A Hughes bullpen debate, once more with gusto

2009 Draft LiveBlog: Day Two
Players who make accusations should not hide

Give a bunch of baseball writers an inning, and they’ll make a career out of it.

On Monday night, with the Yanks holding on to a one-run lead in the 7th inning, Joe Girardi summoned Phil Hughes from the bullpen. The Yanks had hoped to throw Phil in a low-pressure situation, but the circumstances of the game and the Yanks’ shaky pen dictated a trial-by-fire appearance for Phil.

The young right-hander did not disappoint. He threw 11 pitches — 7 for strikes — and averaged 94 with his fastball while peaking above 95. He dominated the top of the Rays’ lineup and had everyone raving after the game. Tyler Kepner called him “a revelation in relief,” and Joel Sherman is “intrigued to see more” from Hughes the reliever.

Others were less guarded with their praise and expectations. Steve Lombardi wondered if Hughes’ future rests in the bullpen, and NJ.com’s Colin Stephenson asks if Phil could be the next Joba Chamberlain. I don’t even want to know what Mike Francesca thinks. Is Phil Hughes a STARTING PITCHAAAAAAAAAH?

The Yankees are keeping their short-term plans for Hughes close to the vest. While acknowledging a dearth of AAA starters, Girardi knows that Hughes can be an impact player now. “The important thing is he’s here to pitch important innings for us, and we believe he’s valuable to us,” Girardi said. “I mean, if he’s lights-out in the bullpen, do you make a change? I don’t know. That’s something we’re going to have to continue to evaluate. But we do like having him down there right now.”

Of course, the Yanks like having him down there. Who wouldn’t like having a potential top-of-the-rotation starter throwing in the bullpen? Imagine the damage CC Sabathia or Johan Santana would do out of the pen. (This argument sure sounds familiar, no?)

Meanwhile, we can read between the lines of Girardi’s statements. Chien-Ming Wang carries an ERA of 14.46 into his start against the Red Sox tonight, and if Wang does not pitch well and show improvement over his last outing, the Yankees may have to face the uncomfortable reality that their better option in the rotation is Hughes.

Long-term, the Yankees’ decision to move Hughes into the bullpen has to be a fairly temporary one. Hughes could be starting for the Yankees this year. The reason he isn’t is because the team opted to bring back Andy Pettitte. Next year, though, Hughes should move into the rotation full time, and the Yankees cannot afford to stunt his growth. He might get outs as a reliever, but as we know from the long drawn-out Joba Chamberlain discussion, Hughes’ real value lies in his potential to excel as a starter.

Joe Girardi, of course, has the ultimate word on the subject. “I had said all along that I wasn’t afraid to use him at any time, because of the stuff that he’s got,” Girardi said. “He was really good [Monday]You don’t want to make too much out of one outing, whether it goes one way or the other, but we did like the way he was throwing the baseball.”

You definitely don’t want to make too much out of one outing. For now, Hughes is contributing at the Big League level because he has the talent and ability to do so. He also has the talent and ability to be a successful Major League starter. The Yankees know this, and the team’s fans shouldn’t get seduced, yet again, by a starter throwing a few innings of relief. It didn’t make sense to keep Joba in the pen, and it doesn’t with Hughes either.

2009 Draft LiveBlog: Day Two
Players who make accusations should not hide
  • Mattingly’s Love Child

    I think the MSM gets a giant OAKTAG for thinking after one good relief appearance that Hughes’ future may be in the bullpen.

    One would hope that they would see Hughes’ success (and really, one appearance can hardly be called a success) proves that you can take a good or average major league starting pitcher and they will be a better than average relief pitcher. Yes, a quality bullpen is important. But it’s a waste of an asset to put someone who can get outs 3-4 times through a lineup into a one-inning role, at least long term. I really hope that Hughes is just a short term thing.

    To be honest, I’d have more confidence if he was starting tonight’s game with the Sawx than Wang…..

    If the Yanks are still struggling with relief pitchers in another month, maybe look at Kontos for the pen. Don’t waste Hughes by making him a reliefer all season!

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      and it would appear that everyone else is in the live draft….

      Or they’ve all grown tired of this subject (which I doubt).

