All tests come back negative for Hughes

Game 26: No Robbie
Golson, Pena hurt in SWB win

Via Marc Carig, all circulatory and vascular tests performed on Phil Hughes have come back negative, so he doesn’t have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. A specialist looked at the young righty in St. Louis today following last week’s battery of tests. Obviously this is good news, but if it’s not TOS, then what the hell is it?

Game 26: No Robbie
Golson, Pena hurt in SWB win
  • Steve H


    • Pat D

      The owner wanted to know why you would change the name “Conquistador Instant Coffee” to “Conquistador Instant Leprosy.”

  • Steve

    I’m glad Phil doesn’t have these types of problems, but now the ? is – what on earth is wrong with him? Could it simply be that Phil is just not built to be a pitcher? I’d hate for that to be the case, but pitching is such an unnatural motion and maybe his arm just can’t stand the strain.

    • Sabermetrically Challenged

      This kid is built like a Football star. 6,5 225. He is in great shape

  • Craig


    • Gonzo

      That boy has a weird fetish.

  • Will F.

    Thank Mo!

    • Ron

      “thanks Mo” love it.

  • Nostra-Artist

    Bah, its all in his head. Tell that sissy to suck it up and trow me ome 95 MPH fatsbawls!

    • Pasqua

      /Nolan Ryan’d?

  • fred

    They did find out that he did have an enlarged clitoris.

  • Sean C

    While this is good news, it seems we’re still no closer to figuring out what’s wrong with him. More tests, please.

  • bakekrukow412

    Lou Gehrig’s disease? (I’m serious).

    • squishy jello person

      He’s awfully young for that.

  • Rivera Venue Blues


    • Greg H.

      It’s never lupus, you idiot.

      • Slugger27


        • ND Mike


  • mbonzo

    Couldn’t be the 90 extra innings he threw.

    • Will

      Of course not.

    • Urban

      If could be, but I’d expect an injury/some damage to his arm to be associated with it. He’s lost about four mph off his fastball, and can’t pitch more than an inning or two without losing even more velocity. That’s not normal.

      • mbonzo

        I’d call it dead arm, which is what the Yankees are calling it. He says that his 10th pitch feels like his 110th pitch (could be misquoting), but that sounds like his arm is just tired.

        You’re right that its not normal to lose 4mph off your fastball, but it could be a combination of the Verducci Effect, the coldness of the spring, and the beginning of the season. I really think the Yankees should have kept him in there to learn how to pitch from Garcia and Colon when you can’t beat guys with velocity. It would make him all the better pitcher when he gets his velocity back.

        • hogsmog

          I wouldn’t call a 96 mph four seamer lacking velocity.

    • Sabermetrically Challenged

      Look it up on BR at age 24 some kid named Denton True Young went from 147 to 430 innings. Don’t give me that “pitch limit” bull.

      • http://riveravenueblues david McCann

        What happened to him??

      • mbonzo

        Flawless logic, I’m sure Phil’s modern 89mph heat is comparable to Cy Young’s fastball which at its peak was considered the fastest in the league. Just because you double one guys workload from 100 years ago and it doesn’t affect him, doesn’t mean everyone should be throwing 430 innings a year. 2011 Phil Hughes is probably a better pitcher than Cy Young, different eras.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          2011 Phil Hughes is probably a better pitcher than Cy Young, different eras.


          • mbonzo

            Statistically no, but if someone had a time machine and could bring CY Young into 2011 he would batting practice. Sorry to burst the inner baseball continuity bubble, but baseball players have gotten a lot better since 1890.

            • Sabermetrically Challenged

              Sorry to burst your bubble buddy, but with great control you don’t need velocity. If Cy was here today he would make cliff lee look like Jonathan Sanchez

              • mbonzo

                Jonathan Sanchez has to deal with 10x the competition. Is it that hard to see how much better scouting is these days? How about the fact that the only Yankee position players allowed to play in his time would be Teixeira, Swisher, and Gardner?

            • Urban

              Do we know Cy Young’s velocity? Do we know the movement on his pitches. I’m thinking Cy Young knew how to pitch. I’m not sure I can say that about Hughes. Actually, I can say that about Hughes. He has a lot to learn.

              I do understand your point and agree. The competition has increased, which has little to do if a player is great or not. Hughes wouldn’t exist at turn of the 20th Century. Cy Young doesn’t exist today. Young was a great pitcher for his time. It’s an insult to compare Phil Hughes to a HOFer. Sorry, but your statement is lacking in thought.

