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Yankees’ Hughes Misses Start, Cervelli Likely To Miss Playoffs

Phil Hughes
Chris Trotman, Getty Images

Despite going 12-7 this month in preparation for another postseason berth, the Yankees still have some injury concerns heading into October.

Phil Hughes did not make his scheduled start this afternoon because of back spasms. Hughes was slated to start the opener of a day-night doubleheader between the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. Hector Noesi was named the emergency starter and put on a pitch limit of 50-60 pitches by manager Joe Girardi.

Hughes was first bothered by back spasms after throwing a bullpen session in Toronto last weekend and hasn’t thrown since. This is the first time Hughes has experienced back issues in his young career.

“He’s still not where he needs to be,” Girardi said before today’s game about Hughes. “We talked about him maybe trying to throw a bullpen session in between games — we’ll see about that as the day goes on. But he’s still not ready to go.”

Francisco Cervelli
Steve Ruark, Getty Images

Meanwhile, it was strongly indicated this morning by Girardi that catcher Francisco Cervelli will not be on the postseason roster. Cervelli suffered a concussion as a result of a collision at home plate on Sept. 8 in Baltimore. He has not played since that day due to the lingering effects of the concussion, the third one Cervelli has suffered in his career.

He underwent an IMPACT Test on Monday, which compares results with tests taken when his head isn’t affected by an injury. Cervelli is also scheduled to see a neurologist on Friday.

Cervelli will likely be replaced by September call-up Austin Romine, who is considered a strong defensive catcher. Jesus Montero, another September call-up who has impressed at the plate as a designated hitter, is less likely to serve as a backup to starting catcher Russell Martin.

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