      • http://www.votepaulformayor.blogspot.com jsbrendog

        i hate this subject. it makes me angry and makes me want to punch things. AND the live blog draft is blocked ay my work. so im rpetty much sitting here workin on my woo sahs

  • liam

    I wonder why no one every said mussina to the pen after that playoff game

  • Babe’s Ghost

    I am so sick of this ‘debate’ because we all know that the real roots of it lie in the media’s desperate need to have a story to flog every day. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of MSM commentators weren’t hired because of their analytic acumen, they were hired because they’re decent writers and they know how to get a rise out of people.

    Rather than vehemently disagree, we should either
    1. Ignore them
    2. post or call in with a one word answer, “BORING”

    Imagine if we could fill Joel Sherman’s blog with “BORING” comments.

    Or organize a group to call Francesa, when we talk to the screener we pretend to agree or disagree with lots of animated discussion, but when we get on air we say, “Boring” and hang up.

    Now that would be an accomplishment.

    • ARX

      I’d like to cast my vote for IGNORE please. We know RAB’s stance on this (and the whole Joba thing). It’s bad enough reading this stupidity elsewhere, why beat this dead horse here? You don’t HAVE to refute it every time it crops up (which would be a full time job anyway). Your site, your rules, who cares what I think….but I could go for a 1-month moratorium on xyz-to-the-pen stories

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I am all for the moratorium. Acknowledging arguments like this only strengthens them. You should only have to make this argument once.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          …Joe, didnt you just, in essence, strengthen this argument by acknowledging it?

          realize of course, if you respond to me, you’re further strengthening it.

          the sad realization i just had, is that by my mere response to your response, i have contributed to global warming.

          and that makes me sad.

          • jsbrendog

            you should start receiving hate mail from al gore within 4-6 weeks. thank you for your global warming contribution

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            Didn’t you see how political I was? I didn’t mention the principals. Just that there is an argument.

            Pushing myself further into the political, I’m going to now refer to you as “that RAB commenter.” Yeah, let’s see you build up a reputation without all that FREE ADVERTISING.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            You just demonstrated Watson’s Corollary:

            It always takes longer than you expect, even when to take Watson’s Corollary into account.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’ve got the perfect solution for all this B-Jobberism and B-Hoserism.

          Let’s invert the numbering system. The first inning is the 9th inning. The 9th inning is the first inning. Countdown style, just like a clock. Extra innings are just numberless extra innings.

          If the 8th inning becomes the 2nd inning, the MSM won’t be able to go apeshit over it, because 2 is smaller than 8, and we all know smaller numbers are less important than bigger numbers, right?

          Knowing the MSM’s lack of intellectual heft, it’ll take ‘em half a century to recalibrate their psyches around that mindfuck.


  • Doug

    Assuming no rotation spots open up due to Wang’s effectiveness or injury, opinions on what should be done with Hughes this season. Personally, I’d keep him in the pen until the All-Star Break. Then, I’d send him back down to AAA to lengthen him out so he can take over Joba’s spot as he approaches his innings limit. Joba then moves to the pen for the stretch run and (hopefully) playoffs.

    • http://www.votepaulformayor.blogspot.com jsbrendog

      you had me until joba then moves to the pen.

      what joba does when phil repalces him si get a pat on the butt, shut down, and told he’s the number 2 next year behind cc.

      everything else is mui primo

      • Doug

        so joba just sits out the final 6 weeks of the season? what’s wrong with sending him to the pen?

        • jsbrendog

          you want joba to maximize his innings in the capacity he will be filling for the restof his baseball life. He needs to wokr on cycling through an order 2 or 3 times a game and continuing to get outs and mix hsi pitches. putting him in the bullpen just to get more use of him for the last 20 or so or more innings stunts his growth and warps his learning curve.

          • Doug

            can’t disagree with what you’re saying per se, just have a slight difference of opinion.

            anyway, do you honestly see the yanks just shutting him down?

          • Nady Nation

            But, he WILL BE working on cycling through an order 2-3 times a game for the first 130-140 innings that he throws this year. I don’t see how throwing an extra 20-25 innings in the pen in September and October will stunt or warp his growth. You’d just be making use of one of the team’s best pitchers, albeit in a different role for a month or two, instead of losing him for the season. Now, if you wanna make the argument that he could be more prone to injury by switching him back to the bullpen as he approaches his innings limit, then you’d have a valid concern.

