If Phil Hughes felt half as good as he looked on the mound Tuesday morning, it won't be long before he rejoins his Yankees teammates.Wow, good news for a change. Awesome!
Hughes pitched 3 2/3 innings of an intrasquad game at the Yankees' Minor League complex, fanning six and allowing two hits. He retired the first eight hitters he faced and walked one.
"It felt good; a lot better," said Hughes, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday for short-season Class A Staten Island. "I thought the ball was coming out pretty good, and that's all I can really ask for at this point. I'm just trying to build it up, and make sure I don't have any setbacks."
Hughes will remain in Tampa for the week and head to Staten Island prior to Sunday's game. He is slated to throw 65 pitches there and barring setback he'll move to an 80-pitch count during a third rehab stint.
From there, Hughes said he hopes to "have the leash off," hastening his return to the Majors, but an exact timetable is not yet in place.
"Today was a good test," Hughes said. "I came out and got some good work in. ... [My shoulder] is out of my mind, and that's a good thing. Once I get loose, and get on the mound, it's something I don't even think about. It's not really a concern, I just have to make sure that every time I go out, it's the same story.
"Really, until I get up to the 100-pitch mark, there's no way of knowing [when I'll rejoin New York]. If I stay on track ... I'm hoping it won't be too much longer, but it's kind of out of my hands. I have to go out there and pitch well and show the stuff that I deserve to be there."
Tuesday, June 14, 2011