              • mbonzo

                The fact is that Young had to pitch to the best white players in the United States. Pitchers in the MLB today compete between the whole world. Its become a multi-million dollar business and the players have gotten better, millions of dollars better. We don’t know Cy Young’s velocity, his movement and command was said to be the best of his time. 120 years ago, I’m gonna say that the best players of the time were probably as good as the mediocre players today.

                • AndrewYF

                  Pitchers primarily pitched in the low 80s back in Cy Young’s day. So maybe he had Freddy Garcia’s fastball on a bad day.

                  No, he might not be batting practice, but he wouldn’t be all that great. Just like, if you transported Ruth to today’s era, he’d strike out more than Mark Reynolds.

                  It’s just a different time.

                  • Urban

                    Of course, if Reynolds was transported back to to Ruth’s time, he’d have to use very thick handled bats, preventing him from whipping the bat the stike zone as quickly; and he’s have to shorten his stroke because the catcher was closer to the batter and he’d be called out on his back swing hitting the catcher, so he’d have to generate his power differently; and he wouldn’t have the weight training room, or video, etc., so he wouldn’t be Mark Reyonlds. It’s obvious that Mark Reynolds isn’t as good a HR hitter as Babe Ruth was, yet there are some who might want to believe that just because Mark Reynolds plays today. That’s odd.

                    You’re right. It’s just a different game. I’ll take Ruth. You can have Reynolds.

                    • Gonzo

                      So then the pitchers had the advantage back then?

                • Urban

                  You’re talking about two different things. We agree the competitive level has increased, which has nothing to do with the individual skills of great player. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays played in the 1950s and 1960s. The conditions and scouting etc. have continued to improve to the point where the overall game is better today than when those two played, yet I believe both of these players are not only as good, but better than virtually all the players in the game today, with one or two exceptions. Just because they played in a time where the game was not at competitve as today, doesn’t mean they weren’t as good, or better, than any player today.

                  Phil Hughes, if he played during Young’s time, would be expected to pitch effectively the entire game, and pitch 450 innings a season. He would not throw as hard because he would break down, so he would have alter his pitching, otherwise he’d be injured, or cut from the team. I doubt he could handle the workload based on what we’ve seen.

                  So, no, I don’t agree that great ballplayers didn’t exist back then and would only be mediocre today, because they would have access to the exact same training as today’s best athletes. Especially in baseball when we’re talking about the eye-hand coordination of hitting, or the skill of pitching, which is very different than pure speed sports. I guess you’re talking about some time machine theory and taking the best players today and transporting them back in time to play against players 100 years ago. I’m not really into those kind of games.

                  Last, since you mentioned Young played against only white players, then we of course agree too the game improved with integration. Ruth didn’t play against Josh Gibson in MLB, and Josh Gibson didn’t play against Ruth in MLB, yet I think we can agree they were the two most dominant hitters of their era and would have still dominated if they did play against each other because they both had great skill when it came to hitting a baseball.

                  Since the percentage of black players in MLB has declined from something like 22% to six%, are you saying the game is now not as competitve as it was twenty or twenty-five years ago?

                  BTW For whatever it’s worth, there was a time I would have totally agreed with your line of thinking here. I can’t anymore.

                  • Gonzo

                    I think he’s taking exception with Cy Young. His last pitch was in 1911. Well before Mantle and Mays.

                    • Urban

                      Understood. If Young was transported into today’s game, I’d take Hughes because he’s conditioned for today’s game. Yet, If Hughes was transported back to Young’s time, I’d have Young pitch, because he’s conditioned for that time. Hughes wouldn’t be able to handle the workload without altering his style of pitching.

                      There is a tendency to romanticize players from the past. People will overvalue them and assume that not only would someone like Ruth still hit .370 while slugging 60 HRs, some want to think they’d be even better. That’s nonsense. I do think Ruth could hit 50 HRs in today’s game, but he’d have to be acclimated to today’s game. He has far more skills when it comes to hitting a baseball than Mark Reynolds.

                      There is an equal tendency to overvalue players from today when comparing them to past baseall players. Young is a much more successful pitcher than Hughes. That’s my only point.

                      The prejudice exists on both sides.

                    • Gonzo

                      Gotcha. I agree to an extent. I am not sure when one would consider baseball a critical success and with a ton of mass appeal and acceptance with audiences, but that has to be important. Baseball was new and didn’t pay well in the 1800’s. I think that’s important to note as well.

        • The209

          can you sit out a week?