            (Note: I still haven’t decided if I want to shut Joba down when he reaches his innings cap or move him to the bullpen JUST for the stretch run. This is merely my argument for the “it’s OK to move Joba to the pen in Sept.” side of the coin).

            • jsbrendog

              only way i personally move him to the bullpen, and all of this has to happen for me to do it.

              wang equal sign teh ultimate suck and hughes becomes the 5th starter. the bullpen does not have 2 solid options behind mariano (ie bruney and marte being healthy and pitching like bruney and marte cause in the playoffs all you really need is a nelson and a stanton and then a loogy like graeme lloyd [coke] and youre set with mo.

              the playoffs only need 4 starters. so youve got wang, cc, burnett, pettitte with a pen of mo, bruney, marte, + whoever sticks out of robertson/melancon/coke/insert your name here.

              i am not worried.

              • TheLastClown

                So, your playoff roster has both Joba & Hughes in absentia. I’d like to see them get another postseason look, as they both were excellent *less the midges* in 07.

                • jsbrendog

                  meh, if phil hasnt met his innings cap then he can be in the bullpen i guess. but he’s not really necessarya t that point if what i outlined above comes to fruition.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  So, your playoff roster has both Joba & Hughes in absentia. I’d like to see them get another postseason look, as they both were excellent *less the midges* in 07.

                  All of us would, but the increased risk of having them throw over their caps and having them warming up at irregular intervals + the fact that we may not really need need them because we can assemble a very good 11-12 man postseason pitching staff without them means it’s probably the best idea to not risk overtaxing them.

                  It’s not like we’re waving a white flag on the season. We’re just going with the established vets for one more year, that’s all.

      • Mike HC

        I can’t imagine not using Joba in some capacity if the Yanks make the playoffs. To have arguably our best, or second best pitcher just sit out the entire playoffs just does not make sense to me. I would prefer Joba pitch out of relief rather than Joba not pitch at all, if those are the alternatives.

  • Corey

    whats MSM stand for?

    • ARX

      Mainstream Media, I think

      • jsbrendog

        indeed, correct

  • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

    Last year Joba, this year Phil…will it never end?
    A starting (#1/2/3) pitcher is worth more to a team then a RP…fact! What good is it to have 8 unhittable RP if the team is knocked out of the game by the 3rd inning? With top of the line starters that can go 6/8 innings (or less even) one always has the chance of winning the game.
    I don’t see Joba making starts without being missed a time or two (or more) the rest of the season. It would be much better to have him rested and ready for the games that really count…play-offs and WS. If they keep Phil up as a RP, why not have him pitch for Joba once in a while? Both pitchers would then be getting enough work for next year and also help the team this year.

    • jsbrendog

      Old ranger! long time no post. i must say i feel pretty good about 27 in 09

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      We missed you, brother.

  • Mike HC

    Can we just copy and paste the hundreds of RAB comments which discuss Joba to pen. Then replace Joba’s name with Hughes. That would save a lot of time for everyone.

  • T

    Joba has 59.1 IP through 11 starts. That’s about 5 1/3 innings per start. At that rate, with a little massaging of his starts, he’s going to pretty much be able to pitch through the end of the season and stay around the famous 150 IP limit, so I don’t see the bullpen as being a serious end of the season issue for him.

    As far as Hughes goes, the only debate should be if he pitches in the pen this season. If Wang can be effective and the other starters don’t get hurt, there’s no question for me that Hughes should pitch in the major league bullpen this year and move to starting next year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      The problem is that you can’t expect Hughes to throw a full season in the rotation if he’s limited to bullpen work this year. The innings limit would stunt his development and handicap the 2010 Yankees.

