Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 5:40 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

While Mike Mussina is preparing to go after his twentieth win of the season Phil Hughes is just trying to get his first.

Injuries are what mostly has stood in Hughes’ way and I’m not just talking about this year. He has had three major injuries over the past two years and that has cost him a significant amount of time he should have spent developing.

He didn’t pitch must last season so he was not fully prepared to pitch in the majors this season. That may have led him to overexert himself and possibly could have led to the stress fracture in his ribs. So he sat on the DL for most of this season as well and when he was healthy enough to return the Yankees kept him in the minors for another month so he missed more time.

Here we are today, and he’s set to make just his second start since April tonight and he has yet to get a win. For the most part Hughes is still not ready to take on major league hitters. Sure his stuff looks good, but he can never finish off batters and he runs into wild streaks which cause him to go deep into counts while not pitching very far into games.

It’s always the same way, it was this way in 2007, same again in April, and in his last start. Hughes’ inability to put hitters away cost him a victory in his last start. He pitched pretty well in that start, but a high pitch count forced him out of the game in the forth inning and he was not credited with a win.

Luckily for Hughes the cause of this problem is also the reason why he should be able to make it through this. Although it may not be to the liking of Yankee fans. He was rushed through the minor league system. In 2005 he missed time to injuries, in 2006 he had his best and most productive year in double-A, and in 2007 he was sent to the majors way before he was ready and he started this season as one of the youngest pitchers in baseball at 21.

So now just 22, Hughes needs to start 2009 in low pressure situation. It should be about his development and not the bombers need for an emergency starter. If he goes through the Arizona Fall League this off-season ready to make the majors next season then fine, but Hughes should be worried about becoming a more refined pitcher without the pressures of being the savior of the Yankees.

If he spends 2009 in the minor leagues then so be it. He took advantage of his time down there this season by adding a cutter to his repertoire so clearly he is still learning at that level. Maybe that’s what he needs.

There is currently one response to “Hughes Still Looking For Win No. 1”

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  1. 1 On September 30th, 2008, Kenny Johnson said:

    Trade Hughes, Ian, Rasner, Ponson – Go get Sabathia, AJ Burnett to go along side of Wang and Petite (who will be back to pitch in the new stadium) with the chance of Mussina being a 5th if he wants to pitch.

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