Yankees are out of Phil Hughes excuses Yankees are out of Phil Hughes excuses Yankees are out of Phil Hughes excuses
 

Yankees are out of Phil Hughes excuses


Phil Hughes pitching on April 18, 2008 against...

Phil Hughes pitching on April 18, 2008 against the Baltimore Orioles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes made his second start yesterday afternoon against Los Angeles Angels, and ex-Ranger CJ Wilson.

And Hughes preformed exactly how I thought he would, terribly.

I have received endless criticism from LLP readers about my harsh stance on Hughes not having the stuff to be a starter; and that his 2010 season was a fluke.

Yes, Hughes went 18-8 in 2010 but in 14 of the wins the Yankees scored six or more runs, which was the most run support in baseball. Hughes pitched 176 innings and gave up 25 home-runs, which is not typical for an 18-game winner who made 31 starts.

Hughes was voted to the All-Star team in 2010 as his wins record turned a decent first-half into something it was not. And ever since Hughes pitched in that All-Star game he has not gotten back to being even close to decent again.

The real Hughes was on display in yesterday’s loss; and he couldn’t complete four innings, allowed six runs to score but managed to strike out five Halos in another pathetic outing.

And I hate to gloat…. but I told you so.

Everyone is so focused on how Hughes looks on the radar gun; and yesterday was no different as there were references to his velocity returning to the low to mid 90’s again, but in the grand scheme of things does it really matter?

No it doesn’t because the fact is Hughes cannot finish off hitters because they figure him out, like they did in the second half of 2010, like the Angels did yesterday and like the Rays did a week ago; and that my friend loses games.

Just watching Albert Pujols down 0-2 in his second at-bat, you could tell that he had figured Hughes out; and third pitch he hit a double.

The reality is Hughes is good for about two innings, as he proved successfully during the regular 2009 season coming out of the bullpen.

The question is how many more chances are Cashman and Girardi going to give Hughes when there are other viable options that would give the Yankees a better chance to win?

And that option is David Phelps.

Phelps took over for Hughes in the fourth inning, with the Yankees already down 0-6 and finished the game allowing just one home-run over five and a half innings of work.

Phelps has been a force out of the bullpen this season, as he throws with total confidence and is not scared to challenge guys like Albert Pujols, who could not figure him out.

Phelps is really a starter who has not gotten much attention in the minors, but there is such a thing as a diamond in the rough, like how the Knicks found Jeremy Lin.

This obsession of making Hughes and Chamberlain starters has gone on since 2007, and it has failed.

Ironically, the moment the Yankee brass stopped forcing to keep Joba in the rotation, he found a niche in the bullpen and has been extremely effective in helping the Yankees win games.

If the Yankees overlook what Phelps did yesterday and keep Hughes in the rotation there is a bigger problem here.

Cashman and Girardi’s job is to put the best team on the field and that entails moving Hughes to the bullpen and giving Phelps a shot in the rotation to show what he can do until Pettitte or Pineda returns.

Hughes will be more useful coming out of the bullpen like he was before. And if not, trade him because that 18-game winner everyone is waiting to appear is never coming back; as that guy never really existed in the first place.

Now, I will leave LLP readers with a familiar movie clip, but it is just to right-on not to use it again.

32 Comments

  1. alcan says:

    Ditto! I have been saying the same about Hughes for the longest and even said it back in 2010 when they decided to give Hughes game 2 of the ALCS… i said it was a mistake and that the rangers would tee off on him…. he is prone to give up the long ball and has no out pitch. i get sick and tired of seeing a pitcher with an 0-2 count give up a blast and no one does it more often than Hughes.

  2. Richard Griffith says:

    Hughes was terrible BUT it was 1 game. His velocity is back up 92-93 not 89. I watched him behind home plate in Tampa and he was throwing 90-92 and had success until his pitch count got to high.

    If you want to cut and paste your stale argument on him after every start go ahead but please include a Shout Out if he succeeds. If not Andy and Pineda will force him out.

    I still believe in him but not as long as you were BFF to AJ.

    • I hope Hughes makes me eat my own words, as I will happily but it is not going to happen. He has never been that great, decent for a half a season but nothing since.

      Did you notice the score yesterday??? 7-1….look at Hughes 2010 stats and realize that he got saved by the Yankee bats so much it masked his real potential.

      The Yankees need to put the best team on the field and keep in Hughes in the rotation is being irresponsible at this point.

      • Richard Griffith says:

        Did you notice the score? We scored 1 run.

        And I gave the stats a couple of weeks ago on his 2010 season. Sure he had a lot of run support but he had 16 Quality Starts ( defined as six innings and no more than 3 ER's). In other words he didn't need a lot of run support!!!! So your 6+ run support argument is moot!!!

        So let's evaluate the Now. And if you want to put the best team on the field but Nunez at third, Chavez at 1st. Then you'll get Hughes those 6-7 runs per game you keep harping about!!!

