While Phil Hughes is still a long way from pitching with the Yankees again, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he’s tentatively scheduled to begin a throwing program Thursday.Brian Heyman added, "Hughes admitted that he had been experiencing some discomfort before his recent shot. He said that shot has helped. His shoulder feels looser. He was working with a physical therapist while the Yankees were on the road trip."
Hughes was placed on the disabled list last month after posting a 13.94 ERA over his first three starts while showing significantly diminished velocity with his fastball. He underwent a battery of tests to rule out any serious injury — including thoracic outlet syndrome — but said Monday that his shoulder has responded well to a recent cortisone shot.
“I’m confident. I know it just didn’t just disappear,” Hughes said of his fastball velocity. “…. I’m confident it will be there.”
It’s just baby steps right now, as Hughes will likely start by throwing off flat ground and simply progress from there. The Yankees are hopeful that the 24-year-old right-hander will be able to return in six to eight weeks.
The Yankees current rotation has performed admirably since Hughes hit the disabled list, and I'm confident in its ability to keep the team afloat over the next month or two. From there, I'm hesitant to say that Colon, Garcia, and Nova will have the sheer stamina to hold up throughout the season - but, at this juncture, I don't think anything would surprise me.