• The Hughes Health Question

    Posted by on February 28th, 2008 · Comments (21)

    In 2004, Phil Hughes missed playing time due to both a stubbed/broken toe and some elbow soreness. In 2005, Hughes missed playing time due to shoulder tendonitis and a “tired arm.” And, last season (2007) Hughes missed playing time due to both a severe hamstring pull and ankle sprain. That’s three out of four seasons where an injury took Hughes out of action. Reviewing this, it’s encouraging to hear that Hughes has stepped up his conditioning efforts.

    So, what do you think Yankees fans? Do you think Hughes will be less burdened by injuries now – and going forward in his career? Or, is Hughes going to be one of those pitchers who will always have his ups-and-downs in terms of being healthy enough to pitch?

    Comments on The Hughes Health Question

    1. MJ
      February 28th, 2008 | 1:32 pm

      I don’t think there’s any way to predict that. I mean, it’s not like Ben Sheets or Rich Harden are loafers. Worrying about it or trying to predict if Hughes will be injury-prone or not is probably not a good way to spend one’s time.

    2. Rich
      February 28th, 2008 | 1:34 pm

      Cashman has said that the reason Hughes was shutdown was never do to arm issues, but merely to maintain his innings caps as he transitioned to MLB from high school baseball.

      So the premise of the question is false.

    3. February 28th, 2008 | 2:05 pm

      ~~~So the premise of the question is false.~~~

      Rich – the arm injuries are legit.

      See: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/040726pulse.html

      “Oppenheimer said the organization’s first-round pick in 2004, prep righthander Philip Hughes, had some elbow soreness that had led the organization to stop him from throwing in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. “There’s nothing wrong; there’s no problem with it. We’re just being cautious,” Oppenheimer said.”


      From: http://www.nysportsday.com/news/ty/1121332134.html

      “Hughes started the season 7-1 with a 1.97 ERA in 12 starts with Single-A Charleston, was named the starting pitcher for the Southern Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, but withdrew from the game after being placed on the disabled list on June 17 due to mild inflammation in his shoulder.”

    4. Mike
      February 28th, 2008 | 2:18 pm

      The Yankees seem to baby their prospects – especially the pitchers. You cannot predict if players are going to get hurt a lot or not. Look at Griffey. He was healthy for 10+ years and was a monster and ever since he hasn’t been able to stay on the field. I think Hughes will be OK especially since the Yankees have had such a hair trigger for pulling young pitchers off the field if something is afoot.

    5. Rich
      February 28th, 2008 | 2:26 pm


      FWIW, I have an e-mail from Cashman in which he says otherwise.

    6. Bradley
      February 28th, 2008 | 2:45 pm

      Hughes will be fine.

      Last years injuries were freak accidents.

      Plus, we have to remember that he is a rare talent that was pitching well above his years. Therefore, the type of soreness that a veteran would pitch through. Hughes would not be allowed because he was a teenager for the majority of his minor league career.

      You are far too quick to post negative stuff on Hughes.

    7. Sherard
      February 28th, 2008 | 3:22 pm

      I agree with Mike here, and I had a brief email exchange with Pete Abraham over it because he seems to want to put Hughes in the “injury prone” category over these issues.

      In 2004 Hughes was 18 and coming off HS ball. In 2005 he was just 19. What “soreness” he may have had would not likely force a veteran pitcher out of even a spring training game. So to say that an 18 year old rookie, shutdown for mild elbow soreness pegs him as injury prone is just ludicrous. The only “injury” that should be of concern with Hughes was the hamstring last season.

      It is good to know he has improved his conditioning, but his “nagging health issues” do not make the kid “injury prone” as a few people seem to want to believe.

    8. lljrose
      February 28th, 2008 | 3:44 pm

      FWIW, Hughes will continue to get injured as long as he’s with us. That’s why if we could have dumped him for Johan, we should have.

    9. MJ
      February 28th, 2008 | 3:50 pm

      FWIW, Hughes will continue to get injured as long as he’s with us. That’s why if we could have dumped him for Johan, we should have.
      lljrose, while you’re certainly entitled to your opinion on the merits of the Santana non-trade, a player doesn’t stay healthy or get hurt based on what city he plays in. If Hughes will have a long, healthy career, it’s just as likely to happen here as anywhere else.

    10. lljrose
      February 28th, 2008 | 3:52 pm

      MJ, Josh Beckett always had finger problems with the Marlins; he comes to the Red Sox and all of his injury issues seemed to disappear once he hit the city of Boston. 1 example of many.

    11. JeremyM
      February 28th, 2008 | 4:04 pm

      Excellent job of ignoring one of two seasons Beckett has pitched for Boston.

    12. Sonny M
      February 28th, 2008 | 6:14 pm

      Injuries are always going to be a concern with any and every pitcher.

      Your better off getting (or keeping) the younger guy, then going after the older one, especially when he has so many innings on him.

      I had a concern that the yankees were about to be on the wrong end of the 2008 version of the Mark Langston trade (remember him??? Dominant lefty???).

      Right now I am happy. You have Hughes, a kid with a good work ethic, IAK, and Joba, another kid with a great work ethic….though he was a bit lazy when he was a cornhusker….and dropped in the draft to supplemental due to injury and work ethic concerns.

    13. Josh
      February 28th, 2008 | 9:28 pm

      It wouldn’t be WW without a nice healthy dose of pessimism.

    14. grant
      February 28th, 2008 | 10:00 pm

      Was Watching,
      I have to say i feel like this blog has taken a serious turn to negativity about all things Yankees. Jeter’s defense stinks, Hughes is a California surfer made of porcelain, Mussina has no right to speak his mind, Giambi is going to stink this year blah blah. I used to really enjoy your insights and commentary, but recently i have been disappointed in the tone of this website. I am ok with anyone being down on our team when they blow a big game or are 14 games behind the Sox, but it’s Spring Training, home of the unbridled optimism, let’s see a bit of it. Best of luck to Was Watching in the future, but for now i am done reading this blog. Here’s hoping we can win 27 this year. Good luck to Was Watching and all its readers.

    15. February 28th, 2008 | 10:09 pm

      ~~~FWIW, I have an e-mail from Cashman in which he says otherwise.~~~

      I have an e-mail from someone in Nigeria who says they want to split a huge inheritance with me – but, that doesn’t mean it’s true, either.

    16. February 28th, 2008 | 10:11 pm

      grant – did I not write, about Hughes, here that “it’s encouraging to hear”? How is that negative?

    17. Rich
      February 28th, 2008 | 10:31 pm

      I have an e-mail from someone in Nigeria who says they want to split a huge inheritance with me – but, that doesn’t mean it’s true, either.

      Huh? The e-mail is from Cashman. Unlike your friends in Nigera, Cashman wants nothing from me.

      Why you would think that he would be less than candid is beyond me.

    18. February 28th, 2008 | 11:20 pm

      You’re comparing the General Manager of the friggin team to a random email scam?! wtf?

    19. February 28th, 2008 | 11:41 pm

      Relax guys – I was just making a joke.

    20. Yu Hsing Chen
      February 29th, 2008 | 6:28 am

      Josh Beckett missed 3 to 4 starts this year in case you havn’t noticed. so when Boston shuts down their pitcher, they’re just resting him, but when the Yankees do it, they’re surely hiding a horrific injury!

    21. gphunt
      February 29th, 2008 | 7:58 am

      Lets burn this blog down because of their differing opinions!!

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