Showing posts with label Phil Hughes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phil Hughes. Show all posts

Thursday, April 15, 2010

4/15- Angles at Yankees: Game 9

  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Swisher RF
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Marcus Thames DH
  8. Curtis Granderson CF
  9. Randy Winn LF
RHP Phil Hughes  
(8-3, 3.03 ERA in '09)

ANGELS (3-6)
  1. Erick Aybar SS
  2. Bobby Abreu RF
  3. Torii Hunter CF
  4. Hideki Matsui DH
  5. Kendry Morales 1B
  6. Howie Kendrick 2B
  7. Mike Napoli 2B
  8. Brandon Wood 3B
  9. Reggie Willits LF
LHP Scott Kazmir
(10-9, 4.89 ERA in '09)
(images via ESPN)

TV: My9/MLB Network
NOTES: This is Phil Hughes season debut and also the rubber game vs the Angles. All three of the Yankees series have been split to 1-1 and the Yankees have won the last game everytime so far. Hopefully they can keep it up!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Return Part 2

In an extended spring training game yesterday, Phil Hughes struck out 12 while pitching 8 and 1/3 innings. The Chuck Knoblog has been a Philiever since the start, this strong showing before his return as the Yankees 5th starter has me excited once more. During this simulated game Hughes only gave up 3 hits while throwing 70 out of his 100 pitches for strikes. He said he was "very happy" with his control. Hughes was lights out last year in the pen but had a poor postseason performance. Phil will be returning to the team today for the game against the Sox. He will make one more spring start on saturday before he makes his season debut. Mark you calendars his first start (the 2nd coming) will be April 15 against Angles. Not only are we looking forward to the 15th, Hughes wants to prove himself as well:

"I'm looking forward to the 15th. It's the first step of this year, and I'm looking forward to starting off well and keeping it going."

This could be a breakout year for Phil who spent the offseason improving his changeup to add to his arsenal of fastball cutter and that curve. He is still working on it:

"I don't think I'm done working on it, it's never a finished process. I still feel like I can mature and throw my pitches in different scenarios, different counts. Now, with four pitches, I can really pitch."

If what he did last year wasn't really pitching then this year is going to be interesting.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Checking Out With a Win

I'll be making my getaway to New Hampshire to spend some time with the family tomorrow. So, this was the last game I'll be seeing for the rest of the week. It was a good one though.

A.J. came out of the gate throwing heat. He was thrwoing 95-97 mph consistently and it served him well early on. When that started to fail him, he turned to a vicious breaking ball. Although the score was close, the way Burnett pitched made it feel like the lead was much larger.

He's been fantastic since that start against Boston and I pray he stays healthy because right now A.J. is a guy worth watching every start. He K'd seven in as many innings and gave up only two runs. Much of that was due to the fact that he limited his walk total to three which is a major improvement for Burnett. He was challenging hitters, rather than nibbling and the results were fantastic. The bullpen was just as good as well. The two Phil's worked together for an easy eighth inning and Mariano had a 1-2-3 ninth inning while K'ing two.

The offense didn't score to many runs but were solid and four runs sould be enough to win a game. Cano opened up the scoring by leading off the second with a homer. Its been a long time since Robi's flashed his power. It wasn't that long ago that some people were talking about 30 home run potential with him and its nice to see him show some of that again. The fifth inning was what sealed the deal. Brain Tallet started the inning by walking Brett Gardner, big mistake. The Toronto lefty was clearly distracted by Gardner throughout the rest of the inning. He ended up walking Mark Texeira with the bases loaded and throwing a wild pitch to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Vernon Wells got the Jays a run closer in the following inning with a solo homer but that was all they would get and A-Rod would tack on another run with a ninth inning homer off of Jeremy Accardo anyway.

Great bounceback win after a clunker by Sabathia and the Yankees are rolling right now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Eighth Inning

No this isn't a post about Joba. It actually has nothing to do with him. This is about me wondering why Brian Bruney is still be trusted with that critical inning while Phil Hughes gets mop up duty, cleaning up other guy's messes.