          • mbonzo

            He may have been the best of his era, but there is no way he’d survive today.

            • The209

              1 week? that’s all.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              would babe ruth survive today?

              • mbonzo

                He played 30 years after Young, I think he’d have done a lot better, but still put up nowhere near the numbers he did. The competition would have been far better. I seem to remember a story of him getting his ass kicked when he faced the negro leagues.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  You’re one of the few ppl I have ever heard say that. The belief about Ruth is he would dominate if he played today. I’m sure you heard the “he would hit 100 home runs” line more than once.

                  • Gonzo

                    Seriously, people say that?

                    I have to say this one of my favorite threads of all time.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      No lie I have heard Yankee fans says he would dominate the game and hit 100 home runs because the pitching is watered down and teams play in smaller ball parks

                    • Gonzo

                      That’s kind of funny to me. Spitballs were made illegal in 1920. In the 1800’s and part of the early 1900’s, you could literally take the ball and rub it in the dirt to scuff it or change it’s color. The Strike Zone was much different than it was today. Etc, etc, etc…

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      That’s a good point

                  • Plank

                    YOUR belief, not THE belief is that he would dominate if he played today.

                    And I’ve never heard he would hit 100 HR.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Not sensible baseball writers they would never say something like that but fans have.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Maybe I should have said the belief among some fans is he would dominate.

                • Urban

                  Mbonzo, there are many stories about Ruth and the Negro Leagues. I suppose he could have had a game where he had his ass kicked because baseball is a humbling game for even the best, yet the documented evidence of Ruth against the Negro Leagues says just the opposite.

                  Judy Johnson, who played in the Negro Leagues and eventually was elected to the HOF, played against Ruth a number of times. Johnson told one biographer “We could never seem to get him out no matter what we did.” In the sixteen games we have documentation, Ruth went 25 for 54 with eleven home runs against Negro League teams.

                  That included a performance on October 1927 in Trenton, where Ruth smashed three tape measure home runs against the great Cannon Ball Redding, who many historians regard as the hardest thrower in the Negro Leagues. Ruth also faced the great Satchel Paige a numer of times. His daughter remembers a game in Brooklyn, where Paige struck out Ruth, yet then we have stories from Buck O’Neil recounting a game from Chicago in the late-thirties after Ruth had retired (he still would barnstorm at times) where Ruth launched a shot into the trees beyond the center field fence, after which, Paige stared at him circling the bases.

                  Unfortunately, these are all individual accounts. The only documented record of Ruth vs. the Negro Leagues are the 25 for 54 with eleven home runs numbers.

                  Kind of silly to think Ruth couldn’t hit against any level of competition.

        • Plank

          Players back then were also farmers. They played baseball in the summer and went back home and worked in the offseason. Their idea of nutrition was washing down their sausages and steaks with beer and whiskey.

          Juan Pierre would be Ty Cobb if he had a time machine (and skin paint.)

          There were fastballs, changeups, and curveballs. No sliders, no cutters, no knucklers, no splitters. No sinkers.

          Players of today play a much different game. Comparing the two is almost pointless, but if you compare the two and conclude anything other than that players today are much better, you don’t understand the history of the game.

          • Gonzo

            Their idea of nutrition was washing down their sausages and steaks with beer and whiskey.


            Seriously, I have to agree with you. Why don’t you just say that today’s athletes are in much better than the ones 120 years ago. Don’t believe me? What were the olympic records 120 years ago? I bet not one is still standing.

            • Ted Nelson

              Baseball is still a skill sport, though. I tend to agree with the comment above that adjustments would have to be made, but Young, Ruth, Gibson, Mays, Mantle… These were special baseball players who would have a good shot at adjusting to a higher level of competition and still standing our. We still see drunks like Miggy dominating the game today, a bat is still a bat, and hand eye is still hand eye. That these guys never played modern comp is not proof they couldn’t. They never had the chance but dominated the comp they played against.

              • Gonzo

                I am commenting on the 120 years ago part. I never said anything about Ruth, Gibson, Mays or Mantle.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Was just generally commenting on the conversation as I’m on a phone and it’s a real pain to comment.

                  I just agree with Urban that we can acknowledge the differences in the game without ignoring the great baseball skills some players had.

