• Has Phil Hughes Proven Himself As A RP?

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (6)

    The Yankees moved Phil Hughes to the bullpen at the start of June 2009. And, Hughes has been lights-out since the transition. Check out these numbers:

    Hughes has pitched, to date, in 19 games coming out of the pen – facing 102 batters. While doing this, he’s logged 27.6 IP, struck out 32, and limited opposing batters to a .156 Batting Average.

    Like I said…lights-out..and then some…

    But, I just noticed that the Yankees have been careful with Hughes – in terms of bringing him into games where there is no one on base. In the 19 games were Phil has come out of the pen, there have only been 6 runners on base, overall, during this span. (And, only one of those six has scored.)

    But, this leads to an interesting question: Does Phil Hughes need to prove that he can consistently pitch, out of the pen, in high pressure situations – meaning with runners on base – before he can be deemed a success as a relief pitcher? What do you think?

    Comments on Has Phil Hughes Proven Himself As A RP?

    1. Evan3457
      July 31st, 2009 | 12:34 pm

      Pete Abraham seems to think the Yanks are trying to stretch Hughes out again, in preparation for moving him back to the rotation:


    2. July 31st, 2009 | 12:36 pm

      It’s possible. But, boy, if the move him back to the rotation, and then he does poorly there, that will be one huge can of worms that they’ve opened…

    3. butchie22
      July 31st, 2009 | 12:47 pm

      Steve, you know that I’ve been a big pessimist on Phil Hughes BUT this kid has excelled in the pen. Kudos to Eiland and Hughes, because PH has really thrived in that role. Now that Washburn is with the Tigers, absent any trade moves , it unfortunately looks like Hughes might be stretched! I think its a bad idea quite frankly. If something ain’t broke don’t fix it. Inning limits or not on Joba, keep the situation as is if no trades are made. I’m not a fan of the so-called Joba rules and if no trade for a SP is made, keep things as is.

    4. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 31st, 2009 | 1:31 pm

      The Yankees can’t expect Mitre to take a turn the rest of the season. Its not likely to work out. Furthermore Joba has the innings limitation. I think its obvious they are going to make that switch and hope that Hughes has figured it out and will now start to perform as a starter. The problem is, if he lays back and goes back to throwing 91, can he be as successful? And if he keeps muscling up on the ball, will he last as a starter? If they gave him a four inning relief appearance during this transition, it will be interesting if he still touches 96 at the end.

    5. Pat F
      July 31st, 2009 | 2:14 pm

      they should stop finding out whether or not he needs to prove himself in the pen and move him back to the rotation. with joba’s innings limit and wang being so uncertain since, literally, day 3, moving both hughes AND aceves to the bullpen was very short-sighted unless the organization knows something i don’t. we went from rotation depth being a strength to needing a starter at the all-star break. one of them, fine, but both has really left us short.

    6. Pat F
      July 31st, 2009 | 2:14 pm

      *unless the organization knows something i don’t, which is obviously very possible as i have no idea as to their plans/inner-workings, and acknowlegde as much.

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