      • jsbrendog

        i do not think hughes should be in the pen now. I think he should be in the pen even less once bruney comes back. now, saying that, COULD they do something where based on the length of the aaa season and assuming 5 innings a start (obv under there) they keep phil in the ml bullpen until a date where sending him down to aaa to start would then have him hit his limit thereofre mxaimizing his high impact ml innings but also finishing his limit as a starter and most importantly actually reaching that innings plateau?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        The problem is that you can’t expect Hughes to throw a full season in the rotation if he’s limited to bullpen work this year. The innings limit would stunt his development and handicap the 2010 Yankees.


        I hate to sound like a monotonous broken record player, but our primary goal with Hughes is to get him to 180 innings this year so that he can throw without a cap next year.

        I still have yet to see any scenario where he gets anywhere close to even 140 innings this year pitching out of the bullpen, let along 180.

    • Doug

      but then hughes won’t pitch enough innings this year and will be on a limit next year. not sure that’s the route i’d go.

  • Iowa Yank

    Phil for the 7th Joba for the 8th it just makes sense turning first round draft picks into relief pitchers

  • http://bigbluepinstripes.blogspot.com/ LB

    Fill Uuuse is a starting Pitchah!
    Das it

  • Bo

    Why waste him in Scranton when he can get important innings here and help the team win a title? Theres no reason he can’t be used like Billinglsy was used in LA.

  • Will

    This isn’t/shouldn’t be a black and white issue. The bottom line is that if you want both Joba and Hughes to contribute on the major league level for the entire year + playoffs, then both will need to spend time in the bullpen. Not only does a hybrid role ensure a max contribution from both, but it also sets them up nicely for 180+ inning seasons in 2010.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Right. I have no problem with a temporary move of Hughes to the pen. I’d rather see him contributing at the Big League level than dominating AAA. But under no circumstances should this move become permanent, and the Yankees must ensure that Hughes and Joba reach their innings limits this year. Those are my qualifiers to this debate.

      • Doug

        so, ben, you’d replace joba in rotations with hughes come august sometime, moving joba to the pen for the stretch run?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          As long as both pitchers reach their innings limit.

          Considering how last year played out, I’d probably rest Pettitte in August in exchange for Hughes while keeping Joba in the rotation as long as possible.

          • jsbrendog

            interesting theory. it has its merits esp since pettitte needs to be rested for the playoffs….hopefully in september we have a cushion and can skip a start of his once or twice to pitch a younger guy…

            unrelated but this made me think of it, is there any timetable at all as to when kennedy may even be able to pick up a ball again? didhe have the surgery yet?

          • Nady Nation

            Is this based on the assumption that Pettitte will struggle in August just b/c he did last year? He’s been a second half pitcher for his entire career, last season aside, when he was battling shoulder problems. As long as he’s not injured, I don’t know if you could make a plan to lift him from the rotation in favor of Hughes so far in advance.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

              Based on last year and this year’s injuries. Resting Pettitte enough this summer so that he remains healthy late into the season should become a priority for the Yanks. My uninformed view is that he can’t withstand the beating of 34 starts + a postseason anymore.

              • billbybob

                What about the incentives in his contract? I would think Petite would resist any move to rest him in August.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            I think that moving Joba to the bullpen, even due to innings limits, is a huge (or, as Francesa would say, UGE) mistake.

            I understand the desire to have him contribute, but I am very uncomfortable jerking him back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen. Different preparation.

            I am completely and totally okay with the idea that you let Joba start until he hits his innings limit, and then you shake his hand, thank him for a great first year in the rotation (because if he hits his innings limit, it means he’s done his job and stayed healthy), and show him the seat on the bench from which he will root for the Yanks the rest of the year.

            You have to think long term with a potential ace.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD


        • ChrisS

          I’m not sure Joba will hit his innings limit in August.

          He’s still working on his pitches and striking out a lot hitters, which eats up pitch counts. He’s technically the 5th starter in the rotation, no? The fifth spot in the rotation tends to hit about 25-30 starts a season accounting for skipped starts because of off-days, rain-outs, etc. There are ~20 starts left for each pitcher, figure Jobber gets skipped a couple of times, and say he’ll get 28 starts on the season. If he averages 6 IP for those next 16 starts, he’ll be at 150 IP +/- by the end of the season.

