Sunday, July 20, 2008

Scranton Next Stop for Yankees SP Phil Hughes?

Injured Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes -- now in a rehabilitative throwing program at the team's training complex in Tampa -- may be among a handful of players who may appear within the next couple of weeks or so at Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, according to a speculative report by The Sunday Voice.

"Nothing is set in stone and the Yankees have not announced a full rehab plan for Hughes and his rib injury, but it's safe to speculate that he could make a Triple A start or two on his way back to Yankee Stadium," according to the report by Voice staff writer Chad Jennings.

It was noted that Yankees manager Joe Girardi has indicated Hughes might return in August, though it is not clear how much the 22-year-old, 6-foot-5 former first-round pick may be vulnerable to a setback.

Meanwhile top pitching prospect Alan Horne -- previously the subject of numerous rumors as the July 31 trading deadline approached -- remains in Scranton for conditioning of what he described as an arm that felt "dead" after he was removed from a June 29 game at Yankee Stadium.

Some observers theorized Horne at that time was being showcased to be traded, though his mysterious injury may have dampened any such talk.

Also remaining at Scranton is former Japanese standout Kei Igawa, who likely could not be considered much more than a major league bust at this point. However, the 28-year-old lefty has an 8-3 record for the Triple A club with a respectable 3.80 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 106 innings. He would be a probable callup when rosters are expanded in September, perhaps sooner if necessary.