                  Reminds me of pol who think velocity is everything. Misses a lot of subtleties that aren’t even all that subtle

                  • Gonzo

                    I think of stats from the 1800’s as unreliable for a number of reasons. That’s all. No problem with the Mantles or Gibsons of the world.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Not that the stats are necessarily reliable from the 1800’s, but I don’t think humans suddenly evolved in 50 or 100 years to the point where great athletes with great hand eye coordination emerged out of nowhere. If there were standout baseball athletes in the 50s and 60s and there are stand out baseball athletes today, why weren’t there stand out baseball athletes in the 1800s? Heck even before baseball was invented, I’m sure there were individuals with the genetic predisposition to just pick up a baseball or a bat and be good at the sport.

              • Ted Nelson

                In terms of modern training: some guys who have never lifted a weight are just country strong and people on this very site are always commenting about how fat pitchers and hitters can do fine.

                I definitely agree that on average comp has gone up. I kist disagree with using hat to say that a player you never saw hit/pitch couldn’t possibly have done x or y.

                • Plank

                  You’re deluding yourself if you think some people are born in a way that they can step on to a major league baseball field and play at the same level as people who weight train professionally 365 days a year. Is that what you mean by “country strong”? I’ve never heard that term.

                  Some people are naturally stronger than others, but every MLB player works his butt off in the gym. Players in the 70’s and 80’s didn’t and I would say players today would kick their butts at baseball, too.

                  Humans aren’t genetically different today than they were in the 70s, 50s or 1890s, but training and professionalism in sports is incredibly different. Yes, if Cy Young were born in 1985, he would probably have a better career than Phil Hughes, but he was born just after the American civil war. He didn’t have the opportunities, training, or health care that Phil Hughes or any other player of this era has.

                  • Urban

                    I agree with this, but that’s the problem I always have with comparing generations. Phil Hughes wouldn’t exist in 1911, and Cy Young won’t exist in 2011. We can only the judge their greatness against their own competition.

                    After reading a few of the notes against (including my own), I agree with Gonzo when talking about players from the 1880s up through and past the turn of the century. It is just too unreliable to guess how these players would be in today’s game, even with the same training, etc.

                    I have less of a problem projecting players like Ruth and DiMaggio etc. being great players in today’s game. They wouldn’t dominate to the same level, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if Ruth was the best HR hitter in today’s game. My guess is he would be.

                    Then again, it’s interesting that I’ve been posting the defense of many of these old-time baseball players as I’m appearing here as Urban Shocker, a pitcher born 120-years ago!

                    If nothing else, comparing across generations is always a fun topic, even if it is horribly off-topic.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I agree that there’s something to be said for modern training and just the development of the game raising the general level of competition. However, if we all agree that humans haven’t meaningfully evolved since 1880 and there have been outlier physical freaks in the 1950s, 60s, 90s, 2000s… I don’t see why there couldn’t have been guys in the 1880s who could just pick up a bat and have the strength and hand-eye coordination to just hit a ball, even one thrown with movement at 90 mph. In today’s game we all acknowledge that patience is the way to go in hitting and impatient hitters will generally be exposed… yet you still have outliers like Vlad (in his prime), for example, who just have the natural ability and strength to just swing at everything and hit it hard. I don’t see why there couldn’t have been a Vlad alive in the 1880s who could just hit a baseball. We all agree that guys with no power are generally going to get exposed… yet you have guys like Gardner who have 5 WAR seasons with no power. Perhaps a Ty Cobb could pick up a bat today and surprise some people. Until time travel is invented we will not have an answer, but I don’t think we can just rule out the possibility that superior baseball athletes from the 1880s couldn’t come in and have strong MLB careers. Especially if you are willing to acknowledge athletes from the 20s as capable. We can’t say for sure that they could do it, but we also can’t say for sure that they couldn’t.

                    • Plank

                      But players like Vlad don’t just have natural strength and skill. He has those things and he has been working on improving himself at baseball and nothing else since he was a preteen. Not a single player could say that in the 1890s, now most players can make that claim.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Fine. Take a two sport star or someone who comes to the game late. Take a 19 year old with far less training and not in his physical prime like a 29 year old who is still a far better player. No one is disagreeing with you that training has changed. I am disagreeing with you that this means someone who spends less time training is necessarily worse at baseball than someone who spends more time training. This is just not true. There is not a one-to-one relationship between time spent working out and MLB performance.

                      The Vlad example was meant to say that despite ignoring modern technique, Vlad is still a very good hitter.

                  • mbonzo

                    I completely agree with you here. To use a decent stand of measurement (I say decent because there are always people that will say the radar guns are juiced) think about how many people throw 100 throughout the decades. For documented players we have.

