• Phil Hughes Makes Yankees History

    Posted by on April 14th, 2011 · Comments (37)

    Via Andrew Marchand:

    Hughes is the third Yankee starter in the Live Ball era to have allowed at least five runs and pitch fewer than five innings in each of his first three starts of the season. The others are Chien-Ming Wang in 2009 and Brian Boehringer in 1995.

    So, does that make Wang, Boehringer and Hughes the new “Big Three”?

    Seriously, it’s time to send Hughes for a full physical. And, if it comes back clean, then a trip to Scranton is in order.

    Comments on Phil Hughes Makes Yankees History

    1. clintfsu813
      April 14th, 2011 | 9:58 pm

      Man, Colon has looked good in relief

    2. Evan3457
      April 15th, 2011 | 12:58 am

      Seriously, the first remedial step, assuming he’s not hurt, is for him to switch jobs with Colon for awhile.

    3. #15
      April 15th, 2011 | 7:10 am

      Props to Barto. He’s showing me something in terms of grit and that he knows how to pitch. The Hug-lon tandem will work for a while, but we are somewhat exposed in the next game if Nova can’t go ~ 6. Mo might not be available tonight.

      Haven’t heard too many comments about Mo’s velocity being down too, because he’s still a command savant and is getting the job done (against a pretty good string of hitters last night). Nice comeback win yesterday. I’ll give Girardi some credit for his bullpen moves/timing last night. Getting more and more concerned about Jeter at the dish.

    4. Scout
      April 15th, 2011 | 7:43 am

      Although I was in the “give Hughes until May to figure it out” club this spring, I am coming around to Steve’s position. If Hughes had shown any progress, I would be willing to go a few more starts. Now I can see the value of letting him build up arm strength in Scranton, if that’s what the issue is.

    5. ken
      April 15th, 2011 | 7:52 am

      Anyone besides me thinking that Girardi should have pinch hit for Gardner in the 9th? I know Yanks won the game but not following up Posada’s HR with a win in the 9th could have had a different outcome against a better team. Gardner is under the radar now but he is a big concern.

    6. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:31 am

      ken wrote:

      Anyone besides me thinking that Girardi should have pinch hit for Gardner in the 9th?

      Although I’d rather have Gardner’s defense in LF instead of Andruw Jones’s, yes, I’d have taken a chance with Andruw at the plate, winning run in scoring position and one out instead of the punchless Gardner.

      Of course, one could argue that Gardner makes contact more frequently than Jones but the way Gardner is going right now, that hardly matters. Gardner and Jeter are just killing this offense right now at the top of the lineup. They should be batting 8 and 9, respectively.

    7. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:33 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Seriously, the first remedial step, assuming he’s not hurt, is for him to switch jobs with Colon for awhile.

      Honestly, I can’t see how he’s not hurt.

      But, yes, put him in the bullpen and see if one or two inning appearances at full throttle can get him back to where he needs to be. Even the most strident Hughes-haters can’t have predicted how bad he’s been thus far. To me, that says something physical is wrong there that needs to be examined.

    8. ken
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:39 am

      I’m surprised that all anyone talks about with Hughes is the FB speed. What I’m seeing is that it is dead flat with no movement at all. At 88-90 mph the speed is enough but he used to have late movement.

    9. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:40 am

      I thought the same with Vazquez last year, that something may not be right physically.

      I also wonder if there is something up with Hughes’ conditioning. If there is something up with him physically, I wonder if he’s better suited to the bullpen.

      Even though that ship has sailed, it was really shortsighted (stupid?) not to have Chamberlain as a starting option. I don’t care that his velocity isn’t what it was in the rotation, you can still get hitters out throwing low 90′s.

    10. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:41 am

      @ ken:
      I’m more concerned with his command than his velocity.

    11. YankCrank
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:41 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Of course, one could argue that Gardner makes contact more frequently than Jones

      I die a little inside every time Gardner looks at a beautiful pitch down the middle for strike three. It’s only been 11 games, but I’ve been dying a lot lately.