          Running him out there and trying to hit his cap in mid-August and then benching him for the last 6 weeks of the regular season and postseason is a recipe for a media disaster that can be avoided by skipping his turn 2-3 times. You think these people are nuts now, wait until Jobber is shut down because the Yankees are a bunch of pansies and concerned about his arm when Jim Palmer used to throw 700 innings a year when he was 19 … ad naseum.

          • JohnnyC

            Gee, gramps, did Jim Palmer really throw 700 innings a year when he was 19? How could he when old school rules dictated he break into the majors in the bullpen, learning to pitch by watching (which is as good as observing when pitching is 90% mental half the time)?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Running him out there and trying to hit his cap in mid-August and then benching him for the last 6 weeks of the regular season and postseason is a recipe for a media disaster that can be avoided by skipping his turn 2-3 times.

            Doing what we think is best for Joba and his long term development and health >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
            Stupid opinions of the increasingly dumb-ass media

            If we’re gonna skip him 2-3 times, it should be because it’s what we think is most appropriate, not because we fear a media backlash.

            I’m sure John Harper, George King III, Mike Francesa, and the entire BBTN crew would all have massive embolisms if we shut Joba down on August 29th. However, I literally could not give a single shit.

            • jsbrendog

              I literally could not give a single shit

              i could. the one on their face when they open their stupid mouths. BURN!

            • ChrisS

              what we think is most appropriate, not because we fear a media backlash.

              Of course, but along the same line, I’d rather have Joba in the rotation come September rather than skipping Pettitte or AJ Farnsworth in July.

              The negative media backlash would just be a painful side effect that isn’t necessary.

  • JeffG

    I hope fans won’t lose their lids if Wang isn’t lights out tonight. I can just see if Wang gives up a couple of runs people will be crying that Hughes needs to replace him. – Hopefully not though.

    • ARX

      As long as he doesnt have any meltdowns like he did early on where he couldn’t get out of the second, I have no problems letting him work himself back into form for a few weeks. Even a few 5inn-4 to 5 run outings wouldnt faze me.

    • jsbrendog

      that will definitely happen. yankee fans are obnoxious. and that is why francesca has a job. unless wang pitches a shutout people will bitch.

      we know he is on a pitch limit and doesnt have the arm strength stamina built up yet so if wang can go 5 and give up 3 or less i see that as good enough for me for red sox at fenway.

    • ChrisS

      I think Hughes is the better pitcher right now, there I said it.

      • ChrisS

        In fact, I’ll go even farther. I think Phil Hughes is the 3rd best starter on this team after CC and Jobber.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’ll agree with both of those statements. My retort:

          Fixing whatever is wrong with CMW is an important priority, because we’ll need him pitching effectively come September and October, because both Joba and Hughes will be capped in one way or another. So, even though Hughes is a better pitcher than Wang at the moment, we need Wang in the rotation right now, correcting his demons.

          • ChrisS

            Fair enough, but I don’t think Hughes can reach his cap this season (~175 IP) without going seriously long. Wang, I think, probably shouldn’t start in the post-season over Hughes anyway. CC/Pettitte/Burnett/Hughes is preferable to me. I think Hughes can make it through the season and postseason without obliterating his inning cap.

            I guess we’ll see though.

            • jsbrendog

              but you cant bet on the post seasno to meet that cap. he HAS to meet that cap during the REGUlar season. the yankees cannot have him sitting there at the nd of the year needing innings and going into the playoffs

  • Chip

    Remember when Randy Johnson came out of the bullpen in the playoffs? I can’t believe they left him in the rotation long enough to get 300 wins, what a waste

  • A.D.

    I find it funny on 2 fronts, MSM love to move young talented starters to the pen, and that 1 inning makes Hughes a great reliever. Alby threw a shout out inning this year too, didn’t make him a great reliever.

  • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

    I mentioned this the other night after Hughes appearance. Do the Yanks temporarily sacrifice the long term for a shot this season?

    Things to consider: Jeter, Posada and Rivera are not getting any younger and how many more productive years will these Big 3 give the Yanks?

    If Hughes could be that 8th inning shutdown bridge to Mo this year (and this year only), it’s something the Yanks absolutely have to consider.

    Of course, this probably all hinges on the triumphant returns of Marte and Bruney.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Of course, this probably all hinges on the triumphant returns of Marte and Bruney.

