Hughes: I’m Not a Prospect Anymore

The Yankees have been counting on Phil Hughes to emerge since 2007 and for a stretch from 2009 through part of 2010 he looked real good. Something happened along the way though and Hughes got complacent and he showed up to camp last year out of shape, a move that is not OK for a 25-year-old pitcher.

Apparently he realizes that his time is running out.

“I’m at a point where the patience is running out,” Hughes said to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News. “I’m not a prospect anymore and I’m not 21 years old anymore. You’re gauged on what kind of year you had, not what you’re capable of doing.

“I’m certainly not at the point in my career where I can come in and go through the motions, and if I give up eight runs in an outing, it’s all good because it’s spring training. For me, coming off a bad season, I’m trying to do as much as I can to make sure that I’m ready to go when spring training rolls around.”

He has been working out at the Athletes’ Performance Institue in Los Angeles and has begun his offseason throwing program a month early. Better late than never I suppose.

It’s amazing that he achieved something that so many guys have tried and he took it so totally for granted. The Yankees don’t look like they are going to do much to significantly change their rotation, but an improved Hughes in 2012 would be just as good as a blockbuster deal.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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5 Responses to Hughes: I’m Not a Prospect Anymore

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    For any young player to fail due to lack of conditioning is astounding. I have no confidence in Hughes at this point. Just ask yourself this, who would you rather have start a big game, Hughes or Burnett? For me it’s Burnett. Because of his performance Hughes has close to zero trade value, yet I would be happy to see him thrown in as part of a deal for Garza or Danks. If he can’t be traded, then I want to see him earn his spot in a spring training competition, and if he loses that competition I want him sent to AAA, I don’t even want to see him in the bullpen. Enough with this guy!

    • David K. says:

      I know Hughes has been so inconsistent and downright terrible in 2011 but Burnett over Hughes in a big game? Come on… I would have more confidence in any raw rookie than Burnett in a big game.

      • JOKER says:

        Actually I agree with TT on who should be pitching for a big game.
        Burnett acutally pitches better when he gets it going so I would probably let AJ pitch instead of Hughes, if I have to count on luck.

        Anyway, it seems as if CASH won't make any significant move for our 2012 rotation. Since we are plain screwed for not making any move, we should just pray for the best out of Hughes. 🙁

  2. hotdog says:

    It's up to Hughes. He needs to put in the work and come into camp in shape. A lot of pitchers work a 91 or 92 mph pitch to perfection but Hughes needs to have the extra mustard as well as confidence in his other pitches. If you've seen in in his post-game interviews he looks more sullen than AJ Burnett, he looks defeated. He's got to overcome that as well.

  3. Shavager says:

    Actually if you look at Burnett's last 3-4 starts he begins to look like AJ Burnett of old, getting his pitch location improved and getting movement on the ball. He pitched better in the last 2-3 games including the one playoff start than he has in last two years. Hughes is just inconsistent since returning from injury rehab, doesn't look like the same pitcher from 2010. Yankees could work around one starter with problems AJ and Hughes have, but the two are incompatible on same team unless definite upgrade in performance happens. If they can't trade Burnett, maybe it's time to get some value out of Hughes and focus on a youth movement in pitching staff.

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