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.