New mechanics for Phil Hughes

Some statistics you ought to be familiar with
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From BA’s Prospect Blog:

“He was drifting through the balance point of his delivery a little bit, and it wasn’t allowing him to be as sharp,” Eiland said. “The command and life on his fastball were still OK, but it wasn’t Phil Hughes-like. He worked on that between starts.”

That’s not to say Hughes is not a self-aware pitcher. Eiland credits the 20-year-old with having high pitching aptitude and a sound delivery. “You’ve got to tell him just one small thing and he’s back where he needs to be. Every now and then your delivery is going to be a bit off. He corrects himself,” the pitching coach said.

“Our goal is to just keep him going, to help him develop his changeup. He just needs experience and innings. He’s just 20-year-old, and I think a lot of times we forget that. He needs to pitch in big situations–men on second and third with one out–to see how he responds.”

Though Hughes came out of high school with an advanced slider, the Yankees have helped him develop a curveball, a pitch that generates more swings and misses and reduces arm strain.

“He still throws the slider two, three, four times a game, if at all. He still throws it on side days,” Eiland said. “That slider’s still there.”

I’m glad to hear he’s still got the slider, but I’m sorry, the kid is as ML ready as you can possibly want a prospect to be. He won’t face many of those “big situations” in the minors, he’s just too good.

I know I sound like a broken record, but he should be in the bigs right now. No doubt about it.

Some statistics you ought to be familiar with
Kontos pinched
  • Joseph P.

    Mike, you just made a point that I’ve been having a hard time being clear about.

    You don’t learn from dominating; you learn from failure. If it takes him two starts to get acclimated to AAA and just starts dominating, what’s he learning there?

    That question, I think, is the best place to start a Hughes discussion.

  • Depressed Fan

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Mike. Not only would it be good for his development to have him starting in the Bronx now, it could potentially be the difference between another division title for the Yanks and the wild card or missing the playoffs.

    The rotation, which was questionable going into the season, has 3 guys on the DL and filling in with guys who may or may not project out to be a back of the rotation starter, if that is only going to put extra strain on the bull pen. If they bring Hughes up and he fails, where’s the harm? You send him back down to finish out the season in AAA and try again next year. If he succeeds, you’ve got a front-of-the-rotation starter to stabilize the staff.

    Even if he fails, everything I’ve heard and seen about this kid is that he’s unflappable. I don’t see a couple rough outings stunting his development, if anything, I think it would make him more determined to work on his overall game.

  • Travis G.

    I dont know if you’re saying Hughes should come up and pitch every game until he’s tired each game. However, the Yanks dont want him pitching more than 180 ip this year – which i agree with. Going up more than 30 ip a year can be dangerous. Our starters already hardly go more than 6 ip/game, so why bring up a rookie who they’ll hold to a pitch limit to tax an already taxed bullpen? Although Pettitte, Mussina, Pavano, etc. rarely go more than 6, there’s no limit on them, and they will go 7 occasionally. No chance with Hughes, especially when the hope is to also use him in October.

    It’s just easier to limit innings in AAA (where it’s about development) than in MLB (all about winning). And please dont go overboard, he had one great start – let him have a few more before bringing him up. he’s the crown jewel of the system, i’d rather the Yanks be extra-careful than not. it’s fine to mess around with Karstens, Wright and Rasner, but dont with Hughes.

  • b

    Interesting article here about everything that’s wrong with the changed mechanics.