Phil Hughes returns to the Bronx as Twins come to town

Phil Hughes 3

When a former Yankee that was a big part of the organization in the past returns to the stadium in a different uniform, it’s always an interesting match-up. The last time it happened was exactly a month ago when Robinson Cano returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time as a Seattle Mariner and played a three game set against the Bronx Bombers. This time, Phil Hughes will make the trek to the Bronx as a member of the Minnesota Twins and he’ll face the Yankees in the series finale of the three game set.

Hughes loved being a Yankee, but he did have one regret; he hated how he finished his Yankee career so poorly.

“Sometimes you wish you didn’t leave a place on such a bad note,” Hughes said. “I know some fans will remember me more for that than anything else.”

Hughes finished the 2013 season with a 4-14 record and an ERA of 5.19, which prompted the Yankees decision to not bring him back during the offseason. Hughes wasn’t without a job for long as the Minnesota Twins signed him for three-year, $24 Million deal. Now, before fans think it was all bad, Hughes actually had a decent Yankee career: He was 56-50 with a 4.53 ERA, he won a World Series in 2009 and made the All-Star team roster in 2010. Still, Hughes knows that the fans expected more from him, especially since he was donning pinstripes.

“I won’t say it was a burden, because it’s obviously a great opportunity to have a lot of people think highly of you,” Hughes said. “But a lot of times it’s hard to live up to such great expectations. You’re going to have those growing pains, those times you’re going to have to learn and find yourself in the big leagues. Obviously, injuries can slow things down. You see guys like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, those aren’t always the norm. Guys don’t always find extreme success like they’ve had.”

The Twins are expecting Hughes to win the game for them while the Yankees are unsure what to expect from the new and improved Hughes; he’s 5-1 with a 3.23 ERA this season. However, the Yankees are hoping Hughes is unable to execute his game plan as they formulate a plan of their own for Sunday’s finale: beat Phil Hughes and the Minnesota Twins at any cost.

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7 Responses to Phil Hughes returns to the Bronx as Twins come to town

  1. John says:

    I hope the change of scenery serves him well and that he continues his new found success. But I hope he hasn't suddenly figured out how to pitch in Yankee Stadium.

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      Well, Hughes has gone above and beyond for the Twins, so I think Sunday's game will be a good one (I don't expect Hughes to be 'bad Phil Hughes'). I'm excited to see him pitch and I'm glad he's found success.

  2. tomy cassella says:

    man, am i pissed at hughes. it seems like he has been a much much better pitcher for the twins. why could'nt he pitch last year like he's pitching now?

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      I don't think he's doing it on purpose. I think it has more to do with the ballpark wasn't a fit for him. Target Field is bigger than Yankee Stadium and I think he really needed the change of scenery. Not everyone is cut out to pitch at Yankee Stadium.

  3. 9NYY61 says:

    Yankees screwed him up. A few years ago, he started 8-1, so the Yankees wanted him to skip a turn, cut down on his innings pitched (WTF?). After that, he wasn't the same. I won't even talk about Joba. Yankee management has no clue when it comes to pitching!

  4. Michael R says:

    I don't know that anyone really has a clue about pitching. Some clubs are luckier than others, some pitchers pitch better in certain parks, and sometimes a player (regardless of position) needs a change of scenery with new management, coaches, and players to work with. The Yanks and Hughes were ready to part company and so far it has been good for Hughes, and I'm thrilled for him.

    • Throughout Hughes' career he has done very well in pitchers parks. Minnesota is a great pitchers park and Yankee Stadium is not. There should be no surprise that Hughes has done well so far this year as a Twin.