• Phil Hughes = Not An Innings Eater In ’08

    Posted by on March 29th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    Last night, I made the following comment at this blog:

    Heck, you may never see Mussina or Hughes go late into a game this year.

    And, already, I’m catching some heat from the “Friends of Hughes” throng for that statement. So, I thought I would add this to show why I made that statement.

    Last season, Hughes made 13 big league starts. In 6 of those 13 starts, he did not pitch 6 innings. And, in fact, in only one of those 13 starts did he pitch 7 innings.

    Based on Phil Hughes’ P/BF mark of 4.04 last season, and the fact that the Yankees will probably keep him to about 100 pitches per start this season, you can only expect Hughes to face around 24 batters per game this year. So, for Hughes to pitch 7 innings in a game this season, with that P/BF rate of 4.04, he’s going to have to pitch a three-hitter with no walks allowed, each time out. And, that’s not going to happen.

    You see, when I say “go late into a game” I mean pitch 7 innings in the contest.

    Andy Pettitte had 7+ innings in a start last year 17 times. Chien-Ming Wang did it 14 times in 2007. It can be done.

    I just don’t see Hughes pitching 7 innings or more (in a start) too many times in 2008. If he does it more than seven times all season, I’ll be shocked.

    If you think Phil Hughes will pitch 7+ innings in a start, and meet my definition of “go late into a game,” more times than not this season, then that’s great for you. Me? I’ve yet to see anything to suggest that’s a reasonable expectation to have for this season.

    Sure, maybe Hughes can improve on his 4.04 P/BF rate this season? Maybe that will allow him to go deeper in games? But, we have not seen that this spring. So, again, I stand by my prediction: You may never see Hughes go late into a game this year.

    O.K. never is a strong word. Make that “hardly ever.” Yeah, that’s better. “You may hardly ever see Hughes go late into a game this year.”

    Let’s all promise to look back at this come October, OK?

    Comments on Phil Hughes = Not An Innings Eater In ’08

    1. baileywalk
      March 29th, 2008 | 11:20 am

      We can’t read your mind to understand what you mean. If you had explained the statement in the original post (even briefly) then it wouldn’t have seemed like a random, bitter little slap at a guy who you kick around all the time.

    2. Andrew
      March 29th, 2008 | 12:21 pm

      Okay, we thought you meant 6 innings. But that’s hardly a bad, awful, inexcusable thing, like you seem to make it out to be.

    3. MJ
      March 29th, 2008 | 1:20 pm

      6 innings, 3R or less = QS. If he pitches nothing but QS without going 7, I’m happy to get Hawkins/Chamberlain/Rivera the workout every fifth day. And you said QS was the key to the Yanks making the playoffs anyway…

    4. The Scout
      March 29th, 2008 | 6:31 pm

      I am a Phil Hughes fan (as Steve perhaps is not), yet I took no offense at Steve’s comment. The low innings cap for the season has always dictated that Hughes could not possibly be an innings eater in 2008. If the Yankees limit him to ~165 innings this season and he makes 30 starts, that averages out to less than six innings per start. If Hughes suffers an injury along the way and makes fewer starts, he might go deeper into games, but his appearances right after an injury would be shorter (and some would be rehab starts in the minors). So even then someone else will need to fill in his innings. And a pitch-count per game (likely 90 in the early season and 100 later) certainly means he won’t work deep into a number of his starts. This is not an insult of Hughes, just a little arithmetic and common sense.

    5. eat my shorts
      March 30th, 2008 | 1:48 am

      The Scout – It’s not that Steve is not a fan of Hughes. It’s that he’s not a fan of the Yankees.

    6. Jeb
      March 30th, 2008 | 10:43 am

      I am so damn tired of reading the comments of people who don’t like any dose of reality at all. If you want to wear rose colored glasses go over to NYYNews or some anti-analytical website for your Yankees news. Sheesh — you people are the epitome of what George Orwell was warning people about in 1984.

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