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Yankees may be close to naming Phil Hughes their fifth starter

TAMPA — The Yankees haven't officially announced who has won the competition for the No. 5 starter, but some reports indicate the RHP Phil Hughes will get the job.

Manager Joe Girardi said that "healthy discussions" on the decision were to begin Wednesday, with an announcement likely on Friday.

"You want to listen to all of the opinions before you really formulate an answer," Girardi told MLB.com. "I think that's the proper thing to do."

However, the New York Post reported that the job was basically Hughes' to lose.

Hughes, 23 has posted a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings over four spring appearances. The Yankees reportedly have been pleased with the improvement in his changeup.

RHP Joba Chamberlain, Hughes' main competition, would head to the bullpen. Chamberlain, 24, has a 16.20 ERA in 62/3 spring innings.

Phillies: Struggles irk Ibanez, not Manuel

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Spring training stats might be meaningless, but you'd have a hard time convincing Phillies LF Raul Ibanez.

Ibanez went 0-for-2 in an 8-0 loss to the Braves, dropping his average to .108 (4-for-37) with one homer and one RBI.

"Not acceptable," Ibanez said.

Manager Charlie Manuel is far less worried about Ibanez, 37, who batted .272 with a .347 on-base percentage and a career-high .552 slugging percentage last season, his first with Philadelphia.

"He's having trouble finding his timing," Manuel told MLB.com. "When he gets it, you'll see."

Jays: Morrow nears return to mound

DUNEDIN — RHP Brandon Morrow, who is nursing a sore right shoulder, threw off a mound and is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Friday.

Morrow, 25, was scratched Friday as a precaution. He remains in line to start Monday.

"It's better to take the week off now than two weeks in the middle of May or June or whatever," Morrow told MLB.com.

"I've had it a few times over the last few years. It's mainly been a spring training thing. A lot of people get similar stuff, you hit that wall and you get over the hump and it doesn't bother you anymore."

fast facts

Yankees

Where: George Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa. Today: at Orioles, 1:05, Sarasota.

Information: yankees.com

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Today: vs. Astros, 1:05, Clearwater. Information: phillies.com

Blue Jays

Where: Dunedin Stadium,

373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Today: at Tigers (ss), 1:05, Lakeland. Information: bluejays.com

Yankees may be close to naming Phil Hughes their fifth starter 03/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:26pm]
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