Hughes: Far from a good outing, but some positives

Phil Hughes‘ start on Thursday night started off terribly as he allowed four unearned runs in the 1st inning following an error by Eduardo Nunez. He then settled in and pitched a strong 2nd through 5th innings.

Unfortunately he went out for the 6th inning and it was the same old bad Hughes. He went ahead of Justin Morneau 0-2 before eventually walking him and then proceeded to give up a two-run home run to Ryan Doumit that knocked him out of the game after 104 pitches and just 5.1 innings.

It wasn’t a good start, but it wasn’t awful either. Hughes’ himself probably described it best.

“I felt like my stuff was good,” Hughes told Vincent Mercogliano of the Journal News. “Fastball was pretty good, and my curveball was probably the best that its been in a while. There’s some encouraging things. It’s far from a good outing, but still some positives that I can look at.”

One of the positives was that Hughes was able to make a mid-game adjustment and settle down rather quickly. It’s something that he usually is unable to do in the middle of a start.

The biggest problem continues to be his inability to go deep into a game, which stems from an inability to finish off hitters, and his loss of velocity throughout the game. His fastball was lively early on, nearly touching 94 mph, according to Pitch F/X, but ht couldn’t hit 92 by the 5th inning.

Even if he pulls it together and manages to avoid the big innings, it seems doubtful that he will be able to get deep into games on a regular basis. He might not have the stamina for it as it was troubling seeing him unravel so quickly.

Hughes did pitch well enough to fend off having a ton of Yankees fans breathing down his neck demanding David Phelps to take his rotation spot. Even if he does manage to fend off Phelps, Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda are right behind him.

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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8 Responses to Hughes: Far from a good outing, but some positives

  1. kev says:

    Rob, you know as well as I do, Joe will be tinkering with the rotation to see what works. If Garcia has another bad outing, definately insert Phelps into his spot. I still would like to see DJ Mitchell in pinstripes, why is Ca$hman letting this kid waste away in AAA………Cody Eppley ?…Really ?

    • Eppley actually had pretty unreal strikeout and walk numbers. The Yankees seem to prefer to break Mitchell, and Warren, in through the long relief role rather than as a true middle reliever. Besides, the Yankees have 13 pitchers now. Somebody will go down to the minors soon.

      • Matt_DC says:

        I think Eppley is just there for innings. When the bullpen is a little more rested they will release him and call up Curtis, or someone else with options for the 25th man.

  2. kev says:

    I also cannot stand to watch Nunez in the infield any more, you,ve got a 6X GG (Chavez) sitting on the bench. Yes Nunez has a decent bat and can run the bases but if Knoblach…er…Nunez makes the simple throw to first, we're out of the inning !

  3. NYYfaninATL says:

    Hughes. Is. NOT. A. Starter!!!

    I’ve been saying this for two years. Put him in the pen where is 10 x’s better and put Phelps into the #5 slot where he is more suited.

    As for Nunez….send him to AAA and make him an outfielder where he can use his speed and arm. He’s clearly NOT and infielder.

    • Gonzalo says:

      Nunez moving completely to the outfield, I never thought about it but It's a very good idea.
      It's just frustrating watching him in the infield.
      It's goint to be impossible to keep Swisher, Granderson and Cano in the team, from those 3 I would let Swisher go away and Nunez could take that place if he becomes a more than decent outfielder. Remember that we have no top prospect outfielder in the AAA, our good outfielders are far from the Big Circus.

  4. Dan says:

    Obviously he didn't help himself out in the first inning, but I really can't blame that on him (I blame Girardi for overmanaging). His curveball was nasty yesterday. I really think next start he'll put it all together.

  5. NYYinATL says:

    With Hughes, it's less about pure stuff….and more about mound presence and confidence in his pitches. You look at Nova when he starts… can tell the conviction is his pitches and in his attitude. Hughes absolutely doesn not for whatever reason have that as a starter. As a reliever? Yes. He seems like a different guy.

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