Yankees’ Phil Hughes could start season on DL

New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back last week, an injury that manager Joe Girardi says could cause the pitcher to begin the season on the disabled list, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

The Yankees are trying to give Hughes time to recover from his back injury, an issue he also experienced during the playoffs last season. However, as a projected starter, Hughes will require appearances and innings in order to build his arm strength up to the point where he can break camp in the team’s rotation.

If Hughes requires additional recovery time and is forced to begin the season on the DL, they could look in-house and have David Phelps fill in for the right-hander. They could also reach outside the organization for a temporary fix, perhaps someone like Roy Oswalt, Dallas Braden or Carlos Zambrano. Kyle Lohse doesn’t figure to a be a fit unless Hughes’ injury proves significant.

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