In Hughes’ first three starts in 2011 he pitched a total of 10 innings, giving up 16 earned runs, four home-runs and only had three strikeouts. He became a liability to the team, so Hughes went back and forth from the DL for the rest of the season with everything from a shoulder issue to a herniated disc.
For the rest of 2011, Hughes made 11 more starts for a total of 14; he posted a 5-5 record, with a 5.79 ERA, giving up 48 earned runs, nine home-runs, while walking 27, and fanning 47 batters over 74 innings pitched. And FYI, the team scored 39 runs total in Hughes five wins.
The Yankees did not pay Hughes $2.7 million for those numbers, so why did he get such a big raise to pitch, or at least try again in 2012?
The whole thing just boggles my mind since ESPN New York reported back in November that GM Brian Cashman knew that Hughes did not train properly last off-season, and he showed up out of shape. Hughes definitely fooled me into thinking that was added extra “muscle” at the start of 2011 Spring Training, now that it was confirmed he was part of the “fat camp” crew.
No offense but I am not a Hughes believer. Everyone is always talking about his 2010 campaign, but Hughes got massive run support as in 14 of those wins the Yankee bats scored 6+ runs, which masked over his genuine lack of pitching ability.
Also, Hughes did take a dive in the second half of 2010, as his strikeouts went from 91 to 55, even if his 29 walks and 41 earned runs stayed identical to the first half. He also pitched 25 less innings, lost four more games and pitched three fewer games after the All-Star break. So, his slide was slow but steady.
Hughes finished the first half with an 11-2 record, posting a 3.65 ERA in 16 starts. After that, Hughes finished 7-6, with a 4.90 ERA over his remaining 13 starts. His SO/9 innings went from an 8.1 to 6.6 in a blink, and things have only gone downhill for Hughes ever since.
What Hughes Needs To Do In 2012?
This season, Hughes better realize that unless he is literally perfect from the first day of Spring Training on, or he will be traded, and maybe worst by getting sent down to Triple A.
Nothing is more infuriating, and discouraging when you hear a young player chalk up his poor performance to lack of effort in the off-season.
It speaks volumes of Hughes’ character, and fortunately for the Yankees he is not talented enough to get away with not working, like a lot of players can at a ripe 25-years-old.
Hughes will have to work overtime just to keep his head above water, unless he doesn’t care to stay in the Majors. And if he wants to stay in Yankee pinstripes, he needs to take what he considers working hard and double it.
Hughes lacks a third, put-away pitch, as he cannot rely his a low 90’s fastball and a diminished curveball. He was supposedly working on his change-up two years ago, but obviously not hard enough.
Coming out of the bullpen, as a reliever, was the best Hughes has pitched because he exhibited self-confidence and threw hard. I am sure sans the worry about having to get through no more than an inning, two at most allowed for that but so what since it worked.
Overall I can honestly say that Hughes hasn’t presented any reason for me to believe in his abilities to be a fulltime starter, at least not yet.
The bottom line is if Hughes wants to be a capable and successful starter he has a lot of work to do, and that is why giving him a half-million dollar raise for tanking doesn’t make much sense to me.
Mark my words; Phil Hughes will not be in the 2012 Yankees starting rotation, not counting if injuries dictate otherwise, but certainly not on his own merit.
- Hitting One Out of The Ballpark …… (tophatal.wordpress.com)
- Colorado Rockies Offseason 2012: Should Yankees’ Phil Hughes Be Targeted? (denver.sbnation.com)
- Hughes and Yankees agree at $3.2 million (newsok.com)
- Yankees, Hughes Agree To One-Year Contract (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- New York Yankees: 8 Headlines You Don’t Want To See In 2012 (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: Matsui Rumors Are Not Funny For My Dad (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: How To Be Insanely Sane By Doing Nothing (ladylovespinstripes.com)