    12. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:45 am

      Raf wrote:

      Even though that ship has sailed, it was really shortsighted (stupid?) not to have Chamberlain as a starting option.

      He’s a two-pitch pitcher and only one of those pitches is considered plus. He’s not a starter. He might’ve developed into one eventually but the Yankees aren’t about “eventually.” Somewhere along the line, that fat piece of goo abandoned his secondary stuff and that just won’t cut it in the rotation.

    13. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:56 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      I die a little inside every time Gardner looks at a beautiful pitch down the middle for strike three.

      This is the same thing that he was doing during 2009. He has the ability to be better than this, it’s just a question of being more aggressive. This ultimately comes down to Kevin Long and Joe Girardi either forcing him to be more aggressive or benching him until he gets the message.

    14. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:04 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Two pitches or no, he put together credible starting campaigns, nothing warranting banishing him to the bullpen.

    15. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:07 am

      Raf wrote:

      nothing warranting banishing him to the bullpen.

      Agree to disagree.

    16. ken
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:08 am

      Steve Karsay’s take on Twitter: “consider options on an 18 game winner from last year after 3 starts. Welcome to Yankee universe”

    17. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:23 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Fair enough

      @ ken:
      Here is Hughes’ velocity chart
      http://www.fangraphs.com/fgraphs/7450_P_FA_20110408.png

      It’s the lowest it has been at any time in his career. Granted it’s only 3 starts, but still, it’s something to keep an eye on. I’m not going to panic yet, but I would proceed cautiously.

    18. April 15th, 2011 | 9:57 am

      Hughes. I said it before and I’l say it again. If he’s not injured, I bet that he got a fat head after winning 18 games last year and making the All-Star game, and then didn’t do the work that he needed to do in order to be ready for this season. And, THAT, added to the fact that the league caught up with him last year – see his ERA of 5 over his last 20 starts – has made this perfect storm of suckitude for Hughes this season.

      Here’s what I would do, AGAIN, ASSUMING HE IS NOT INJURED: I would shut him down. I’d send him to Tampa for 6 weeks and make him bust his ass getting into shape. No pitching in games. Just hardcore boot camp conditioning. And, after that, I would send him to AAA and treat him there like it was Spring Training. I would have him pitch there for 6 more weeks building up his pitch count, etc. And, then, around the All-Star break, ASSUMING HE’S PITCHING BETTER, I would recall him to the big leagues. And, if he’s not pitching better, he stays in AAA until he works his way back.

      No shame in this – Halladay and Lee did it. Reboot. Prove yourself again. And, learn from it.

    19. ken
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:11 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      No shame in this – Halladay and Lee did it. Reboot. Prove yourself again. And, learn from it.

      Good point. Not that he will rise to their level, but Lee in particular hit rock bottom at about Hughes’ current age. There was a great SI article on Lee last year. He was thisclose to giving up on his career. As I recall, he reached a low level of minor leagues from which no former major league pitcher had ever returned.

    20. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:18 am

      ken wrote:

      Anyone besides me thinking that Girardi should have pinch hit for Gardner in the 9th?

      I was actually surprised when he didn’t pinch hit for Gardner last night. I think Girardi loves Gardner because he reminds him of himself when he was a player and as a result he is – and will continue to be – overly loyal to him.

    21. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:21 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Gardner and Jeter are just killing this offense right now at the top of the lineup. They should be batting 8 and 9, respectively.

      I tend to agree with you but am not sure who I would have batting 1 and 2 then. Granderson then Swisher perhaps? At any rate, it is all a moot point, I don’t see Girardi changing anything.

    22. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:24 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Honestly, I can’t see how he’s not hurt.

      I agree wholeheartedly but let’s hope we are both wrong.

      At any rate, someone needs to take a serious look at his off-season conditioning program (or lack thereof).

    23. ken
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:25 am

      Jeter gets much longer rope than Gardner and deservedly so. He will stay at 1 or 2 until at least the ASB. Gardner, however, has shown enough. I would move Jeter to leadoff and Swish to 2 and Gardy 9.

