It’s mid-May and Brett Gardner now has twice as many homers as Alex Rodrguez. Baseball is a funny game, huh?
Watching this game, I can’t help but think back to what I wrote about Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera back on September 15th of last year.
Back in 2006, I was a big Melky Cabrera fan. But, as I noted last season, Leche was bad in 2007 and terrible in 2008 with the bat. (And, some suggested that his attitude was lacking last season too.) So, what’s got into Cabrera this season? Is it just that he likes wearing the #53? Hey, whatever it is…Melk…keep it up.
Now, moving on to the favorite mouth-breather of Yankees fanboys across the nation – Keanu Hughes. This is the third bad start in a row for Phil. (When you walk four in five innings with Wally Bell behind that plate, dude, it means you have zero command of your pitches.)
Here’s the deal with Hughes: He’s proven that he can dominate minor league batters. After all, his career ERA in the bushes is 2.38 in 329.6 IP over six seasons. However, his lifetime big league ERA is about 5.50 over 25 games.
In the YES coverage this evening, David Cone brought up Edwin Jackson. As I noted last year, Jackson was once the prize pitching prospect of the minor leagues. Yet, it took him over 70 starts in the majors – and until he was 25 years old – for it to all click into place for him…where he started posting big league numbers to match his past promise.
So, what do the Yankees do with Phil Hughes? Do you send him back down to the minors, where he has nothing to prove? Or, do you keep running him out there, in the majors, pitching to an ERA that’s over five? You could do the latter, if you’re a rebuilding team. But, the Yankees are not…and cannot afford to give a guy another 50 starts in the big leagues with the hope that he uses those to work out his problems.
Too bad there’s no “Four-A” league out there now. Because, the way he’s pitched, over his whole career, that’s where Phil Hughes belongs…for now.