{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

After pitching BP, Hughes expresses optimism

|
After pitching BP, Hughes expresses optimism play video for After pitching BP, Hughes expresses optimism

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes threw 26 pitches in a batting-practice session on Thursday and said that he believes it is still possible to be ready for the beginning of the regular season.

Hughes was sidelined last month with a bulging disk in his upper back, suffered while covering first base during fielding drills. He said that he felt no physical issues during Thursday's session at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

"I was a hair off with my command, but I sort of anticipated that with not having been in a somewhat adrenaline-filled pitching scenario," Hughes said. "Other that that, I felt great. I felt like the ball was coming out pretty good, so that's a first step."

Hughes said that he felt "excited" to be back on the mound for the session, which was watched by manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Hughes pitched to Minor League hitters Addison Maruszak and Walter Ibarra.

"I hadn't been out there in so long," Hughes said. "It's good to actually face a hitter for the first time since last [year's] playoffs. It was a good feeling."

Hughes' next outing is expected to come on Monday in a simulated game, and Girardi said that he needs to see Hughes prepared to make 90 to 100 pitches to consider giving him a regular-season start.

With that in mind, it is possible that Hughes could miss the first turn through the rotation during the regular season, allowing either Ivan Nova or David Phelps to make a spot start in his place while Hughes builds up in a Minor League outing.

"I'd rather it be one start than a bunch than pile up if I'm not right when I get back," Hughes said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español