Phil Hughes certainly sounds like a starting pitcher if nothing else.
Talking about his outing after Friday's game, Hughes was introspective, talking about the good and bad from his day.
"I don’t think I threw a fastball that was well located the whole day, which was frustrating because I’ve been so good in my last two bullpens," Hughes said. "It’s something I need to get right because obviously fastball command is No. 1."
Hughes said he threw his changeup, a pitch he's trying to master this spring, "eight or nine times" and he was pleased with it.
"Dave [Eiland] told me afterward it was the best he’s seen me throw a changeup so I thought it was pretty good for the most part," Hughes said.
Hughes also didn't equivocate when asked which role he's prefer between starting and relieving, given that the "loser" of his battle with Chamberlain is likely to end up in the bullpen.
"I’m just used to starting," Hughes said. "I had some success last year in a short little stint at relieving and obviously that’s great. We had a great team and I was happy to be a part of it but growing up, in high school I started, in minor leagues I started. It’s just kind of what I’ve grown accustomed to. It’s something I want to do and something I feel I can be successful at."
*** Joe Girardi said he expects Nick Johnson to take batting practice Saturday.
“We’ll see how he reacts to that,” Joe Girardi said. “If he’s ok, he’s back in Monday.”
Monday instead of Sunday because the Yankees play that day in Fort Myers against the Twins and Girardi doesn't want Johnson to make the 2-2 1/2-hour bus trip.
*** And congratulations to Ian O'Connor of the Bergen Record, who has just been hired by ESPN New York. A great move for him; an even better one for ESPN. Tremendous writer and an even better guy, which is saying something.