    24. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:37 am

      @ ken:
      Good point, I agree. Besides, I think Jeter is a better #1 than a #2 because of all the ground balls he hits.

    25. #15
      April 15th, 2011 | 11:35 am

      I’d have probably hung with Gardner. But, I would have pinch run for Tex in the 10th.

    26. #15
      April 15th, 2011 | 11:37 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Yep. Phil Hughes… Meet Tony Horton… P90X buddy.

    27. April 15th, 2011 | 11:39 am

      @ #15:

      Bring it!

      LOL

    28. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 12:17 pm

      If conditioning is the issue, it’s odd that a big deal was made of Joba showing up “noticeably heavier” but nothing was said about Hughes, at least to my knowledge.

    29. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 12:55 pm

      Raf wrote:

      If conditioning is the issue, it’s odd that a big deal was made of Joba showing up “noticeably heavier” but nothing was said about Hughes, at least to my knowledge.

      Because Joba shows outward signs of a lack of conditioning. He’s a disgusting-looking tub of lard and his fat jowls and cheeks are forcing his eyes closed. Joba is one of the least-healthy people I’ve ever seen.

      Hughes, if he’s lacking conditioning, at least looks lean enough to pass the eye test.

    30. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 12:55 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I bet that he got a fat head after winning 18 games last year and making the All-Star game

      I don’t buy it one bit.

    31. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 1:42 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Because Joba shows outward signs of a lack of conditioning. He’s a disgusting-looking tub of lard and his fat jowls and cheeks are forcing his eyes closed. Joba is one of the least-healthy people I’ve ever seen.

      LOL … forcing his eyes closed … priceless! :)
      I’m guessing you are about as much a Joba fan as Steve is a Cashman fan.

    32. ken
      April 15th, 2011 | 1:44 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      He’s a disgusting-looking tub of lard and his fat jowls and cheeks are forcing his eyes closed. Joba is one of the least-healthy people I’ve ever seen.

      More so than Colon? This guy should not be allowed to wear a Yankee uniform.

    33. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 3:09 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I’m guessing you are about as much a Joba fan as Steve is a Cashman fan.

      I like Joba more than Steve likes Cashman because I’m perfectly capable of admitting when Chamberlain does something good.

      That being said, I absolutely and utterly detest Joba. Every single time I see him warming up or taking the mound, I get the urge to turn off the TV because the mere sight of him enrages me. I’ve never hated a member of the Yankees more (and that’s saying something because Giambi made me want to puke from 2002-2004).

    34. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 3:11 pm

      ken wrote:

      More so than Colon? This guy should not be allowed to wear a Yankee uniform.

      Yes, more so than Colon. By virtue of his career, he’s earned the right to be a pig. Joba’s accomplished nothing so it makes me question who the hell he thinks he is showing up to camp even more tubby than last year, especially coming off an unimpressive season.

      If you’re going to be a slob at least have a track record to prove you can succeed as a slob. Thus far, Chamberlain is still a nobody.

    35. 77yankees
      April 15th, 2011 | 3:17 pm

      LoHud says Hughes is going on the DL.

    36. #15
      April 15th, 2011 | 3:22 pm

      I’ve had conversations with several Yankee org guys over the past few years that clearly indicated Hughes lacked self-motivation when it came to fitness, strength and endurance. He does his pitching workouts, and the minimum required weights, stretching and running. It has been a big concern regarding his long term viability. I’ll say the same thing about him I said about Joba. You have an incredible opportunity for fame and fortune. If you fail, let it be because you didn’t have the goods, not because you lacked the discipline to have yourself in the best condition to succeed. CC, Wells, Joba at times, Colon at the moment…. If you can get guys out, win games and help the team succeed and still eat meals larger than your head… fine, mangia like there’s no tomorrow. ERA is more important than BMI. Just don’t fail because you are soft.

    37. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 5:52 pm

      #15 wrote:

      I’ve had conversations with several Yankee org guys over the past few years that clearly indicated Hughes lacked self-motivation when it came to fitness, strength and endurance.

      When he was presumably “slacking off” his velocity had been higher.

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