• And, That’s A Wrap On Spring Training…

    Posted by on March 29th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    With their win tonight, the Yankees go 14-12-2 for the spring. Considering that, coming into tonight’s contest, New York had lost 5 of their last 6 games, 14-12-2 is pretty good.

    An interesting game by Phil Hughes tonight.

    The great news: He threw 64% of his pitches for strikes, used only 3.45 pitches per batter, and retired 75% of the batters that he faced. Plus, his fastball was clocked at 94 to 95 MPH in the fifth inning. If he does all that every time out, he’ll be a 20-game winner.

    The only concerning news: 73% of Hughes’ non-strikeout outs came on fly balls – on a night playing in a big ballpark with wind at 11 MPH coming in from center. Ideally, you want to see Phil keep the ball on the ground more. (Paul Hoover gave one shot off Hughes a pretty good ride in the fourth. Had that one been a little deeper, it changes the look to Phil’s outing tonight.) But, at the end of the day, it all worked out for Hughes this evening in terms of the bottom line.

    So, now, we wait until Monday afternoon…it’s going to seem like forever.

    Comments on And, That’s A Wrap On Spring Training…

    1. Rich M
      March 29th, 2008 | 11:48 pm

      “73% of Hughes’ non-strikeout outs came on fly balls”
      This was my concern at first also, but two of those fly ball outs were pop outs to the catcher in foul ground and another was a pop out to Cano.

    2. Rich
      March 29th, 2008 | 11:56 pm

      The times that I saw Hughes pitch for Trenton on CN8, he used the two seamer more than any other pitch. I would assume that he would go back to that over time.

    3. eat my shorts
      March 30th, 2008 | 1:50 am

      Ahhh.. the obligatory underhanded “Phil Hughes sucks” post. Two in a row. Bravo!

    4. Jeb
      March 30th, 2008 | 10:46 am

      Ahh.. the obligatory underhanded “How dare you criticize Phil Hughes” in a big brother 1984 style comment. Bravo!

    5. mph2373
      March 30th, 2008 | 11:21 am

      Right Jeb. If you have been reading this blog for long enough, you should realize that his feelings towards Hughes are exactly that. For the most part real stats aren’t mentioned. That’s what most of us get on Steve about.

      Keanu Hughes, or his fastball can’t hit 95. Andy Benes, Jr. How he might be Pavano or Wright.

      This isn’t 1984, just some fans asking for backup when you write why someone will be a bust. That’s all.

      He pitches well, and there is still a “but” connected with it.

      1984 indeed…

    6. yankees76
      March 30th, 2008 | 2:28 pm

      I don’t care if Hughes wins 20 games this year. If he doesn’t go deep into games, he will strain the bullpen, and is 20 wins really worth straining the bullpen?? Of course it’s not!

    7. Jeb
      March 30th, 2008 | 2:42 pm

      I hope Hughes becomees the best pitcher of a generation. And, since I AM a regular reader of this blog (I choose not to comment much) I can tell you that Steve has written time and again that he hopes he’s wrong about Hughes. But facts are facts and there are numbers that support those facts. Hughes has pitched well in the minors. He had a 4.46 ERA last year, which is rather pedestrian. And, his ERA in Spring training this year was 5.82. Yeah, you can argue that

      1. He’s been great in the minors when healthy with a 2.20 ERA, a .86 WHIP more than a K per inning and an eye popping Walk to K ratio;

      2. his injury last year makes any negative stats from last year either not count or count with a big asterisk (*Coming back from injury);

      3. He pitched well in one playoff game and had a no hitter going that night in Texas when he got hurt; and

      4. The Spring training sample size means that those numbers don’t count either

      Here’s the thing though. At what point can we start counting his numbers as a predictor of his fortunes? Do we only count them when they’re good and throw out the bad? And pitching well in Texas and well in 5.2 innings in the postseason — talk about sample size!

      Again, I want the Yanks to win as much as anyone and I want Phil Hughes to succeed so badly it hurts. But Cashman needs to have a Plan B in case Joba/IPK/Hughes don’t become the next Whitey Ford/Allie Reynonds/Vic Raschi.

      And I love Hughes’s minor league numbers, but they’re done over 275 innings and never more than 146 innings per season. Also, only 153.2 of his total minor league innings pitched have been at Double-A or Triple A. While I am encouraged by his numbers I don’t want to drink the Kool-aid too deeply. Most of all I am concerned about his age, injury history, and innings that he can offer. The history of baseball is littered with Herb Scores. (I’m not saying that Phil is Herb Score, that there numbers or comparable or anything… the comparison is just a young pitcher who flamed out due to an injury [and a freak one at that])

      Don’t shoot the messenger. Remember, this is Steve’s sandbox. If you want only rah-rah news, there’s plenty of those sites around. I’m sure that Steve doesn’t need me to defend him. I guess I just want him to know that lots of people are out here who appreciate his writing and to ask the others not to assume that he wants Hughes to fail.

    8. B
      March 30th, 2008 | 2:49 pm

      There’s someone who actually buys the “I hope I’m wrong, but…” line? Wow.

      People probably wouldn’t give Steve as much shit over his hate for Hughes if he would just own it and stop with the passive aggressive BS. Most of us are not stupid, we can tell what is what.

    9. yankees76
      March 30th, 2008 | 6:40 pm

      Steve, I know sometimes you have posted your own posts anoymously as “WW Staff,” which is a bit weak, but are you now posting in the comments section as “Jeb,” too?

    10. Jeb
      March 30th, 2008 | 9:38 pm

      You know what I think is “Weak?” In my opinion, weak is posting with a name like “B” or a name like “Yankees76” and then criticizing others. Why not use your real name? I do? I am Jeb and I live in Birmingham, Alabama. I am complimented that you think I’m Steve, because it just shows that I am also a good writer.

      I am not Steve and he’s not me. He and I do have one thing in common. we both have the balls to use our real names. why would Steve need a fake name anyway? He’s been defending himself for a long time.

      If you don’t believe that I’m Jeb, then go on Bronx Banter and ask Bama Yankee and Ms. October and some of the other posters where “Jeb” lives and they’ll tell you Birmingham. I guess I could post my telephone number, but I don’t know what kind of freaks might call me.

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