Here's what Girardi said when he was asked that question following last night's loss: “Right now, he’s one of our starters,” Girardi said. “We will talk about it as a club." Brian Cashman was asked the same question and responded with a "We'll see."
Not exactly what you would want to hear if you were Hughes.
Some problems that I see (and I'm no pitching coach) is that his command is clearly lost, and he's not mixing his pitches enough, therefore becoming too predictable on the mound. He also looks like he's pitching scared and without confidence. "
But would a trip to the minors crush his confidence even more?
You would hope it wouldn't, and that maybe a few dominating performances in AAA would give his the shot in the arm that he needs, but you never know.
Then there's the issue of who would replace him. Right now the options are Kei Igawa (2-3, 3.58 ERA), Dan Giese (2-0, 1.35 ERA), Darrell Rasner (4-0, 0.87 ERA), or Steven White (1-1 with a 3.58 ERA). The leading candidate has to be Rasner, as he's doing the best out of any of the and has experience at the major league level.
But if it were up to me I wouldn't send him down, yet. I've been stressing patience with these kids all year, and I can't abandon that now. I'm not saying keep him up here all year if he's going to continue to get pounded, but I'd at least give him a few more starts to see if he can get his stuff together at this level.
What would you do, send him down or keep him up? And if you would keep him in the rotation, how many more starts would you give him?