  3. nyyank55 says:

    It's only his second start of the season and already people are starting to give up on him. After 3 years of putting up with Burnett I think we can afford to give Hughes a few more starts to see what happens. His velocity is certainly back as he was popping the glove pretty good yesterday. Unfortunately his command and location are not back. One thing is certain, Hughes is no dummy. He seems like a very intelligent young man who will be able to figure this out. And, unlike most of the posters here, I wish him the best and I am looking forward to the day he makes all of you eat your words.

    • I understand it is his second start but the Yankees have better options that deserve a shot…like David Phelps.

      I hope Hughes makes me eat my own words, as I will happily but it is not going to happen. He has never been that great, decent for a half a season but nothing since.

      Did you notice the score yesterday??? 7-1….look at Hughes 2010 stats and realize that he got saved by the Yankee bats so much it masked his real potential.

      The Yankees need to put the best team on the field and keep in Hughes in the rotation is being irresponsible at this point.

      Last season came down to one game for too many teams, and with this years added Wild Card team the Yankees cannot afford to LOSE ANY GAMES. They want to win the division and keeping Hughes in the rotation could cost them in the lonr-run. SO NO THE YANKEES CANNOT AFFORD TO KEEP HIM ANY LONGER….

      • Richard Griffith says:

        With Pettite and Pineda coming Hughes may be trade bait or trade places with Phelps. Let's please make some decisions on a body of work not just 8.1 innings . Greater baseball minds think Hughes deserves a chance to right the ship. But I agree they won't wait too long like they did with AJ.

        • LLP says:

          Right what ship Richard???? This is Hughes, he hijacked a boat in 2010 and instead of working his ass-off in the off-season he came to 2011 ST not in baseball shape. Who knows if that got teammates annoyed by his lack of focus, as I certainly would wonder how motivated the guy was. Hughes can only blame himself for the position he is in, as he could have used 2010 as a stepping stool to improve on but instead he took it for granted. He needed to work on a third pitch to strike hitters out with after 2010 and he didn't….

      • Richard Griffith says:

        PLEASE explain how Hughes in 2010 could have 15 Quality Starts ( defined as pitching at least 6 innings and no more than 3 ER's) yet according to you had 6 great starts?

        What does adding an additional Wild Card Team have to do with anything? If we won 97 games with a slumping A-rod, Tex and a lousy pitcher named AJ 11-11, 5.13 ERA (in case you forgot) I think we will be just fine.

        • LLP says:

          First off, A-rod was hurt, Tex had 39 HRs and 111 RBIs in 2011, which is a slump I will take any day of the week and Burnett was still more effective that Hughes was. Plus when the Yankees signed Burnett they knew what they were getting….it was no shocker that he was sporadic. Hughes has proved to be inefficient, as he struggles to win if the bats only score 3 or 4 or 5 runs, which should not happen to an 18-game winner. Look at Nova's development….he has his bad moments, as every pitcher does, but he continually shows improves and shows he can handle being a starter; and Hughes numbers do not.

      • Richard Griffith says:

        What does adding an additional Wild Card Team have to do with anything? If we won 97 games with a slumping A-rod, Tex and a lousy pitcher named AJ 11-11, 5.13 ERA (in case you forgot) I think we will be just fine.

        • LLP says:

          The extra Wild Card makes winning the division a must, as who wants to be one of the WC teams and play in a one-game, winner takes all the day after the regular season. Also, the AL East is much better this season and that puts an emphasis on not handing the ball to a guy who counts on the hitters as much as Hughes does. There are ample substitutes this season and Hughes obviously needs more practice and fine-tuning.

    • LLP says:

      Brunett was signed with a well documented track record of killing the Yanks and Red Sox; that is it. Hughes has proven to be ineffective as a starter…..that is a fact.

      I think everyone was hoping the best for Hughes after 2010, as I certainly was but the problem was Hughes didn't care enough to capitalize off that decent success, which jeopardized his ability to preform in 2011 and he lost an entire season. Hughes velocity is not fast enough to afford him to throw it directly over the plate, as batters will take advantage and have. Look at Verlander, who won 18 games in 2010 too, he throws 100 mph and that is when velocity can be an excuse not 92-94 mph and that is being generous.

      I hope Hughes makes me eat my words….but when do you think that will happen? Should the Yankees just keep a pitcher in the rotation who is clearly ineffective when there are ample other guys with talent and potential that haven't even been giving a chance to showcase it, just so we can pray the "real" Hughes appears? FYI….this is the real HUGHES, the numbers prove it.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    Was waiting for this article. And I agree completely. Hughes is not suited to being a starter. His only period of prolonged success has come out of the bullpen. And before people play a one-note opera about 2010, he had 6 great starts, a slew of mediocre ones, and then was pretty awful after the all-star break. One good half does not a starting pitcher make. In 4+ years with the club he has been injured, ineffective, good out of the pen, progressively hittable as a starter, out of shape, injured, terrible, and now this. I'm sorry but 4 years (not just 8.1 innings over the last 2 starts) is enough to know what we're looking at with this guy.
    When Pineda and Pettitte are rotation ready, your starting 5 will be Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Nova and Pineda. That will make Garcia and Hughes expendable. With Phelps pitching well I'm not sure of the need to stockpile starters, so that makes both Garcia and Hughes trade bait. One of them will go for sure. I'm thinking Hughes will have the most trade value being the much younger pitcher.

