Phil Hughes said as a starter last year he wasn’t always as aggressive as he should have been – and certainly not the way he was in the bullpen – and that hurt him on the mound, something he intends to change this spring as he tries to grab the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
“There were times where I didn’t feel 100 percent [confident] and my stuff wasn’t where I knew it could be and I was trying to compensate with trying to locate the ball a little better. That’s not who I am.”
Girardi was asked several variations of the Phil/Joba question and made the same points he's made at other times this year -- that Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin and Alfredo Aceves are very much in the mix for the position. In a word, unlikely.
"I expect it to play out as a healthy competition," Girardi said. "The one thing as a
manager that you worry about is that you start competing tomorrow."
Meaning the first official day of workouts.
"I don’t want them to compete tomorrow. I want them to get ready to pitch in a couple of weeks from a physical standpoint. But I expect two guys to pitch at a very high level. Will statistics play 100 percent of the decision? No. We’ll look at guys, how they’re throwing
the baseball, and what we feel as an organization and coaching staff is the best for everyone involved. But I expect it to be a good competition. You also have other guys in that mix. Gaudin, we went 7-0 in his starts last year. We have Serg and we have Ace. It is a healthy competition for the fifth starting spot and I love that. I think that brings out the best in people."