Phil Hughes has arm tested

Updated: April 27, 2011, 6:56 AM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes underwent two MRIs and an ultrasound test on his arm to check blood flow and circulation on Tuesday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Hughes, who has right arm inflammation and has experienced a loss of velocity said before the Yankees-Chicago White Sox game on Tuesday night that he will undergo additional testing on Wednesday. Results of the tests are not yet known.

"They're gonna try to rule out everything they possibly can," manager Joe Girardi said.

Hughes said he's been shut down until further notice, but he did run on the treadmill on Tuesday.

"I talked to a vascular doctor and underwent a solid hour-and-a-half of testing," said Hughes, who was at the hospital from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. "I'm not really scared. If they find something, they find something. This is just to figure out what's going on and get as much information as we can gather."

Hughes was supposed to make a rehab start on Thursday, but suffered what Girardi referred to as a "setback" after throwing 20 pitches during a bullpen session on Monday afternoon.

"Obviously when I came back and did my throwing stuff, it didn't go the way I wanted it to go," Hughes said. "So that was why we had to resort to this. Nobody's happy about it. It's frustrating, but once I didn't feel right after [my bullpen], doing these tests was really the only other option in order to dig down deep and find out what was really going on.

"I'm surprised that it got this far, but it is what it is. I need to figure out what issues I'm having and get some sort of program in order to get healthy. That's really all I can do."

Girardi said during his pregame press conference with the media that he had yet to talk to team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, but said the Yankees should know the results of Hughes' tests by Wednesday night.

"We don't have any results. We might come away and say all the results were negative. So what do you say?" Girardi said. "Yes, he's thrown 160 innings before in the minor leagues. But, the jump from last year to the year before was somewhat substantial. And then you make the playoffs. Does that have something to do with it? Possibly. And those are reasons why we put innings limits. And sometimes we take innings limits on pitchers, but if everything comes back, that's what you point to. I don't know.

"I think that's why we talk about why we're careful. Everybody is unique, and everybody is going to respond differently to different workloads. I mean, no one can say that two bodies are alike. So what is going on with Phil, we may not see here for the next 20 years. We don't know why he's having his issues, but we're trying to find out."

Hughes was placed on the disabled list on April 15 with a dead arm, or what the team described as "right arm inflammation" after struggling to maintain his velocity in his first starts of the regular season.

Girardi was asked if he wished the team would've had an MRI done sooner, rather than wait this long.

"You don't just wanna give guys MRIs to give them MRIs," Girardi said. "They say you should only have so many MRIs per year. I don't want them walking around like Spiderman. Every time you feel something you don't want to just go get an MRI. But I think you have to be careful."

The 24-year-old Hughes is 0-1 with a 13.94 ERA in 2011. He's given up 16 runs on 19 hits in 10 1/3 innings, while allowing four home runs and striking out just three batters.

According to FanGraphs.com, Hughes' fastball has averaged just 89.3 mph this season. His average fastball was 92.6 mph in 2010 and 93.8 in 2009, according to the website.

Hughes was named to the American League All-Star team last season when he finished 18-8 with a 4.18 ERA. However, Hughes struggled mightily in the second half of 2010, going 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA after closing the first half 11-2 with a 3.65 ERA.

Hughes logged a career-high 176 1/3 regular-season innings in 2010, 90 1/3 more than he completed in 2009 (86).

Scouts first began to notice the diminished velocity on Hughes' heater during spring training.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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