      Exactly. With a healthy Bruney and Marte, all of this is moot, because we’d have 6 of the 7 bullpen spots nailed down. Mo-Bruney-Marte-Aceves-Coke-Robertson + “fill in the blank” is so solid and reliably good of a bullpen that the “fill in the blank” doesn’t even need to be that good of a pitcher, he can be the mop-up man.

      We don’t need either Phil or Joba in the bullpen. The need for them is a false, contrived need.

      • ChrisS

        I want to be “fill in the blank.”

        My stuff is filthy. Filthy.

        • jsbrendog

          kenny powers reads rab?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          ChrisS says:
          I want to be “fill in the blank.”
          My stuff is filthy. Filthy.

          I read KLaw’s writeup on you. He said, on the 20-80 scale, your curveball is pi.

  • Yankee1977

    If and when Joba hits his pitch count.., I will guarantee that he will be in the rotation in the playoffs and not in the bullpen as some people are suggesting. Right now Joba is our #2 or #3 man in the rotation. Burnett would be #3 or #4 and Pettitte #5 in a game 7 series. (if the playoffs started today) Everything including innings cap would go out the door if it meant the yankees going all the way to the world series. If Joba was in the bullpen in 07, then why can’t Hughes do the same in 09? Whats the problem with that. Why does everyone have to handle Hughes with kid gloves. He is not fragile. Keep the guy in the pen and have him face major league pitching because frankly he has fared well in the minors. There is nothing for him there. The way he pitched the other night, Maybe he can be the 8th inning man until Mo retires. Right now, Hughes can be the Joba of 07 for the Yanks.

    • jsbrendog

      If and when Joba hits his pitch count.., I will guarantee that he will be in the rotation in the playoffs and not in the bullpen as some people are suggesting.

      thank you brian cashman

      Everything including innings cap would go out the door if it meant the yankees going all the way to the world series.

      then the yankees front office would be recklass and stupid and deserve it when his performance suffers/his arm falls off in 2010. you dont sacrifice 10+ yrs of greatness for 1 yr of ws (see mark prior, kerry wood and anyone who pitched for dusty baker)

      Why does everyone have to handle Hughes with kid gloves. He is not fragile. Keep the guy in the pen and have him face major league pitching because frankly he has fared well in the minors. There is nothing for him there. The way he pitched the other night, Maybe he can be the 8th inning man until Mo retires.

      wow. O-A-K-T-A-G to the max yo

      as usual, the people whol think a possible top 3 starter should be used as a 1 inning WASTE in the bullpen make my head explode

    • Observer283

      I understand the frustration, but it is important to treat these guys with kid gloves. They are young starting pitchers with the potential to be front of the rotation guys VERY soon. Maybe even next year. Given that they are years before free agency, they could be very valuable, cheap, pieces to the Yankee puzzle.

      If we don’t treat them with kid gloves there’s a pretty strong probability that they will suffer injuries. It would be literally like killing the golden goose. Don’t believe me? Do the words “Mark Prior” “Kerry Wood” or “Jason Isringhausen” ring a bell? There are countless others over the history of the game too. Its a proven, quantifiable fact: over worked young pitchers have a high risk of serious injury. For every Jim Palmer or other over worked young pitcher who made it, there are a ton of others with similar talent who didn’t due to being overworked. “Dusty Baker” is still a four letter word among Cubs fans for what he did to Prior and Wood.

      Also, CC gave an interesting interview to PeteAbe where he thanks the Indians for being careful with him his first few years as a starter. He attributes his current durability to the fact that he was not overworked when his arm was young. Personally, I think CC’s arm strength is one of his biggest assets. Knowing that when he isn’t at his absolute sharpest he can still give you 8 quality innings instead of 6 quality innings is huge.

      Maybe if we’re patient with Phil and Joba now, we will reap a similar benefit in the future.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Like my granddaddy always said, the less a man makes declarative statements, the less apt he is to look foolish in retrospect.

  • ledavidisrael

    they should commit to getting him out their throwing more pitches. Where ever. If its gonna be the bp 2 innings at least.

