Nice little win, tonight, for the Yankees in this one. Credit some fine work by New York’s bullpen.
Before I forget: Man, I cannot believe that Dancin’ Bleacher Creature Dude has now caught taters two days in a row. The YES booth was right. What are the odds?
The White Sox…I dunno. They have some holes. If Chicago and Tampa Bay end up playing in the A.L.C.S. this year, the Red Sox and Angels should be kicking themselves…for sure. (Yeah, I know, for that LCS match-up to happen, the Rays would have to slip into the Wildcard slot.)
Of course, congrats to A-Rod this evening for becoming the first player in baseball history with 12 seasons of 35+ HR/100+ R/100+ RBI. That’s just incredible. By the way, the record for most seasons in a career with 40+ HR/100+ R/100+ RBI is 11 – by Babe Ruth. (A-Rod has 8 seasons with 40+ HR/100+ R/100+ RBI.)
O.K., now, on to the story which is why many are probably reading this, here, etc. – Mr. Phil Hughes.
First, let me share that I’ve watched many major league baseball games, to date, in my lifetime. If I had to come up with a quick number – but one that I felt comfortable claiming – I would say that I’ve watched at least 3,500 big league contests…and have learned a few things in the process…including developing a feel for certain things.
And, I’ve now watched Phil Hughes pitch a few games too – including this one – and I am going to go on record something that may not make many Yankees fans happy.
Actually, it ties back to a few things that I’ve said about Hughes in the past as well.
Way back on March 2, 2007, I suggest that Phil Hughes reminded me of Andy Benes.
Later, back on February 2, 2008, I shared that the scouting report on then 22-year old pitcher Carl Pavano read very much like the scouting report on Phil Hughes coming into this season.
And, after that, back on June 21, 2008, I shared that another scouting report, in my mind, painted Hughes as being the next Aaron Sele.
Today, based on the some-seven-thousand starting pitching performances that I’ve witnessed at the big league level and the feel that I’ve gained from that experience, and watching Phil Hughes pitch again tonight, I have to say that my past thoughts on him continue to ring true.
Phil Hughes…at his worst will have a major league career much like Carl Pavano and at his best will have a major league career like Andy Benes. And, in all likelihood, Hughes’ career will probably fall somewhere in the middle between Pavano and Benes…and mirror someone along the level of Aaron Sele.
Hughes has shown enough to suggest that he will be given a chance to pitch in the majors, many times, over the next ten years – provided that he is physically up to the task. However, while his “stuff” is major league caliber, there’s nothing that Hughes has shown (consistently in the bigs) that suggests he has the mind, heart and ability of someone who will go on to be one of the best pitchers in the history of the game.
Maybe this will all change someday? Curt Schilling was a high-profile draft pick for the Boston Red Sox back in 1986. After that, he spent time with the Orioles and Astros. He had talent – but, it wasn’t clicking at the big league level…something was missing. And, then in 1992, it turned around for Schilling, at age 25, and he went on to star for the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. Perhaps Hughes will have a turning point in his career…like Schilling…where something happens…or maybe someone throws down the chicken foot on him…and then everything will align into place for him?
Anything is possible. But, unless that happens, I don’t think anyone in Yankeeland should start thinking about Hughes being a future ace in the majors. It’s just not there for him.