Bruney was a revelation back in April but since then has not been the anchor that we've been waiting for. As a result of his struggles his ERA has shot up to 3.94. His FIP is still low but not what it was a week or so ago. I'm hesitant to throw Bruney right into the fire immediately after returning from his injury.

Meanwhile Phil Hughes has been trending the opposite way. As a starter he has mixed results. Some great starts, others were mediocore, and he has that one awful one that caused his ERA to balloon. Since switching to the bullpen he's been nothing but great. His numbers are all solidly above average now. His K/BB is well over 2.00, his ERA is 4. 34, and his FIP is down to 4.43. Take out that one awful start and his numbers easily match Bruney's. Still, for whatever reason he's not being entrusted with key innings.

Their are some very strong arguments for moving Hughes back to AAA, chief among these is the argument that if he doesn't build up his innings total, his innings limit next year will prevent him from moving into the rotation for the whole year. I believe that its worth that small sacrifice to take advantage of his dominating pitching out of the bullpen right now. However, if he's not going to be trusted with big innings then why bother keeping him here?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I'm skipping the recap today. Noboy really wants to rehash that game. Instead I'm going to focus on Wang and Phil Hughes. Wang put together his second consecutive good outing and has probably earned himself a little bit of breathing room. Not that five innings, three runs is anything to get excited over. However, considering where he was a couple starts ago its a major step forward. He was at around 60 pitches when he came out and its conceivable that if they weren't playing in the National League, he would have gone seven or eight innings. Not that it would have mattered in the end with the Yankees floundering offense. If he gets crushed in his next start he might be forced out of the rotation but he seems like he's figured things out and might be back to pitching like the old Chien Ming Wang. Yet again, his next start is going to be a big one to see if he can follow up on his success.

Hughes also pitched extremely well again. I'm sure he's keeping Wang on a short leash. He's been just dominating and his numbers are all around very good. Its only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt and Hughes finds his spot in the rotation. I don't think Phil is ever going back to Scranton at this point. He's been the rare bright spot during the Yankees downward spiral.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, tonight during Joba's start we will be resurrecting the liveblog. I assume we'll start around game time, 7:00. Feel free to join us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yankees Lose

It doesn't seem like these Yankees ever really have normal games. Its always either a dramatic comeback win or as painful a loss as they can make it.

Wang pitched fine for once. He kept the Yankees in the game and I assume he will get another start (against the Braves?) but I already adressed Wang's performance. The bullpen also came through big. Phil Hughes continued to establish himself as a reliable bullpen arm with another two shutout innings. In the bullpen he can rely solely on his fastball and curveball rather than being forced to rely on his weaker pitches like his changeup and cutter.

So that's it for the pitching, the real problem was the incredible lack of offense. For the first eight innings nothing happened. Robinson Cano (who may be starting to heat up a bit) hit a solo homer for their only run but besides that they didn't give Yankees fans much to root for, A-Rod got some boos but that's not even notable anymore. Of course, as these Yankees always seem to do. They came alive in the 9th. Johnny Damon led off the inning with a home run to bring the score to 3-2. Thus waking up all of the sleeping Yankee fans at the stadium and nearly inciting a comeback win. Mark Teixeira hit a single with one out and Brett Gardner pinch ran for him. After two stolen bases Gardner ended up on third for Alex Rodriguez with only one out. Instead of getting teh walkoff home run everybody at the stadium was expecting though, he works a walk. Setting up a game ending double play from Robinson Cano.

Another ugly loss but at 1:00 today they have a chance to reverse that. Win today and everybody forgets about it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sergio Mitre's Return

One of the quiet signings that Cashman and co. made last winter was Sergio Mitre. Back when they first signed him I made a post saying he had some potential to be a solid fill in for them. Well, now with Pettitte and Wang both struggling and Ian Kennedy hurt their may be a need for him. He was suspended for violating the PED policy for the first chunk of the year but now he's pitching for Scranton. His first start was excellent and if the rotation continues to have problems, look for him to get a call-up.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Phil Hughes

Do the Yankees actually plan on using Hughes in the bullpen? Its been seven days since he last pitched and it doesn't seem like it. If they're not going to use him then why bother leaving him up in the ML's?

