Hughes working out at Athletics Performance Institute this winter

The 2012 Bench Wishlist: A righty who can hit righties
Open Thread: Planet Earth

By now we all know that Phil Hughes showed up to Spring Training out of shape last year, something Brian Cashman acknowledged this weekend. “He came him into spring training a little bit out of shape,” said Cashman to Andrew Marchand. “Not grossly, not overly, but he wasn’t in optimal position when Spring Training opened. That is not going to happen in 2012.”

To make sure that doesn’t happen again next season, Hughes is working out at the Athletes’ Performances Institute near his home this winter. “He is determined,” said Cashman. “He is going to Athletes’ Performance out there in California, which is something he did two years ago to be in optimal shape.” Based on his Twitter feed, Hughes has been working out with Blue Jays’ ace Ricky Romero almost daily. Next season is going to be pretty important for Phil, who is running out of time to prove himself as a viable starter for the Yankees. Glad to see that he’s taking the offseason work a little more seriously this time around.

The 2012 Bench Wishlist: A righty who can hit righties
Open Thread: Planet Earth
  • Jimmy McNulty

    When is Joba going to fat camp?

    • Craig Maduro

      I would hope and assume that he’s been getting into better shape as a byproduct of his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

  • Craig Maduro

    This is good to hear. Step one of Hughes’ 2012 bounce back.

  • infernoscurse

    send CC there

    • Craig Maduro

      The irony is that even though we talk about how fat CC is, he is probably in better “athletic/pitching shape” than Hughes is/was.

      • YankeesJunkie


        It seems that a pitcher does not necessarily have to be ripped to be in optimal condition for pitching. The main part is making sure that they are physically strong rather than lean. So this means that CC may be fat, but he is also really strong in all likelihood.

        • Monteroisdinero

          He also has excellent mechanics. If he could field and cover 1B that would be a bonus.

          As for Phil, I think we should re-evaluate how we evaluate him in ST this year. We were wrong last year in waiting for arm strength that never came.

          • Rainbow Connection

            “If he could field and cover 1B that would be a bonus.”

            You can’t expect an ‘athlete’ to do those things. You’re asking for too much.

            • Rich in NJ

              Many pitchers aren’t that athletic, nor do they have to be. They just have a very unique skill…being able to throw the ball to spots, with movement and/or velo.

          • CP

            I actually think he fields and covers 1B pretty well. The problems have been the couple of times he doesn’t get off the mound and run over there for whatever reason.

            • Monteroisdinero

              Have to disagree. Many grounders up the middle that he misses because he falls off toward third. He is a great athlete for his build for sure but he is not a great fielder by any stretch.

        • Nyankees

          In all reality if your fat your fat and if your out of shape you our out of shape these guys get paid millions and your telling me they can’t find a gym local to where they live. That seems like a B.S excuse to me for just being lazy and not taking your job serious enough plain and simple people.

    • Brian S.


  • Alex Taffet

    I know that just about all these guys do work hard, but, it seems strange that any paid athlete would show up for a season in sub-optimal shape. I mean, their job is to play a professional sport. I’d think that this kind of training would not even be worth mentioning.

    • Tyrone Sharpton

      Amen, brutha. If Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson showed up to camp fat, they would be crucified by the media. But Phil Hughes? Josh Beckett? These fools gain weight but no one makes a damn whimper

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Why do you think that happens?

        • radnom

          Its not racial, if thats what Mr. Sharpton was suggesting with that choice of players. Its positional players vs. pitchers. With pitchers its hard to tell if they are out of shape. Beckett was fat and awesome this year, ditto CC and David Wells was a horse into his late 30s. When a second baseman or centerfielder start packing on pounds, it starts to affect their game. Thats the difference.

