Hughes: every outing has been disappointing

Another day, another bad start for Phil Hughes who gave up four runs in just 2.2 innings. It was the same old story too, his fastball was good, his secondary pitches awful, and his command was even worse. He could get ahead of hitters, but couldn’t finish them off.

“Every outing like this is disappointing in its own way,” Hughes told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “It’s tough to deal with. The last start wasn’t good by any means. None of them have been good, so it’s a tough thing to deal with. You just hope things get better before they get worse. I’ll do everything in my power and do my best to try to do that.”

It’s been a long time since Hughes came up in 2007. He’s no longer a rookie and instead is a veteran presence on the club, albeit a not so great one. Games like this should be happening with less frequency by now, but instead it has become a regular thing. This is not even like the way A.J. Burnett used to struggle where there was one or two blips in the game, but he was at least able to give them some innings. This more has the feel that even if he were able to hang in there and have a good outing, he would still be out by the 5th or 6th because his pitch count is way too high.

However, without a clear option to replace him at this point, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he has no plans to remove Hughes from the rotation at this point.

“Our plans are to send him out there again,” Girardi told Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.

The problem is that the Yankees like Hughes and think his “stuff” will eventually translate into a strong, young starter even if he hasn’t shown even an inkling of pitchability or ability to improve his secondary stuff. So they will continue to run him out there even if they lose every fifth day because if he somehow could prove that this is merely a slow start and not a continuation of the past year and a half then they would be a significantly better team for it.

What gets interesting is when Andy Pettitte comes back. Hughes is not the only one struggling and the Yankees will have to make a tough choice about who to remove from the rotation, a veteran well past his prime in Freddy Garcia or a young pitcher who has never lived up to his reputation.

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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4 Responses to Hughes: every outing has been disappointing

  1. Keena says:

    I'd rather have AJ than Hughes any day.

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    I say roll the dice with Mitchell and Phelps and forget about Hughes and Garcia. When Andy's back, trade Garcia, then if Phelps or Mitchell is even halfway decent, trade Hughes. Trade him for a AA OF and let some other team fix him.

  3. David K. says:

    Phil Hughes is a reliever, from everything I've seen of him. I think he has good stuff, but not great stuff. Same with velocity. When healthy, he is outstanding throwing one inning at a time with mostly fastballs. As a starter, he doesn't know how to pitch in such a way to get some easy outs. I'm not talking about the mental aspects, the game plan. He just doesn't have the muscle memory to get it done for six innings. We could wait for him to get his act together but I don't see him learning this year. So the only answer is the bullpen. Maybe try Mitchell or Phelps, but this would be hard to take for the entire year.

  4. hotdog says:

    His command looks terrible…he has such difficulty spotting pitches…he's often way off the catchers target…he needs to go down to AAA and work on some stuff…i don't think making him into a reliever at this point is going to work without taking a trip to Scranton…he needs time to think…i'd give him 2 more starts…I really thought Hughes would be a competent pitcher…

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