21-year old Phil Hughes, who’s in his second big league season, got knocked out of his start this evening for the Yankees – lasting just 3.2 innings pitched.
This was the third time in five non-rain impacted games this season where Hughes was unable to log at least four innings in his start.
Did you know that, in 1987, then 21-year old Greg Maddux, in just his second season in the majors, had 7 starts for the Cubs (out of his 27 starts that season) where he failed to retire 12 batters. Seven out of twenty-seven. Do the math – that’s better than one out of every four starts.
When you press 21-year old kids into starting rotation duty, things like this – meaning guys getting undressed on the mound – are going to happen (with some frequency).
If you want to blame someone for this happening, remember, it’s not the kid’s fault that he’s a kid. Instead, blame the team for being in a position where they had to ask the kid to be a member of their starting rotation at such a young age – where you know that you’ll have to deal with his learning curve.