• Phil Hughes Last 12 Starts

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Since May 17th, here are Phil Hughes stats – including yesterday’s game:

    12 Games Started
    72.3 Innings
    307 Batters Faced
    .290/.330/.500 Opposition BA/OBA/SLG Allowed
    5.47 ERA

    Now, Hughes’ poor performance has not cost the Yankees – as New York has gone 9-3 in these 12 games. But, should we, or the Yankees, be concerned about the way Hughes has been pitching (outside of his first 6 starts of the season)?

    Comments on Phil Hughes Last 12 Starts

    1. Scout
      July 26th, 2010 | 11:45 am

      Mildly concerned, but let’s keep this in focus — nearly all young pitchers face adjustment challenges. Hitters become familiar with their patterns, so what worked so well at first no longer gets them out. Now the challenge for the pitcher is to figure out new ways to attack the hitters, alter the pitch selection, etc. This process can take a season or more, and most young pitchers experience hiccups their first year as full-time starters. It requires patience from the organization and fans alike. But unless we are prepared to show that patience, we end up filling the rotation with the AJ Burnetts of the world at prices no team (even the Yankees) can afford for five starters. I trust, Steve, that you would not be in favor of such a course.

    2. July 26th, 2010 | 11:59 am

      I agree, 100% that young starters sometimes need to take their lumps. And, sometimes, they rebound from that and then become stars. Glavine and Maddux had poor first seasons, IIRC. But, this is not Hughes first season as a starter. We saw him as a big league starter in 2008 and 2009 too. Yes, he’s young, very young. But, at some point, soon, if he doesn’t make the adjustment, will he ever? I’m not so sure. Are you?

    3. clintfsu813
      July 26th, 2010 | 12:09 pm

      Either he will or he wont. Right now hes pitching decently for a 5th starter that has a good Offense behind him. At least when hes off hes not Bad AJ off.

    4. Scout
      July 26th, 2010 | 12:56 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Adjusting is an ongoing process for a young pitcher and often takes several years. This is his first year starting full-time in the majors, and I certainly would give him greater beenfit of the doubt. If next year at this time he’s struggling with an ERA above 4.50 and poor peripherals, then we should begin the conversation about whether the organization has overrated him. But not until then.

    5. July 26th, 2010 | 1:00 pm

      Again, we’re talking long term here – but, there’s also a short term.

      In the post-season, THIS YEAR, you have CC and Andy. That’s fine. But, AJ and Javy cannot be trusted. And, if Hughes is going to pitch LIKE THIS, then you have a 3rd one who cannot be trusted. So, basically, CC and Andy have to win every October game that they pitch – and that’s asking a lot considering they’ll be facing good teams and good opposing SP.

    6. Raf
      July 26th, 2010 | 2:09 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      So, basically, CC and Andy have to win every October game that they pitch – and that’s asking a lot considering they’ll be facing good teams and good opposing SP.

      Does it really mean anything with the randomness of the playoffs? The Braves had a front 3 of Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz, and they didn’t win nearly as much as one thought they would.

    7. Scout
      July 26th, 2010 | 2:13 pm

      Fair enough. I’m talking long term and the need for patience. Clearly, the Yankees agree that the rotation is not fully trustworthy heading into the 2010 postseason, which is why the team went hard after Lee and at least explored a Haren deal. On the other hand, I don’t see another team out there that will be fully confident in its rotation in a series with the Yankees, either. So at least one series will come down to the Burnett/Vazquez duo, because Hughes is likely to be in the pen by then.

    8. #15
      July 26th, 2010 | 3:13 pm

      I think Cash has it about right. Hughes is doing just fine for a 24 year-old (barely turned 24 a month sgo), that is pitching in the NY market with all the scrutiny that entails, and who is hitting an innings level well above last year. There really isn’t anything better out there now that Lee is off the table. That would have been a great deal and would have made sense. Barring that, the main thing we need is bullpen help. A bat would be nice, but we can hold things together until Sept. 1 when the rosters expand and then try out some of the young blood if it goes down that way. Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen. With Marte a question mark, we could use both a righty and a lefty. Get someone decent and send Joba down to see if he can get his head straight. He degraded into a thrower right now, not a pitcher. He keeps getting behind in the count and seems to have lost command of his slider.

      I always seem to come back to this… There is no “Great” team in baseball this year. The Yankees are near the top of the best teams out there. Lee would have put us in that next level, all by ourselves, but it didn’t happen, much to my great dismay. If we’d have gotten him… “PRINT THE SHIRTS!” So, we are very good, but not great. We’ve got enough to make the playoffs, probably win ~ 100 games, and a better than 50-50 chance of making it to the AL Championship Series (we’d be facing ChiSox, Minni or Det right now – with home field). I suspect Boston will fade some more, before putting together a late, but futile run down the stretch. No one in the NL scares me very much. None of them can hit like us and their pitching, in total, is no better. I think we need to be thinking about beating Tampa and Texas. Stiffen the pen and we’ll be set up pretty well.

    9. MJ Recanati
      July 26th, 2010 | 4:13 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      But, AJ and Javy cannot be trusted.

      Going into last season’s playoffs, you would’ve said that CC Sabathia couldn’t be trusted either.

      I say this to point out that “trust” is bollocks. You pitch your pitchers. They either win or lose. The games are not predetermined so it’s just as likely that Vazquez surprises you as it is that Pettitte implodes (as he did in several other playoff starts for the Yankees in previous years).

      Be objective Steve.

    10. #15
      July 26th, 2010 | 4:48 pm

      For grins, check out Greg Maddux at age 24, in his fourth year in the majors. Compare him to Phil. His ERA was ~ .50 lower (about the league adjustment for mnot having to face a DH) and his WHIP was slightly higher. BB’s and SO rates not for off.

      Is Hughes another Maddux?? Only in our dreams. Point is he’s doing pretty well for a young pitcher in a tough market in a tough division. In short, he’s already better than I thought he was going to be and I still see some upside. He could be the bullpen guy we need for the 8th inning in the post season, but I’d still like to see us beef up the pen.

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