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Pitching Surplus

Here's my crazy idea for the day. I've been tossing this idea around in my head for a while but the time has never been right for it. The Yankees right now have a very brief but valuable starting pitching surplus. Burnett, Sabathia, and Pettitte of course have spots set in the rotation, leaving three guys for one hole. The Yankees are going to have to figure out what to do with Wang, Joba, and Hughes. First of all, lets rule out Joba to the bullpen. Of the three he's pitched best in the rotation and he was a bonafide number one starter last year. So, this leaves Hughes and Wang battling for one spot. We can leave Wang in the bullpen and keep Hughes in the rotation, send Hughes to AAA and move Wang to the bullpen, or put Hughes in the bullpen and move Wang to the rotation. Right now, I think that's the best move for the Yankees.

Hopefully, this would not be a permanent move for Phil but it makes sense in the short term for a few reasons which I'll adress in quick and easy bulleted form.
  • He clearly has nothing left to prove in AAA. Minor leaguers are helpless against him and their's nothing left to learn from that level. This way he can build up his innings totals and still get valuable ML experience.
  • Wang had been one of the best pitchers in baseball for three years straight before getting hurt last year. Since he's come back he seems to have found himself again and does not belong wasting away in the bullpen.
  • Hughes has been mediocore thus far in the rotation. He has shown flashes of greatness but, like most 23 year olds, has been inconsistent. Their is no reason to believe he is any better than any of the Yankees' other five starters right now.
  • The bullpen needs some help from somewhere. Having another guy, in addition to Aceves, that can go multiple innings in a big spot would be huge. Hughes has been mediocore in the rotation but mediocore starters often dominate in the bullpen.

Keep in mind, this would be a very temporary solution. Somebody will get hurt eventually and Hughes can then switch back into the rotation. Even if nobody gets hurt, this would be a one year solution until a spot opens up next year. Its worth a shot and I think it would solve a lot of the Yankees' problems. Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hughes Dominates

This was a big start for Hughes with the spectre of Wang hanging over him and he delivered in the best way possible. Obviously the offense also murdered Texas pitching but Hughes was the story yesterday. I was particularly impressed by his 3 straight K's to get out his only jam of the day.

Also Bruney is going on the DL and Robertson will come up to replace him.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

So how awesome was that?

That is, seeing two young homegrown pitchers throw back to back gems like that. Not to mention Mark Melancon's impressive showing. A lot is going to be made of Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Albaladejo's near collapse but the real story is that two potential future aces in Joba and Hughes and a potential future closer put up 14 innings of one run ball. I know its only two games but to see them do that was pretty cool.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Return

According to numerous sources Phil Hughes is making his return to the Bronx as a replacement for Chien-Ming Wang. Two years ago Hughes wowed the majors coming into the league throwing smoke. Last year the Yankees were counting on Phil in the rotation but injuries prevented that. He is scheduled to start Tuesday against fellow youngster Edwin Jackson. With the pressure off him, I expect a stunning performance on Tuesday. You also have to remember that Hughes is only 22 which gives him a lot of time to grow.
Here is a quote from the Skipper:
"Hughesie's been throwing the ball really well,"
Nuff Said.
Here are Hughes' numbers from Triple A:
3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in three starts. He has struck out 19 and walked three in 191/3 innings. 19:3 K/BB Ratio