                    Nolan Ryan in 1974
                    JR Richard in 1976
                    and then no one until Dwight Gooden in 1990. After the steroid era and the scouting developments in the 80’s we see well over 40 pitchers who have hit that mark.

                    And while velocity doesn’t equal success, its certainly a better marker than command or movement of a pitch. While stadiums and competition and rules change, velocity stays the same. To go from 3 pitchers hitting 100 from 1970-1990 to over 40 in 1990-2010 should tell you that the game is way more competitive, even in the last 40 years.

                    Cy Young was the best of his time, and Hughes is far from the best of his time, but based the limited competition Young faced, and the status of the game from that day to today, I still believe that time traveling Young would have no chance today. If he was born in 1985 he’d probably have a legitimate chance, but there is no way he’d dominate the same way he did back then. If he ever threw that amount of innings with the same workout regimen of today’s players his arm would be blown out. Which brings me back to what my original argument is, saying that Cy Young’s ability to throw 400 IP after his rookie season should indicate that Hughes wouldn’t have a problem increasing his IP by 90 is inconclusive. I still personally think that Hughes pitching in 1880 would be better than Cy Young in 1880. I don’t think its that crazy of an opinion.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “And while velocity doesn’t equal success, its certainly a better marker than command or movement of a pitch.”

                      Disagree. Kyle Farnsworth and plenty of other fire-armed crap relievers might disagree also (Farnsworth is actually a successful MLB player, but just a convenient example… there are kids who hit 95 and don’t succeed even in, say, AA).

                      I don’t see why you feel the need to make such definitive statements about hypotheticals that you cannot possibly know the answers to. If a guy who threw in the 80s (mph range) could not possibly succeed today and would be batting practice… how do guys like Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia get by? How about Tim Wakefield? Mussina, Maddux, and Pedro their last few seasons?

                      And how people can question Cy Young’s conditioning when he threw 400 innings in a season is just beyond me.

                      “I don’t think its that crazy of an opinion.”

                      Opinion is different from fact. You have presented a lot of your arguments as facts, not opinions.

                    • Plank

                      He was using velocity because it is quantifiable. Location and stuff matter too, but there is no way to tell if it has changed over time. If I had to guess, I would say it has and today’s competition has better location and stuff in addition to velocity. Velocity is something that has been recorded so that is why it is in the example.

                    • MikeD

                      Mbonzo, I’m a bit late to this, but there’s a problem with your data.

                      Ryan was the first pitcher ever clocked using radar, so everything else prior (and frankly for another decaded after) is all guess work. His 100.9 mph reading is even more impressive because the pitch was clocked approximately ten feet from home plate, as opposed to the out-of-hand (peak velocity) we get on the scoreboard readings today. Ryan’s pitch, by today’s readings, would be in the 105 mph+ range, which is why I think it’s possible Champman can hit 105. What’s impressive though is Ryan did it as a starter. Almost all the 100 mph readings from today are from relievers who can give max effort. We have a few exceptions as starters, such as a Verlander who probably can hit 100 mph. I say probably because Detroit likes to “juice” their scoreboard radar guns for the fans because they have hard throwers like Verlander and prior to that Zumuya. All marketing. These guys throw hard, but probably safe to subtract a couple miles off the readings. Anyway, Ryan at age 46, his last season, was still hitting as high as 97, so yeah, not a shock he was hitting 105 in his 20s. No starting pitcher today can do that. No pitcher before him probably could do that. It’s probably a pretty safe assumption that Ryan threw harder for a longer period of time than any pitcher who played the game, even though, gasp, he born in the 1940s when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

                      After Ryan’s initial readings, radar guns were used sparingly in the 1970s, so we don’t have many readings. (I did note that in a replay of the 1977 World Series, they mentioned Mike Torrez was clocked at 95 mph, and he was a run-of-the-mill righthander from those days, not a strike-out pitcher), so they must have deployed them for some big games. It wasn’t until the 1980s that scouts had regular access to radar guns, although we fans had no access to that data. The generally inaccurate radar gun readings on scoreboards became big in the 1990s, and the PitchFX data only in this century.

                      So in other words, your comparision to “only two” pitchers being clocked at 100 mph in the 1970s compared to many today is a statement based on no data because the very first scientifically validated data points didn’t exist before the mid-1970s, and we as fans didn’t have access to any data until the 1990s. So, sure, we have more 100+ readings today because the technology clocks every single pitch.

