New York officially put in place the plan to limit Phil Hughes
' innings, announcing Monday that they'll take an advantage of a scheduled off day this week to skip the 23-year-old righty's next turn in the rotation. In limiting Joba Chamberlain
's workload last season the Yankees chose abbreviated starts rather than skipped turns, but apparently The Hughes Rules are different than The Joba Rules, and that's probably not a bad thing.
After dominating as a reliever last year Hughes has been every bit as impressive moving back into the rotation this season, going 10-1 with a 3.17 ERA and 78/25 K/BB ratio in 82.1 innings spread over 13 starts. He wasn't quite the immediate ace that many people expected in 2007, but Hughes was so young then that even a multi-season detour has him establishing himself as one of the game's best starters before his 24th birthday.
While the Yankees likely to try to limit Hughes to about 180 innings, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* One day after optioning Edwin Encarnacion
to Triple-A with 2,314 plate appearances and six seasons under his belt, the Blue Jays designated the 27-year-old third baseman for assignment Monday. The move cleared a 40-man roster spot and suggested to me they have a trade for him already worked out, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos downplayed that possibility by saying he expects Encarnacion to clear waivers.
If true that tells you just how far his stock has fallen because of injuries and mediocre hitting during the past year, because the Blue Jays acquired him as a major part of the Scott Rolen
trade last July. Since then he's batted .223/.303/.453 with 17 homers in 79 games, including a brutal 9-for-61 slump, which isn't enough offense to make up for his terrible defense or apparently the $2.7 million he's owed for the rest of the season.
* Anthopoulos also revealed Monday that Dustin McGowan
will need another shoulder surgery following his latest setback, knocking him out for a second straight season and putting the once-promising right-hander's career in serious jeopardy. He hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors since July of 2008 and felt a "pop" while rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder last week, with Anthopoulos indicating a return in 2011 isn't assured.
* To avoid your own setback, follow me on Twitter
.AL Quick Hits: A.J. Burnett
served up three homers in the first inning Monday, finishing with seven runs allowed in four frames ... Brett Anderson
(elbow) threw from 140 feet Monday, but remains unlikely to return until after the All-Star break ... David Huff
was bumped from the rotation Monday and optioned to Triple-A after going 2-9 with a 6.04 ERA ... Impending free agent Mariano Rivera
said Monday that he'd be willing to accept a one-year deal
at age 40 ... Gio Gonzalez
struck out nine and allowed just an unearned in seven innings Monday ... Felix Pie
(back) began a rehab assignment Monday by going 0-for-4 at rookie-ball ... No one in New York would believe it, but Carl Pavano
has become a reliable innings eater for the Twins
... Wilson Ramos
is expected to miss two weeks at Triple-A with a strained oblique ... Coco Crisp
(ribs) is aiming to come off the disabled list Friday ... Delmon Young is finally showing some promise in Minnesota
.NL Quick Hits: Livan Hernandez
resumed his deal with the devil Monday, allowing one run in seven innings following a rough start last week ... As expected, the Mets demoted Jenrry Mejia
to Double-A and called up Bobby Parnell
to replace him in the bullpen Monday ... Billy Wagner
is one save away from 400 after the Braves used him on four straight days
... Tim Lincecum
(shoulder) has been cleared for Tuesday's start
following a problem-free bullpen session ... Homer Bailey
(shoulder) has yet to resume throwing after a setback on his rehab assignment earlier this month ... Stephen Strasburg
will get an extra day off rest before his final first-half start, which is now slated for July 9 against the Giants ... Jim Riggleman gave him a vote of confidence Sunday night, but the Nationals demoted John Lannan
to the minors Monday ... According to general manager Neal Huntington multiple teams have expressed interest
in Akinori Iwamura
... Everth Cabrera
(hamstring) played shortstop for five innings Monday in his first rehab game at Triple-A ... Astros fans are setting themselves up for disappointment
with the team's so-called "exciting youth movement."