Hughes’ final line (three strikeouts, two walks, three hits, one earned run) hardly told the story of his struggles. Hughes said he saw positives – he threw “some good cutters,” felt “healthy” and gave up a pair of infield singles. But he never showcased overpowering stuff, inducing just six swing-and-miss strikes.
Hughes hit 93 on the radar gun seven times over the first two frames, needing 28 pitches through two hitless stanzas. But his fastball never eclipsed 91 thereafter, and his control seemed to gradually abandon him…
“He’ll probably need about two more to go, as long as the New York side is OK,” Cashman said before the game. “As long as the New York side is OK, we’d like to stretch him up to about 100 pitches, increase him by about 15 every outing.”
From what it sounds like, Phil Hughes‘ fastball is about the same as it was before he left. However, this may be a short bump in the road and more work on his endurance might help his velocity. It is encouraging that he is at least up near 92 early in the game. It still isn’t 95 mph though.
But if his stuff does not return even after two more starts it’s hard to see the Yankees returning him to the rotation. It’s possible that something could happen in the Bronx that would force the Yankees to recall Hughes before he is ready, Cashman’s quote seem to suggest he’s ready for that eventuality. However, it is obviously best for everyone involved if they wait until he is 100 percent, if that is even possible at this point.