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?