    • Richard Griffith says:

      PLEASE explain how Hughes in 2010 could have 15 Quality Starts ( defined as pitching at least 6 innings and no more than 3 ER's) yet according to you had 6 great starts?

      The game logs are there if you care to take a peak. You can dislike his performance Now but why distort the Facts?

      • LLP says:

        15 quality starts but how much run support did he get in those games???? Hughes averaged 6.75 run support in 2010, and if you look at the stats you would clearly see that his QS were not clutch and I was wrong Hughes only had 3 starts that resulted in a WIN for him when the bats did not score 6 or more runs. It is easy to leave a pitcher in for a QS when the bats have a 6+ run lead over the opponent; Girardi is not going to waste the bullpen because he doesn't have too no matter who is pitching.

    • LLP says:

      THANK YOU Tanned Tom…..Richard did you read this comment??

      I would rather have Garcia because he can still pitch in big games, and get through 5 innings and that means the bullpen doesn't get over-worked to death every five days.

  5. marcys says:

    You are so right, Lady! It's not just this game, it's 2 seasons at least! Nobody should rag on you for this, you're smart and correct, and Girardi the unintelligent (I am being polite) is wrong. At the end of last season, way back, even before Spring Training, he said he felt confident he had his rotation already. At the time I groaned, and although there've been a few surprises (like Andy Pettitte–and where is he???), Joe 2 is basically still clueless.

    Keep telling it like it is!

    • Richard Griffith says:

      How many wins did the Yanks have last year. 97???? Pleassse

    • LLP says:

      Thank you marcys, as I hear you but I think Cashman has some say in this situation too. Also, I like Girardi and he did what he could with what he had but that is not the case right now as the Yankees have young talent that is being wasted just so we can see if Hughes can pitch more than 3.5 innings. People keep saying Hughes has regressed, but from what his decent first-half of 2010??

      So many Yankee fans who will would rip their own mother if she gave up a homer cannot let go of the 18-games Hughes won in 2010; and in reality it was the dominate hitting that deserved the majority of the credit.

  6. Richard Griffith says:

    The 8.1 innings was Phelps. I think most fans would know Hughes has been around a bit longer.

  7. Frank Spero says:

    i saw that game and between him and garcia aka (burnette ) that asshole of cashman should have gotten pitching no ifs ands or buts about it now what are they going to do

    • Richard Griffith says:

      Andy to the rescue.

    • LLP says:

      Well, Frank I think that it is time to give Phelps a shot as he is really a starter and he is the same age as Hughes. It does worry me a little because Phelps is SOOOO useful as a long reliever, but so was Hughes back in 2009 and I think the bullpen is overall strong enough to handle a switch. The rotation could benefit from Phelps, as he only has to pitch 5 innings for the swap to be considered successful. Hughes doesn't deserve to be in the rotation any longer in my opinion, as he was penciled in before Spring Training and when did ST stats become such a declaration? Hughes had the best ST results and where is that getting the Yankees now? He showed up out of shape a year ago, which made 2011 a total bust and yet the Yankees were blowing sunshine up his a** after hsi second ST performance……there are ample substitutes for Hughes now and it is time to use them.

  8. ken says:

    i am so sick of you a-holes bashing the yankee of the day, i don't think you saw the same game i did. Hughes made two bad pitches up both breaking balls, it happens. what about nunez misplay which led to the first three runs with two outs and i can go on and on. If it isn't hughes its pienda or jeter or a-rod or garcia or yada yada yada. you all should bend over grab your ass and pull real hard that sound you hear will be your ignorant head popping out and when it does try opening your eyes for a change. let the players play, get off there backs with all the crap you lay on and you know what it will be worth at least ten in the win column. just be thankful we don't have the bucs team.

    • LLP says:

      Hey Ken……do not pigeon hole me in with Yankee haters because I am furthest from that and if you took the time to read my blog you would know this.

      Hughes made two bad pitches but he was up 0-2 on the batter in both, and it wasn't the pitches it was the fact that he is hittable. Nunez made an error vs. Rays but he can flat out hit, steal bases and in clutch situations. What has Hughes done as a starter to help the team win???? It is frustrating because there are replacements now that deserve a shot because things can't get any worse by giving another guy a chance. The odds of Hughes putting the team in a whole by 5+ runs before the fourth inning are high….and it depletes the bullpen.

      So, next time you make a comment about me please do your research as I support the Yankees as a team but when the best one is not being put on the field every night it starts to become frustrating. And Hughes has become that guy.

    • alcan says:

      really, a-hole, I have been following theYanks for over 40 years and currently live in Florida where i get to see most of their ST. I used to be a big Hughes fan but seeing him up close and watching him come into St last year loooking like a middle age man says a lot for a guy who was suppose to be all that and a bag chip. Hughes is a waste, he is done. BTW, I am replying after watching him trying his hardest to lose to the twinkies… Sure, they can play, that is what they get paid for but as fans, paying fans, we have our right to critisize. Now go get me a bottle of water and was my RV.

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