Via Ben Shpigel -
The Yankees are urging [Phil] Hughes to work on his changeup, which will be a focal point of the spring. He said he threw 12 on Friday, most of which he was pleased with, and will integrate them into his regular repertory when games start.
“When you’re developing a pitch, you have to pick your time to use it,” [Joe] Girardi said. “This is the time to work on it a lot and see if we can continue to improve it. You want to put a thought into a hitter’s head. You’re just not going to see two pitches. You’re going to see three or four from me and you don’t know what I’m going to throw at any time. If he can do that, it makes him better.”
Well, so much for the cutter that the Yankees have been trying to teach Hughes since the end of 2008…looks like the change is now the great hope of getting Hughes’ arsenal to the point where he can be more than a bullpen guy.
If I were Hughes, I would take advantage of it being Spring Training, and pick Edwar Ramírez’ brain on how to throw a change-up. Actually, the change would be a nice weapon to help Phil deal with his biggest issue: facing lefty batters. Note his career splits, to date, when the batter is right-handed or left-handed:
|vs RHB as RH||430||85||25||98||3.92||.216||.266||.330||.260|
|vs LHB as RH||384||90||47||79||1.68||.274||.368||.450||.329|