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Wang Question

We all know that Chien-Ming Wang has been awful this season, to say the least. He threw 91 pitches in extended spring training today, 70 for strikes. He allowed nine hits and four earned runs, but as Pete Abraham noted, the infields in extended spring are not in very good condition and are played by 18 and 19 year olds. What is more important is that Wang threw a lot of strikes today, and got eleven strikeouts. However, the 18 year old caveat still applies here, so even that does not tell us much. The only thing of substance we can draw from this appearence is this quote (from the article linked above):
He doesn’t have the arm strength he had last year,” Contreras said. “But he hasn’t pitched in eight months prior to this spring training. What I saw today, he had the best slider I’ve seen since I’ve known Chien-Ming. The slider has improved and the changeup is very good. His offspeed pitches are coming in really well.
This tells me that Wang is making progress but is still not where he needs to be. He obviously is not fully recovered from that eight month layoff, and he needs to build up arm strength. The best solution here is a DL stint. Since it would be retroactive to last saturday, he would only miss two starts if he was ready by then, but he would probably need a bit more time. The obvious candidate to replace him is Phil Hughes. Though he struggled early last season, he is fully healthy now and seems to have rediscovered the stuff that made him one of baseball's top pitching prospects. He currently has a 1.86 ERA in Scranton, and is lined up to take Wang's place in the rotation. From Chad Jennings' Blog:
Phil Hughes (right) struck out seven batters tonight: Two on fastballs, one on a cutter and four on a curveball that was much improved from his previous two outings. Hughes said he's been focused on the curveball during his side sessions, and felt like he got the feel for it heading into this start. It was sharp, and he was willing to throw it in just about any count, including three-ball counts when he needed to drop it for a strike.

“His curveball was outstanding," pitching coach Scott Aldred said. "Command of it was good. Break was good. He used it in good situations. To me he just pitched a much better game. He didn’t just go after guys with his fastball, then use his secondary. He mixed it up real good. No patterns. That was probably the best that I’ve seen him this year.”

If Hughes' curveball is truly back to where it was in this game, I think he will contribute immediately.

Monday, March 23, 2009

News and Notes

  • A-Rod is caught up in yet another stripper themed scandal.
  • Girardi says that "If we were to break today, Nady would be my right fielder,"
  • A-Rod wants the other 103 names should remain anonymous.
  • Yankees fall behind the Phills 5-2 after playing 6.
  • Hughes is chilling in triple A, for now.
  • Curt Schilling has officially retired; Thank God all mighty! He said overweight in his goodbye post, he was not referring to himself however. (I would do a witty photoshop but my macbook is in repair)
  • The Yankees have released the concessions changes for the new stadium. Likes: Johnny Rockets, Garlic Fries and Boars Head meats; Dislikes: Pepsi is now served over Coke, Blasphemy!
  • Check out Adeladie 35's photo-stream for some cool outer shots of the stadium. (pictured right)
  • Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Do or Die Time for Hughes?

    A lot of Yankees fans have already given up on the player who was once the number one pitching prospect in baseball. Personally, I think that's a little ridiculous and I didn't think he was ready last year. Now he won't even crack the starting five. However, he's bound to get a chance later in the year. The list of players who failed in their first two years in the major leagues and went on to success is considerably shorter. If Hughes has another bad year will he ever become an anchor for the Yankees in the rotation?

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Wrapping Up the First Spring Training Game


    Yankees: 6
    Blue Jays: 1

  • A-Rod and Gardener both hit homers.
  • Veras gave up the one run but he got the win.
  • Brett Tomko started and pitched two shut-out innings
  • Yankees added new BP away Jerseys (pictured above and below)
  • Tomorrow's game will be on YES and will be shown at 1:15PM; Phil Hughes is starting

  • Sunday, January 18, 2009

    In Retrospect....

    Thank god the Yankees didn't trade for Johan Santana last winter.

    No that is not a typo. My point is that Johan Santana's contract is going to come back to bite the Mets in the end. Largely ignored in the debates raging over Santana was the fact that he was going to endup costing somebody a ton of money. Here`s his RCA's for the past three years:

    2006- 3.10 (79 runs in 229 innings)

    2007- 3.19 (77 runs in 217 innings)

    2008- 4.02 (101 runs in 226 innings)

    Just so you know, I checked the 2008 stats three times and they are correct. If you`re suddenly doubting the validity of this stat then I`d like to note that I did predict Barry Zito's sudden collapse using this stat.

