From Bryan Hoch of Yankees.com:
The Yankees’ catching tandem was ready to hit the streets after another early afternoon at camp when Jose Molina dropped by with a tidbit for Jorge Posada.
Having just completed receiving Phil Hughes’ latest bullpen session, an impressed Molina told Posada, “You know what? Phil looks like he has more pop.”
Posada concurred, and the backstops aren’t the only ones who have noticed.
This offseason, Hughes reported regularly to the Yankees’ training facility on Himes Avenue, even while general manager Brian Cashman was fielding calls from Twins counterpart Bill Smith, dabbling with a potential deal for Johan Santana.
It helps, of course, that Hughes heeded the call for better fitness. Girardi let it be known that Spring Training ’08 would not be a country club, and Hughes showed up ready to go. Spending weeks over at the Minor League complex under the supervision of pitching coach Dave Eiland have been paying dividends early.
“He’s in great shape,” Girardi said. “All the reports on him that I saw from when he was working down at Himes said he was different. He’d worked really hard.”
All the reports on him that I saw from when he was working down at Himes said he was different. He’d worked really hard.
Just another indicator that there’s some validity towards the claims that Phil Hughes had a questionable work ethic in the past.
Hopefully, this will now be a case were a leopard can permanently change his spots.