    • ledavidisrael

      still don’t see why he cant do planned extreme work outs, against a couple live bats. not to mention all the switch hitters who could get a work out from both sides of the plate. it wouldn’t be that hard to schedule…

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    I would be batshit insanely happy if we lose tonight if Wang can pump it out for nine innings and give up four against Boston.

    I would be even more batshitly insane if he could do that and we win, but I don’t want to be greedy.

    Even fruitless hypotheticals have an upper limit…and mine would be the headline:

    “Yanks Lose, Joe straightens out his Wang, Sends Hughes Back to AAA”

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      Getting Wang pitching effectively again is WAY WAY WAY more important than a win tonight.

      • Axl

        But what if Hughes would have pitched effectively in his place? You can’t assume either…so it’s just as arbitrary to assume one instead of the other.

        If you have 5 effective pitchers in your rotation…it doesn’t matter what their names are.

        • jsbrendog

          except that it matters if wang is right cause he needs to be there next year or youll have to replace him. hughes slides in for pettitte, there is no one for wang if he falters.

          so while your point may be right right now, it is wrong looking at the big picture

  • Axl

    Ok…I guess there is an argument for Wang over Hughes…but why right now??? Did the move HAVE to be made just before the Red Sox series?? Wang hasn’t been good all year. His last outing would have been considered horrible if it hadn’t been for his ungodly other bag full of starts. Compared to those, his last start looks mediocre. But it wasn’t. It was bad. Not to mention that the Sox now have a 6-0 lead on the season series…and Wang didn’t even pitch well at Fenway when he was perennially winning 19 games. Now we’re throwing Wang into the lion’s den naked…with nothing. Literally. Why? Why not march Hughes out there this time and have Wang face anybody else in which he has decent career numbers against? I don’t recall the key for a successful pitcher’s woes against a certain team to be “make him ineffective and even worse”. I don’t think that is ever the answer actually. But in Joe Girardi’s eyes…apparently it is.

    Look for a cool 0-7 mark against the Red Sox this season after tonight. Our only hope is that Wakefield hangs his knuckler…and our bullpen can keep that 12-12 score as close as possible.

    • Axl

      Yes, I know the move wasn’t immediately made before the Sox series…but you know what I mean.

  • Joba-to-the-pen

    Phil had one good inning thats it.Can we give him a month to see if he can play good as a reliever before having a debate.Any pitcher can pitch one good inning once a month.

    Who cares about closers like K-Rod who isn’t just the METS best player and how the Angels blew over 9 saves already and might not make the playoffs because he not there.

    I want this site to send Mariano Rivera a letter saying he is a failed pitcher and isn’t more important then Andy Pettitte cause Andy Pettitte can go 6 innings.

    Just put Hughes in the rotation and Joba in the pen.

  • jsbrendog


  • nick blasioli

    hell after last night,,,put burnette in the bull pen and hughes in the rotation……

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Shit, after last night, put Burnett on the bench and David Robertson in the rotation.

  • Cam

    A couple of years ago the Journal News ran a season preview of the Yanks. In it, they predicted the Yankee lineup until 2012. Besides saying that Jeff Francouer and Jarod Saltilimamaicnc (um, Salty) from Texas would be on the team, they said Hughes would be the closer. I’ve always found that interesting and have kept it in the back of my head since then.

  • Kevin

    Maybe Im nuts but I think Hughes should stay in the pen in the Majors. I base this on 2 things. First, the team could use him. Secondly I don’t think that sending Hughes down to AAA to dominate minor league hitters will do him any good. He won’t improve unless he’s challenged and he won’t be challenged in AAA. I realize wanting to get him innings but Girardi can keep him stretched out. Im not saying Hughes should be an 8th inning guy, Im saying he should mostly pitch 2 and 3 innings a pop. I know that doing this would likely lead to an innings cap of 150 or so next year. I think that Id prefer 150 innings of Hughes starting next year after a near whole season in the ML pen rather than 200 of him after spending what Id call a meaningless year in AAA. Im not saying Hughes is a long term reliever, he will be a starter. I also know that keeping him in the pen this year would make him one further year away from being a 200 IP starter. I do think that the benefits outweigh the negatives though.

    • Kevin

      I take that post back, Hughes needs to be in the Major League rotation now anyway.