                      I agree that the *overall* competitive level has increased, conditions, equipment, etc., but using starters as an example, I am not convinced that starters today throw any harder than Ryan, Richard, Seaver, Sam McDowell, Koufax, Gibson and others from the 1960s-1970s, and in fact, I think it’s quite possible those guys on average threw harder than a comparable group of greats from over the past decade.

                      I’m not going to venture guesses on 1900 baseball, although as someone noted above, Hughes would not be able to throw 400-plus innings and hit 92 mph. In fact, he can’t do that today over 20 innings, sadly! He’s have to be a different pitcher, which is why I can’t get into comparison games.

                      Yet the game is way more competitve today. I think the changes since the 1950s have been more marginal. The improvement comes on the edges and the margins. I think the reseve players today are better, for example, but I can’t say the stars are better. Pujols and A-Rod are gifted players, but I don’t know if either is a greater hitter than Ted Williams, and I don’t know if anyone is a better all-around player than Willie Mays. I think it’s unlikely.

                      Your point has validity on one level, but you’re not helping yourself by throwing out faulty data, such as you did with radar gun readings.

                    • Ted Nelson


                      “If I had to guess, I would say it has and today’s competition has better location and stuff in addition to velocity.”

                      Why do you feel the need to make baseless speculative guesses that cannot be proven right or wrong?


                      Very interesting stuff.

                      Basically, the part of your analysis I have been trying to articulate is that there are outlier athletes in every era. Certainly training techniques have become more of a science since Ryan’s era, yet people aren’t throwing any harder. Certainly possible that an outlier 1900 person with the physical qualities that make a fire-baller could have picked up a modern baseball and hurled it 100mph off a modern mound with some basic training on mechanics.

                      Agree that the game is so different it’s hard to make comparisons to 1900. However, the point I’ve been trying to make is just that Young playing in a different game is not conclusive proof he couldn’t play in a game he never had the chance to play in. If he knew he was only being asked to pitch 1/2 the innings every season, certainly hard to say he’d break down and very possible he’d be fresher in the innings he did pitch.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I am definitely not deluding myself. Some people never lift a weight in their lives and are just strong through a combination of genetics and activity. If you’re lifting X pound haybails 12 hours a day or X pound weights 2 or 3 hours a day… did you necessarily get any better a workout in the gym? People didn’t just sit around and drink beer in the 1800s… they worked. They did manual labor.

                    I went to the best wrestling high school in the country, and there were kids who came in at 14 looking like grown-ass men who had never lifted a weight in their lives. They went on to compete for and sometimes win national championships as freshman against seniors who were 3 years older and had been weight training for all 4 years of high school. Some people are just stronger than others. You can go to Samoa and find kids playing football on gravel fields with 30 year old equipment who come to the US and start on D1 teams, dominating US kids who had been playing football their whole lives with the best in prep training and equipment. Or a kid from Congo who comes out of nowhere and is only a few years away from competing in the NBA with guys who have been training at the highest level for years.
                    I’ve spent time in remote villages in the developing world where, say, 13 year old kids who don’t get hormones in their food or even necessarily proper nutrition and have the physical builds of a US 9 year old can climb up trees and poles that I can’t and never could have gotten up. There is just something to be said for an active lifestyle and manual labor.

                    You are deluding yourself if you think that genetics are not real and that some people are not naturally predisposed to be better athletes and better baseball athletes. You are also deluding yourself if you think that there’s no such thing as country strong. This is a real term, and while it’s obviously not scientific it is used to describe someone who is strong without the use of extensive modern weight training. Used in football all the time. Basically, you can get as much of a workout on a farm–especially one without modern machinery–as in a weight room.

                    And not all MLB players are busting their butts all year. Come on… We know that. John Kruk only busts his butt when he farts or his pants rip, yet the guy was an All-Star 1B not that long ago. Mariano keeps himself in great shape, but the guy is probably 160, 170 pounds… the modern weight room might not be helping him all that much. Miguel Cabrera might work out all year long, but he also pounds the boos all year long to the point where it probably counter-acts a whole lot of the work he’s done (I’ve read that if you drink a 6 pack after going to the gym you erase the workout basically… seems like Miggy puts down more than a 6-pack at a time).

                    • Plank

                      In the 1880s what you say is true, people could make the majors just because they were naturally talented. It doesn’t work that way anymore, players are too good and train too hard. You need the natural talent and an incredible amount of hard work, discipline, and dedication to improving. Miggy Cabrera may be a booze hound, but I guarantee you he busts his butt in the gym on a daily basis. If he didn’t work out, he would be out of the league.

