Re-Sign Phil Hughes … But Really

Phil-Hughes

Just listen …

So, I have stood by Phil Hughes since he came up in 2007 and he was supposed to be the next best thing in the Yankees rotation, the homegrown talent that the Yankees were waiting for that could help carry the pitching staff behind the superstar signings the Yankees were known for. Since then Hughes has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the Majors, and possibly I have seen in my lifetime. Therefore I have given up …. mostly. Since Hughes’ debut he has pitched himself to a 56-47 record with a 4.49 ERA, with his best year, 2010, being a solid 18-8 with a 4.19 ERA. The biggest issue with this was that before the All-Star break Hughes was great pitching to a 11-2 record with a 3.65 ERA, but a mere 7-6 record  4.90 ERA after the All-Star break. As a spectator, Hughes’ biggest problem is his inability to keep the ball down in the zone. He still throws around 95 MPH with his fastball and has a decent breaking ball. The problem is his fastball is consistently up in the zone and at Yankee Stadium a.k.a “The Launching Pad” you can kiss most of those pitches goodbye, he has given up a staggering 110 home runs in his career, with 22 coming this year. So, yes it looks like the Yankees will finally give up on their former “can’t miss” prospect, but I think they should reconsider.

In 2009 Phil Hughes was moved to the bullpen because of the issues with the relief pitchers before Mariano Rivera. As a relief pitcher and mostly a setup man for Mariano, before David Robertson came along to dominate the 8th inning, Phil Hughes registered an 5-1 record with a 1.40 ERA with 65 strikeouts in only 51 innings. For his career Hughes is 6-2 with a 1.44 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched and .91 WHIP, clearly he hasn’t pitched much more out of the bullpen besides 2009. However, let’s delve a little further in the numbers here. In those 61 innings Hughes only gave up 2 home runs, hitters were only hitting .172 against him with a .237 OBP and a .232 Slugging percentage. In addition, he yielded no sac flies, which means two possibilities, first that not many guys were on third base or two that when anyone was on third base, he did not give up a fly ball out with less than 2 outs. That last notion is mind boggling when you consider who were talking about here.

Hear me out. The Yankees should re-sign to a two year deal in the $2-4 million range with the intent of him becoming the 8th inning guy for David Robertson and/or fighting for our closer duties with Robertson. I think that bringing Hughes out of the bullpen will only benefit the Yanks and himself. He should not be brought back as a starter, because clearly that won’t work, but Cashman should sit down with Hughes and his agent and make him a decent deal with the promise of becoming the 8th inning guy or the Yanks’ new closer.

Those are my two cents … cash them in

-Anthony

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5 Responses to Re-Sign Phil Hughes … But Really

  1. AJ Noto says:

    Problem is someone in a smaller market will offer him a few years at around 5-6 mil per to be their 3rd or 4th starter.

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