Advertisement

Yankees Struggling

The last-place New York Yankees, mired in their longest losing streak in almost two years and on the verge of their worst 20-game start in 16 years, are turning to a 20-year-old rookie to end their woes.

Highly touted Phil Hughes will make his major league debut Thursday when the Yankees play the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees (8-11) limped home after being swept in a three-game series at Boston and in a two-game set at Tampa Bay.

Oddsmakers have made New York -155 point spread favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 11 total runs (View MLB Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -155 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

The five-game skid is the longest for New York since a six-game losing streak from May 28 to June 3, 2005, and the Yankees need a win to avoid their worst 20-game start since going 7-13 in 1991.

A rainout Wednesday has added to the intrigue - and perhaps the pressure - surrounding Hughes, who is considered the Yankees' top pitching prospect. The 23rd overall pick in the 2004 entry draft, Hughes went 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Scranton. He struck out 10 over six scoreless innings in his last start on April 18, allowing just two hits.

"I'm anxious to see him,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He doesn't say much. He just goes about his business. I'm sure it's going to be electric for him.''

Hughes will be the youngest Yankees starting pitcher since 1984, when Jose Rijo was on the team at the age of 18 and turned 19 during the season. Wednesday's scheduled starter, Andy Pettitte, will now pitch the series opener against the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

"It's a necessity for us,'' said Torre, who said Hughes was the only minor leaguer recommended to start by the team's player development staff. "They don't think it's the wrong time for him. His ability, his presence, I think he's mature enough.''

Despite the slow start, no one on the Yankees is panicking, despite the frustration of scoring at least four runs in each of the five losses on the road trip.

"It's the absolute worst road trip we could imagine, being 0-5,'' center fielder Johnny Damon said after Tuesday's loss. "We're 0-5 without being outplayed. We're going out there and we're doing OK. We're just not finishing out the other teams.''

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who had his 23-game hitting streak end Tuesday, will try to start a new one and continue his torrid start. Rodriguez is batting .343 (12-for-35) with seven homers and 19 RBIs in eight home games and is 3-for-8 with two homers and six RBIs lifetime against Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett (1-1, 5.57 ERA).

Burnett is coming off a quality outing. The right-hander limited the Baltimore Orioles to two runs in seven innings Friday, but was helpless as the Toronto bullpen squandered a two-run lead in a 5-4 loss.

"It's something that these young guys are going to have to learn to deal with," Burnett said of the relievers. "They all deserve to be here or they wouldn't be here.''

Burnett went 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts against the Yankees last season, losing the final two.

The Blue Jays (10-10) took two games from the Red Sox at Fenway Park earlier this week, capped by a 10-3 rout Tuesday. Vernon Wells went 4-for-5 with four runs and three RBIs, and was 6-for-9 with seven runs scored in the series.

"It was a good time to start playing well,'' Wells said. "Hopefully we can continue doing that.''

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

More MLB Baseball coverage from theSpread.com

 - MLB news wire
 - Current MLB Injuries
 - 2007 MLB standings
 - 2007 MLB schedule
 - 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
 - 2007 MLB stats
 - MLB scoreboard
 - Expert MLB picks
 - Accuscore predictions
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - MLB home

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Tanaka's Yanks take aim at sweep of Stros On Monday, the Yankees shipped pending free agent Aroldis Chapman to the National League. Yet, don’t be surprised if their rollicking performance of late tables...
Thumbnail Cubs-White Sox standoff moves to Wrigleyville The Cubs and their fans couldn’t wait to get Aroldis Chapman into yesterday’s action. Yet, a no-show on offense prevented the squad’s new closer from even...
Thumbnail Mets, Cardinals lock horns in series finale Last night, Bartolo Colon helped the Mets earn a doubleheader split with the Cardinals as only he could. The majors’ oldest player spotted that 86 mph...
Thumbnail Reds vs. Giants Prediction Will bettors be able to cash the over when the Giants host the Reds at 3:45PM ET?
Thumbnail Padres vs. Blue Jays Prediction Will it be a high-scoring game today when the Blue Jays host the Padres at 12:10PM ET?
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Headlines

More inMLB News  

MLB Team Pages