    I think by now you know what the replacement level guy does so here's what Santana is worth compared to him:

    2006- 61 runs, 6.1 wins, 33.55 million dollars

    2007- 55 runs, 5.5 wins, 30.25 million dollars

    2008- 37 runs, 3.7 wins, 20.35 million dollars

    This guy has been steadily declining since 2006. In fact, a quick glance at the stats shows that even 2006 was a drop-off from the previous year. In fact, every year has been inferior to his first full year in 2004. So why? He`s still pretty young.

    Maybe it has something to do with the ridiculous amount of innings he`s thrown each year. Anyway, since 2004 his K/BB has been dropping fairly steadily, his LD% has risen, his K/9 has plummeted, and his BB/9 keeps climbing. For whatever reason he hit an early decline and its only going to get worse. He wasn't worth much more than the 17 million he earned last year and if he doesn't reverse this trend he`s going to end up weighing down the Mets payroll in coming years. Its only a matter of time before he gets hurt and misses a good chunk of a season as well.

    No matter how Hughes, Jackson, and Kennedy do, unless Johan can bounceback, the Yanks were smart in their restraint. With the Sabathia signing, they got a better pitcher anyway and are in a better position for the future.

    Sunday, November 9, 2008

    Yankee Auction to benefit The Domestic Violence Project

    I just got an email from the Trenton Clubhouse manger, Tom. Read it for yourself: 

    I have been a clubhouse manager in the minor leagues for 20 years, the last four employed by the Yankees. For many years I worked for the Canton/Akron AA affiliate of the Indians. 
    About a week before opening day in 1997, my wife's sister was murdered by her husband
    in the most senseless, tragic act of domestic violence. For a long time it was all I could do
    to deal with the ramifications of this tragedy, and to do my best to raise my late sister-in-law's son. 

    Two years ago Phil Hughes was the most prominent player on my team in Trenton. I've never been much for collecting autographs, but toward the end of that season I figured I could ask Phil to sign a couple of balls for me that I'd auction off for the local domestic violence shelter. Phil was happy to oblidge, but about ten minutes later he came back to me saying, "Tonto, the balls are only going to bring about $50 each, but I've got some other stuff that would  be pretty good."

    By game time that night he had loaded up my desk with game used hats, gloves, spikes, photos...all signed. I raised a little over $2600 which at Phil's request we split between the shelter and a local Trenton youth baseball group.

    Last year I collected what I could throughout the season and did the auction on Ebay, raising a little over $5000 for the shelter, much of it on some great stuff Joba signed for me.

    This year I hope to do better, and am asking you to drop a plug and link for the auction on your site to help me do that. We both know that there are a lot of unscrupulous characters out there, so if you are thinking about helping me with a plug but have a concern, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide a contact with the shelter, and the Trenton Thunder who can verify that this is 100% legit.

    100% of the profit from the sale of the items goes to the shelter, and each item comes with a certificate of authenticity from the Yankees AA affiliate Trenton Thunder. 

    Here are a few pertinent links. You may note that the team and the shelter have already posted links to the auction on their sites.

    the auction page:

    Trenton Thunder:

    The Domestic Violence Project:

    I began listing the items a few days ago and more will pop up in the next few days. The bidding will go through approximately November 20th. Among the many Trenton Thunder related items I have some great signed bats and balls from premier prospects of other teams, along with a few items signed by Duke Snider, Joba, Tino Martinez, Jim Rice, Roy White, Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel, and a beautiful bat signed by Reggie.

    Any plug/help would be deeply appreciated. If you have any questions, please e-mail me or give me a call (330-224-3660).


    Tom Kackley
    Canton, Ohio
    Help out a great cause and pickup some Autographed Yankee gear in the process!

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    More Peavy

    Jake Peavy has said that their are only three 3 AL teams he would waive his no trade clause to play for. One of them could be the Yankees. Again, I don't think any trade would be worth it for Peavy.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Hughes Impresses

    Hughes is probably fighting for a 2009 rotation spot right now and he looked great. He threw 7 innings, gave up 1 run, walked none, and had five strikeouts. This is the second solid start in a row for Hughes. At this point he has to be at least considered for a rotation spot next year.