May
23

More foul balls for Hughes

By

After Phil Hughes‘ start against the Red Sox last Monday, Joe observed that the young righty was having trouble putting Boston’s hitters away with two counts, and I noted all the pitches the Red Sox were able to foul off (17 total). Well that problem continued again last night, when the Mets were able to spoil a whopping 41 pitches, the most by any pitcher in nearly five years. 41! They swung at just two of the nine curves Hughes threw, so book might be getting out on his fastball heavy (85.3% four-seamers and cutters thrown this year) ways, and the hitters are just sitting on it.

I’m far from an expert in this stuff, but maybe it’s time to start incorporating the curveball a little more, and maybe even (gasp!) the changeup.

Categories : Asides
  • nesto

    I don’t know if he’s super confident in his fastball or what but there were so many times when he starts when I don’t know why they don’t use any of his other pitches other than his fastball and cutter. It’s an 0-2 count, throw the hook!

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    I’m far from an expert in this stuff, but maybe it’s time to start incorporating the curveball a little more, and maybe even (gasp!) the changeup.

    BLASPHEMER!

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Also (as I wrote this AM), we can all agree now that this changeup narrative is complete BS, right?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        No, it’s there. I didn’t expect him to throw it much though. It’s just a fourth pitch. How often does CC Sabathia throw his curveball?

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          I guess, but he’s only thrown it 13 times and the way we heard about it, I assumed it’d be worked in more. I think I’m just annoyed that people pointed to this almost phantom pitch as the reason he won the 5th starter’s job over Joba.

          • TheLastClown

            No, besides MSM articles, I seem to remember fastball *and cutter* command in & out, up & down to be the primary reason Philly won the Job.(a?)

  • Steve

    I’ve been posting these comments for the last 2 starts too. I couldn’t agree more. He’s got good stuff; and when he’s on, he’s got good control. The problem is he’s still in reliever mode where he can just use FB/Cutter to get by. Since he’s so fastball heavy right now, an effective change up would make him otherworldly.

  • Kyle Farnsworth

    He obviously needs to make an adjustment since hitters know his MO. At least his control is fine, because that was the thing that drove me nuts last time he was a starter. He has dominate stuff, he just needs to adjust to the hitters since they adjusted to him. Hopefully Eiland is as smart as K-Long and fixes his problems.

    • Tom Zig

      That’s funny that you’re mentioning control problems. Mr. Biggest-badass-in-baseball-as-per-ESPN-Magazine

    • poster

      What are YOU doing on a Yankees’ blog?

      • Kyle Farnsworth

        I am the greatest to ever put on the pinstripes damn it. Big Daddy Farns can light up the radar gun like no other. I don’t have control problems, control just has Farnsworth problems.

    • TheLastClown

      He has dominate stuff,

      Dominant. He has dominant stuff. D-O-M-I-N-A-N-T.

      • Kyle Farnsworth

        Don’t you ever correct me again. I will give you a pass this time, but next time I will give you a Farnsbuster.

        • TheLastClown

          Is that the one where you strike out the side while giving up 3 home runs & the lead?

      • Tom Zig

        You’re a dominate started

  • Kevin M.

    Can we compare his 85% fastball (includng cutter) rate to other starting pitchers? 15% offspead pitches seems incredibly low.

    • Zack

      I just looked at CC, AJ, Lester, and Halladay on fangraphs.
      Over the last 3 years, each throws FB + 2-seamers + Cutters between 65%-75% of the time.

      • Zack

        While Hughes is at 86% for those 3 pitches.

      • Chris

        thanks for looking that up…very telling

  • Chris

    he needs to throw his off-speed stuff more, and learn how to mix it in. He’s getting very predictable.

  • TheLastClown

    I think that Phil Hughes’ brutal, relentless, attack-with-the-fastball personality is tailor made for the bullpen.

    • Tom Zig

      ICWUDT

    • jim p

      Send Joba to the 7th!

  • TheLastClown

    I respect that Hughes wants to get beat w/ #1 if he’s going to get beat at all. I’d rather this problem than the nibbling, the constant wasting of pitches, burying breaking balls etc.

    It’s going to be a see-saw, like with all pitchers. Remember years ago when Andy fell in love w/ the cutter & struggled as the league made adjustments?

    I don’t think that this is Hughes’ year, by which I only mean that we’re not going to see full-potential Hughes for another year or two. He’s going to dominate, he’s going to struggle.

    I’m also very pleased that he’s not getting deflated when he takes the bump w/o his best stuff. He’s getting through, and trusting the fastball. *maybe too much but whatevs*