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.