The excuses for Hughes poor performance made by YES Network’s Michael Kay and Paul O’Neil during the game were annoying but completely legitimate. But what bothered me was how recklessly the Yankees have treated Hughes.
O’Neil asserted how Hughes missed all of Spring Training due to a bulging disk in his back, which is true.
So, why Hughes was on the bump in the first place?
Last weekend the Yankees called Hughes to make an “emergency” start vs. the Tigers instead of making a rehab start in Triple-A. Hughes hadn’t faced live hitters since last season, which makes the minor league start almost imperative.
Hughes started in place of Phelps who was originally scheduled to start but got moved to the bullpen, again.
How Girardi thought starting Hughes fresh off an injury that held him out all spring was a good idea is beyond me. Putting a pitcher against a home-run happy line-up like the Tigers in his first outing back is plain out reckless.
Not to mention Hughes penchant for injuries, which makes the decision look even more irresponsible on the Yankees end.
Just to clarify, by no means am I blaming Hughes for his poor starts at least not completely.
Admittedly, watching the Orioles hit three bombs off Hughes yesterday did muster up some bad memories. I couldn’t help but think of the 35 homers Hughes gave up in 2012. It was the second most homers given up by a pitcher in baseball last season.
I am not saying Hughes is ineffective all the time but along with Ivan Nova the backend of the Yankees rotation is a mess. One of them has to go, where I don’t care, but Phelps deserves a chance now.
Here are Hughes and Phelps stats so far this season, a small sample size but still counts:
|BB||base on ball|
|ERA||earned run average|
I believe Phelps will only get better if the Yankees would give him multiple starts in a row.
The inconsistency and uncertainty of going from the bullpen to the rotation back to the bullpen does nothing to help a prospect’s talent mature.
Remember a guy named Joba Chamberlain?
The bottom line is the time for Phelps to get a real chance is now.
Go buy some Yankees tickets to see Phil Hughes pitch with your own eyes.