                      You are deluding yourself if you think that genetics are not real and that some people are not naturally predisposed to be better athletes and better baseball athletes. You are also deluding yourself if you think that there’s no such thing as country strong.

                      I never said any of that. You are building up a straw man. Again, I’ve never heard the term country strong before you used it here, but I have never thought nor expressed in this thread that some people are not naturally better at baseball than others. In fact I feel the exact opposite.

                      However, the pool of possible players is so much larger today than it was in the 1890s. If you compare players to their peers, that’s fine, but you can’t make the judgement that their level compared to their peers (Young) can be evaluated against another player compared to their peers (Hughes.)

                      Young played against other part time white boys who didn’t make enough money to get a real job. Hughes is playing against the entire male population of many nations who hold baseball in the highest regard with large percentages of the population attempting to play the game at the highest level from an early age.

                      That Cy Young was a great player in the 1890s shows he was good at baseball, but he was the best of thousands of possible players who didn’t devote their lives to the game. Hughes is one of the best of millions who do.

                      If someone is the best player in a room with 10 people, do they deserve to be mentioned in the same category as Ruth and Bonds? I don’t think so, and neither does Young deserve to be mentioned with best of today’s players.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Look up “correlation” and “causation.” They are not the same thing. That players today train hard does not mean they have to train hard in those exact same ways to be successful. Again, there are guys like John Kruk around who are far better baseball players than guys in far better shape. There is no one to one relationship between hitting the gym and being a good baseball player. That Miggy is a great hitter is not 100% proof he works his ass off all year. Samoan kids can come to D1 schools and kick the crap out of the best trained prep kids in the country, and even upperclassmen who are the best trained college kids in the country.

                      You are also assuming that one form of exercise is superior to another. People in the 1880s didn’t just sit around on their asses all day.
                      Someone like Derek Jeter is a future HOF player, and it’s well known that he never liked to look at video of himself.

                      There’s just no way to prove what you’re saying definitively. I don’t see why you feel like you can or should try to. Just like a teenager like Jason Heyward can come up and outhit veterans by a wide margin, it’s possible that the outlier player/athletes from the 1880s could be transported to today, pick up a bat/ball, and just play. There’s no way you can prove that wrong without a time-machine. Why are you so insistent you can?

                      “Young played against other part time white boys who didn’t make enough money to get a real job. Hughes is playing against the entire male population of many nations who hold baseball in the highest regard with large percentages of the population attempting to play the game at the highest level from an early age.”

                      Again, this doesn’t prove that Young couldn’t pitch in MLB today any more than it proves that he can… He did not have the opportunity to play against today’s competition. Perhaps he would get whooped, perhaps he’d thrive. Perhaps he’d get whooped, but his outlier performance means he has the work ethic and mental make-up to come back again and again until he succeeded. You cannot say unless you have a time machine.

                      “he was the best of thousands of possible players who didn’t devote their lives to the game. Hughes is one of the best of millions who do.”

                      Again, Young was not among a million. There is no way to say how he’d of fare among a million who do. You are not proving anything about how he’d do in a different context, just explaining the context in which the two played. That goes without saying. The question is whether he could be one in a million, and neither you nor I know that. I am saying that it’s possible though, and you are insisting that you know it’s impossible. You do not (unless you have a time machine and have performed the experiment).

                      “If someone is the best player in a room with 10 people, do they deserve to be mentioned in the same category as Ruth and Bonds?”

                      Here is proof that your logic is wrong: is the best baseball player in a room of 10 people as good as Barry Bonds? If it’s Barry Bonds who is the best player in that room… yes. There’s greater volatility in a small sample, but that doesn’t mean that the results definitely don’t fit the underlying population. Chances are that they don’t, but they absolutely could.

  • BHC Matejek

    Greg love the Dr. House comeback!

  • Mike Myers

    maybe bartolo stole his shoulder. makes sense doesnt it? the timing is perfect

    or as bartolo say, perfecto!

    • Kevin G.

      They should share the shoulder.

  • Urban

    Good news on one hand, a mystery on the other.

    I’m hoping this is a conditioning/mechanics issue.

  • S

    It might just be exactly what everyone thought initially shoulder inflammation. When he was taking the anti-inflammatory medication and rehabbing he was having very good progress, maybe its an extremely severe case, and he really does just need ice, rest and more rehab.

  • brian g

    of course it’s not. hughes is kind of a baby. that’s my official diagnosis. if he kept the ball down and hit his spots he’d be doing just fine throwing 90,91 or whatever.

