• The Early Hughes Plan

    Posted by on March 31st, 2010 · Comments (24)

    Via Bryan Hoch -

    Phil Hughes may be breaking camp as the Yankees’ fifth starter, but the right-hander can’t bid farewell to spring just yet.

    With several off-days reducing the need for his services early in the year, the Yankees have decided that Hughes’ first start will be on April 15 against the Angels in New York. Until then, he will be on the club’s active roster and pitch in a pair of extended spring games in Tampa.

    “It gives me time to work on some more things — basically like two extra spring starts,” Hughes said. “It’ll be fine. I’m looking forward to the 15th. It’s the first step of this year, and I’m looking forward to starting off well and keeping it going.”

    Hughes, 23, said that the decisions were what he expected and not a surprise. Hughes is slated to pitch his first extended spring game on Monday and then join the Yankees in Boston for the second and third games of the season.

    He’ll then take the team charter back to Tampa, hurling another extended spring game on April 10 — a contest that will occur while the Yankees visit the Rays at Tropicana Field — before he flies north with the club to New York.

    Tampa to Boston to Tampa to New York in a span of about 8 days – instead of doing it in a span of about 11 days. That’s no biggie. It’s basically the same dance up and down the coast as the rest of the team will be doing in about the same time. It seems like the right thing to do here.

    Comments on The Early Hughes Plan

    1. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 9:07 am

      Considering the somewhat cruddy spring training results — which may or may not mean anything but still deserve scrutiny because of his youth and spotty track record — Hughes absolutely belongs in extended spring training for a few more starts.

    2. jrk
      April 1st, 2010 | 9:22 am

      I hope that Hughes becomes enough of an established starter this year, that every game when he has an important 2-strike count and the crowd screams “Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughes”, Michael Kay has to tell us “And the crowd is NOT booing here folks, they are cheering Huuuuuuuges.”

      Oh and of course, I hope that because I want Phil to do well, not to hear that repetitive idiot in the broadcast booth.

    3. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 9:29 am

      I wonder how many 5 innings, 4ER starts they’ll have before they pull the plug.

    4. jrk
      April 1st, 2010 | 9:30 am

      If our other 4 pitchers are pitching to their par, it will be more than you think, especially with our offense potentially giving him wins once in a while in games like that.

    5. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 9:45 am

      @ jrk:
      Even if Aceves, Joba, or (i dont think it will happen but) Mitre is pitching unequivocally better? What about McAllister or Nova or one of the other guys on the farm?

      In any case, I just found out Ponson signed on with the Ducks. So Cashman is keeping him close. ;)

    6. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 10:26 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I wonder how many 5 innings, 4ER starts they’ll have before they pull the plug.

      As long as the team is winning at a fairly consistent rate there would be no motivation to pull the plug on Hughes, even if he is going 5 IP / 4 ER each time. Isn’t that what Joba/Gaudin/Wang/Mitre were doing last year (and worse)?

    7. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 10:49 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      No, not worse. I can’t rehash the same argument about Joba before he hit his previous innings limit, I’m sure you are well aware of it by now.

    8. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 10:57 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      And, we saw how they got replaced in the rotation.

    9. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 11:52 am

      @ Corey Italiano:
      Not worse? Really?

      Add up the Joba/Gaudin/Wang/Mitre game log for games they started and you get 55 starts, 265.1 IP and 172 ER. Do the averages and you get 5 IP and an ERA of 5.84.

      I’m not knocking Joba here, I think you misinterpreted my point. I was merely saying that last year, the #5 spot in the rotation yielded the 5 IP / 4 ER result (more or less).

    10. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 11:53 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      And, we saw how they got replaced in the rotation.

      Who got replaced in the rotation? Wang was shelved due to injury, Chamberlain got put on the Joba Rules plan and Gaudin/Mitre basically split the role.

      If Sabathia, Pettitte, Vazquez and Burnett stay healthy and do their jobs and the Yanks win games with acceptable regularity, the Yanks won’t be in a hurry to yank Hughes, even if he’s going 5 innings and giving up 4 runs.

    11. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 12:16 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      4 ER over 5 innings is an ERA north of 7. Just sayin.

      Hughes replaced Joba/Mitre/Guadin(whichever 2 you wanted to be in that spot), thats who got replaced.

    12. YankCrank
      April 1st, 2010 | 12:56 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      @ MJ Recanati:

      I’m not really entering the argument, but i’ll gladly take 5 IP and 4 ER every time from a 5th starter, especially when that 5th starter is only 23.

      Sure, it would be nice to get more, but out of the 5 spot how picky can you get?

    13. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 1:00 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      Then why kick Joba out of his spot, if that’s the case? He must have truly pissed some people off behind the scenes.

    14. YankCrank
      April 1st, 2010 | 1:07 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:

      I wish I could answer that question for you. I was convinced, 100%, that Joba was winning the battle and if it were up to me, Joba would be the 5 man.

      Simply put, I think the Yankee decision makers looked at how Joba and Phil were throwing the baseball this spring and made a decision based on an extremely small sample size of innings and a carryover feeling of frustration with how Joba threw the ball in the second half of ’09.

      I have no clue what the plan is for that kid at this point. I can’t even begin to add up the amount of time I wasted talking about why the “Joba Rules” were a good thing, and how they would pay off in the end. What a joke.

    15. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 1:15 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      Indeed. We’re in the same boat on this one.

    16. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 1:16 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      All I know is, somewhere in his deep dark studio, Francessa is laughing.

    17. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 2:18 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      4 ER over 5 innings is an ERA north of 7. Just sayin.

      You’re going to split hairs over a 5.84 ERA vs. a 7.20 ERA? You’re arguing semantics at this point.

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Hughes replaced Joba/Mitre/Guadin(whichever 2 you wanted to be in that spot), thats who got replaced.

      We were talkling last year vs. this year. Phil didn’t replace Joba, Vazquez did.

    18. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 2:19 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      but i’ll gladly take 5 IP and 4 ER every time from a 5th starter, especially when that 5th starter is only 23.

      Me too. That was my point. The Yanks got roughly that exact output last year so, again, as long as the Yanks are winning, that output is just fine.

    19. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 2:54 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      We were talkling last year vs. this year. Phil didn’t replace Joba, Vazquez did.

      I was under the impression that Joba was the 5th starter at the end of last year, due to the fact that he was pitching under strict pitch counts. Granted, after day 1, and up until the post season, the # of the starter matters not.

      Either way, Joba should have been picked over Hughes and I think the 3 of us agree on that.

    20. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 2:55 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      You’re going to split hairs over a 5.84 ERA vs. a 7.20 ERA? You’re arguing semantics at this point.

      And I’m splitting hairs about a 4.75 ERA vs. a 7.20 ERA.

    21. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 3:39 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      And I’m splitting hairs about a 4.75 ERA vs. a 7.20 ERA.

      Where’d the 4.75 ERA come from? Joba+Sergio+Chad+Chien-Ming = 5.84.

    22. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 3:51 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Why do you add any of those to Joba? They all pitched in different slots.

    23. Corey Italiano
      April 1st, 2010 | 3:52 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Why do you add any of those to Joba? They all pitched in different slots.

      Err I mean, Wang and Mitre largely pitched in the same spot. Gaudin did piggy back with Joba for a few starts, IIRC. Either way, I’m comparing Joba to Hughes. I think Joba is better.

    24. MJ Recanati
      April 1st, 2010 | 4:02 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      My point was merely that the Yanks have gotten 5 IP/4 ER from their starters and stuck with them so, again, there’s no reason why they would replace Hughes if that’s what he gives them.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.