Girardi challenges Hughes to step up work ethic

RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer Published:

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged pitcher Phil Hughes to step up his work ethic, saying the pitcher wasn't in great shape before an injured filled 2011 season but reported in much better condition for spring training this year.

The 25-year-old right-hander was 5-5 last year after going 18-8 in 2010.

Hughes was scheduled for his first spring training appearance later Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton.

Says Girardi: "I think you can tell by the way he came into camp that there's a little bit more of an edge." The manager adds: "He knows that there is competition, and nothing is going to be handed to you."