    • S

      It takes experience to learn how to pitch with diminished velocity, young pitchers normally don’t have to worry about that so of course they are going to struggle. When Tim Lincecum, as great a young pitcher as he is lost his velocity last year, he was knocked silly until the last month and a half. Big Time Timmy Jim is one of the elite pitchers in the game with far more experience to begin with. So if an elite caliber talent like he struggled what do you expect a guy with very good potential but nowhere near as high a ceiling like hughes is going to do?

  • Jorge

    Just a case of the Mondays?

    • boogie down

      Reckon you get your ass kicked for saying something like that, man.

  • CMP

    I sure hope he doesn’t have some rare metabolic disorder like Rocco Baldelli.

    • Gonzo

      Oh sh*t! I didn’t even think about that. That would really, really suck.

      • MikeD

        I guess there are many things that could be going on here, although he hasn’t complained of the greater weakness that Baldelli has. Let’s hope it’s not something like that!

  • bonestock94

    Phew, I’m relieved

    • mbonzo

      I feel like you might be hinting at something here.

      To the 8th?

  • Pat D

    Hope we’re not entering JR Richard territory…

    • The Big City of Dreams

      That’s a scary thought. On one hand you say good he doesn’t have TOS but then you think well if he doesn’t have that than what’s wrong

  • Bpdelia

    After seeing the stuff joba has this year I’d be cool with phil to the 8th joba to rotation. Tonite he had gas, his great slider and by my count even pulled out 3 real good curves. In fact joba has three plus pitches and a show me change,. Hughes HAD a plus fb a regressing curve a weak 2 seamer and a change he refuse s to throw.

    Just stating the obvious here

    • The Big City of Dreams

      That ship has sailed my friend. He’s never starting for this team again even though I would like to see it happen.

      • Gonzo

        You know what team took a good reliver at age 26 and tried to make him a starter, don’t you?

        The Sox tried to make Paps a starter in 2007, but Paps was never down with it.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Yea I know what they did. You would be surprised how many ppl don’t realize he was a reliever they tried to make into a starter instead of it being the other way around.

          • Gonzo

            Totally. I think Jeff Passan wrote a whole article for Yahoo about how he was a starter that they turned into a reliver. It was complete with factual errors and everything!

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Ppl need to do better research. That’s why I shake my head every time someone says hey maybe Joba is made to be reliever…they tried to make Pap a starter and we see he’s a reliever. SMH

              • Gonzo

                Next ST, Joba will be the same age Paps was when the Sox tried to make him a starter. A guy can dream right?

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Yes you can dream my friend you can hold out hope :). I have given up that dream because I just don’t see him getting another chance to start at least not with this club. If he does become a starter again it will be for another organization.

                  If the Yankees determine that the jump in innings had a huge affect on Hughes I doubt they make the same mistake with Joba.

  • RollingWave

    It’s just pure laziness, of course.

    /Murray Chased

  • oldfan

    If my memory serves me right, over the winter, the writer, Verducchi, predicted that hughes would be a candidate for problems this year, because of the formulas that he came up with for these type predictions.

    I think he said that the increase in total innings for Phil last year put him smack dab in the target range.

    I guess that he was right.
    Why is more people not pointing this out?

    • Jerkface

      Formulas? DO you mean

      Is X2 – X1 = Y > 30?

      I guess thats a formula. More people aren’t pointing it out because the Verducci Effect has been mostly debunked. Pitchers in general are injury prone, and some players (see: Lester, Jon) simply keep on trucking. No great extraordinary amount of pitchers have sucked or got hurt due to the ‘Verducci Effect’

    • MikeD

      The Verducci Effect has been disproven, although it makes for nice articles every year. It doesn’t mean he can’t throw a bunch of names out and some will have physical issues or a decline in effectiveness(we’re talking pitchers here, for heavens sake!), but the actual effect is so narrowly defined to the point that it is meaningless. The general point (don’t abuse young pitchers) is a good one. The actual results, however, is poor. So, sure, Hughes will appear on Verducci’s list next year as an example of a pitcher predicted to break down and did, and it won’t mean a darn thing.

  • nsalem


  • Naved

    Put him back in the pen! Robertson, Hughes, Joba, Soriano, Mo. OVERKILL but come on look at that.

  • forensic

    The irony of all this is that given their inability to do much of anything good with young pitchers, I could see him maybe getting 50-100 innings this year, then next year pitch a full season leading to another large innings jump, and just have a neverending cycle of this.