DP: 2 (Encarnacion-Hill, A-Overbay, Hill, A-Escobar, Y-Overbay).
HBP: Jeter (by Gregg).
Pitches-strikes: Hughes, P 102-66, Vazquez 55-36, Cecil 106-69, Frasor 21-11, Gregg 17-11.
Groundouts-flyouts: Hughes, P 2-2, Vazquez 3-7, Cecil 12-4, Frasor 0-1, Gregg 0-1.
Batters faced: Hughes, P 22, Vazquez 16, Cecil 31, Frasor 4, Gregg 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Vazquez 3-0, Gregg 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Dan Iassogna. 1B: Dale Scott. 2B: Jerry Meals. 3B: D.J. Reyburn.
Weather: 68 degrees, roof closed.
Wind: 0 mph, None.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media