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New York Yankees: What to Do with Phil Hughes

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New York Yankees: What to Do with Phil Hughes
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Phil Hughes has been a disappointment for the Yankees in 2013.

COMMENTARY | Phil Hughes was at it again at Yankee Stadium on June 19. And by at it again, I mean failing to provide the New York Yankees with a quality start.

His line: 6 IP, 10H, 5 ER, and only 3 K's. But hey, at least he didn't walk a guy. And even more remarkably, Hughes found a way not to give up a long ball in the Bronx.

But perhaps, this is more disconcerting than remarkable.

Phil is finding new ways to lose ball games for the Yankees. This is the first time Hughes has taken the loss at home without allowing a home run.

Hughes' record fell to 3-6 and his ERA rose to an unsightly 5.09. Oh, Phil Hughes, how you frustrate.

For a man with ostensibly top-of-the-rotation stuff, Hughes continues to struggle with his location and is barely hanging on to the last spot in the Yanks' rotation.

But how much longer can he hang on? Is Phil Hughes' spot in the Yankee rotation in jeopardy?

Amazingly, not according to Joe Girardi. ""I haven't really thought about moving Phil out of the rotation," Girardi said. "I think he's capable of doing a good job for us. But right now he's struggling."

It's time for the Yankees to finally act and face the elephant in the room: what should they do with Phil Hughes? The answer to this is not an easy one, as his potential makes any concrete decisions regarding him difficult.

So, let's play a game of "What if?" and consider all the best and worst outcomes of what to do with Phil Hughes.

1. Trade Him

Best Case Scenario: Hughes gets traded to the National League, were he thrives. Remember Ian Kennedy? Yea, he won 21 games in 2011, a year after the Yanks traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Yankees receive a big bat in the trade and their struggling offense is immediately given a spark.

Worst Case Scenario: Hughes gets traded to a contender in the American League. The Yanks get the short-end of the deal. The bat they receive in exchange for Hughes struggles more than Josh Hamilton, and Phil finally figures it out. Hughes dominates the Yankees in a postseason start to eliminate them from the playoffs.

2. Move Him to the Bullpen

Best Case Scenario: Hughes becomes the Yankees lock-down seventh-inning man. This seems fairly realistic, too. In 2009, Hughes had a 1.40 ERA in 51 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, helping lead the Yanks to their only World Series championship in the last 12 years.

Worst Case Scenario: Phil is mediocre out of the bullpen. Whoever replaces him in the rotation (Ivan Nova or Michael Pineda) performs even worse than Hughes has.

3. Keep Him in the Rotation

Best Case Scenario: Hughes magically regains his form of 2010, a season in which he was an All-Star for the Yanks' and won 18 games. Hughes is masterful in an ALCS-clinching game against the Red Sox to send the Yankees to their first World Series in four years. (In events least likely to happen, this one takes the blue ribbon).

Worst Case Scenario: Hughes continues to struggle and the Yankees fade fast in the American League East.

Which one would you choose?

To the dismay of many Yankee fans, it appears that, for better or worse, the Yanks are going with option number three.

Tobias Rosen is from northeast Pennsylvania. He has been an avid Yankees follower his entire life. He is the creator of the recently launched sports blog Not Quite Grantland.

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