Hughes did not have a good Spring Training, but to be fair that is what the time is allocated for, guys to get ready for the regular season.
So, is it too early to jump ship on Hughes?
Yes, but there is no doubt his first outing did not breed any comfort that better things were coming.
Hughes’ fastball lost it’s velocity to the point of being ineffective, as Tigers Miguel Cabrera proved hitting two bombs without a blink off him.
“This is going to be a concern until you see [velocity],” Rothschild said. “When you get going and start to see velocity, you can relax a little.”
Declining velocity is not unheard of and is all to common for pitchers, even ones as young as the 25-year-old Hughes. The reason?
Well, there are many theories from taking on a heavier workload to physical changes.
Renowned pitching coach Alan Jagar claims that continued conditioning of the arm is key to help young pitchers avoid losing their arm speed.
Jagar recently told Tim Keown of ESPN that implementing the Long Toss, Surgical Tubing Exercises, Core Work, Yoga and a pitching coach that takes video to help with sound and supportive mechanics has to be done more.
Jagar also says that when a young pitcher hits the majors being put on restrictive throwing limits is the fastest way for loss of velocity to happen.
Is it incurable?
Not at all, according to Jagar it is just a matter of re-awaken the arm because it is in there somewhere, but it will take time.
Whether this is a case with Hughes I yet to be seen, but it will be addressed sooner than later. Just remember Hughes velocity skyrocketed when he was moved to the bullpen in 2009. Maybe Hughes carried that into last season and now his arm is just overworked. That seems the logical to me.
Regardless, Hughes is talented enough to fix the problem and Rothschild is just the coach a pitcher would want to guide him.
- Phil Hughes’ Lack Of Velocity A Growing Concern For Yankees (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Not UP to speed (nypost.com)
- Phil Hughes looks for answers as he struggles with his velocity (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Dip in velocity makes Hughes vulnerable (mlb.mlb.com)
- Tigers batter Hughes, Colon as Yanks’ sweep start fades (nypost.com)
- Sweeny Says: Yankees’ Teixeira Is On The Mark (newyork.cbslocal.com)