    • Urban

      It’s not unusual, especially for young pitchers who have faced very little adversity on their way to the Majors. They think their natural skills that have allowed them to dominate hitters most of their lives will continue in the majors. I’m hoping 2011 was Hughes’ learning moment, and he comes into camp top shape. He needs that little extra pop in his fastball.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      It is sad. I am not expecting or even wanting our players to look like a bodybuilder. Their job is to perform a few tasks and to do them at an elite level. Without being in proper shape the chances of doing that greatly decrease. Just like it bothers me that Cano refuses to run, it also bothers me CC and Phil (among a few others on our team) let themselves not be in top shape. it also bothers me that AJ is dumb, but he does not seem to have any control over that so I try to let it go.

  • LeftyLarry

    Hughes was more than a little out of shape.This will be huge for him.I’d expect a total bounce back year.

  • Accent Shallow

    Hanging out with Romero, huh? Maybe they can compare changeup notes.

  • Rainbow Connection

    Great news.

  • Phil Phuckin’ Hughes

    Phinally, some Phantastic news on Phil. The offseason is important for him, I hope he sticks to this plan all season long, and hopefully the results will show in 2012. I have Phaith in Phil!

    • Monteroisdinero

      Just don’t phil up on phrench phries.

    • jay h


  • Tayshon Jackson

    who the yankees getting from oakland?

  • Kevin G.

    Early jump on the “greatest shape of his life” stories

    • Billion$Bullpen

      In the late 90’s that meant “steroids”

  • meaty balls

    oh saint phil, hopefully you can be that guy you were in the minors, electric fastball filthy breaking pitches, sumone i can say yea i watched him him grow up, sumone i can be excited to watch pitch every fifth

  • Dave the Ox

    Who’s sumone? Is he another Japanese pitcher about to be posted?

  • pat

    I just don’t f*cking understand how these guys show up to camp out of shape. Un effing real.

    • Fin

      Ahh poor Phil, spent his whole life doing/eating what he wanted and was fine, then one day around 25 you wake up fat. For all of us in our 30s, we’ve all been there. Its a rude awakening. I’m sure he learned his leasson and will be fine going forward. As a pitcher it has nothing to do with how they look, just that they have enough stamina to pitch effectively for 7 innings every 5 days.

  • Plank

    Isn’t it a little early for “best shape of his life” articles?

    • Drew


    • Urban

      You’re just getting older and the Internet is just getting vaster. The “best shape of his life” articles now start appearing two week after the season. In future years, they’ll start appearing around mid-September before the player even starts working out.

  • JonS

    they better work his a$$ out…He was FAT!!! all damn season. N i kno we can say the same for guys like CC or Colon but Hughes should not be that size he was. He looked sloppy, tired, and just flat out FAT! Get ur self into shape Hughes were counting on ya

  • bankers hours

    Hughes/Montero/and Betances for King Felix. Can’t find no 1’s.

    • RetroRob

      That won’t get it done, even if the King was on the trading block. He’s not.

  • RennyBaseball

    Would someone please help me understand…

    For some reason, Hughes gets away with showing up out-of-shape and overweight in 2011, escaped scrutiny and negative criticism, and could do no wrong — when he bombed consecutive starts at the beginning of the season he was placed on the DL with arm fatigue. Hughes was never made to compete for a spot, but instead was assured one.

    By contrast, let’s consider his “alter-ego,” yes, am referring to #62. When Joba showed up in ST in 2011 he was widely criticized (even by Brian Cashman) for being overweight, when in fact he gained muscle. He explained to the media that he built a gym in his house during the off-season and worked out. Whenever Joba’s role was addressed in early ST in 2011, and this was once he was already consigned to the bullpen, Girardi and Cashman always emphasized that Joba had to earn a bullpen role in ST, and even that Joba was competing for a spot on the team.

    Does anyone see a little inconsistency in the way these two pitchers are treated? Moreover, it seemed Hughes in the end did not sufficiently develop his repertoire away from the fastball, while Joba has at least 3 reliable pitches. I know the topic of Joba has been discussed a lot in the past but there (unless there is something we don’t know) is no denying poor judgment and disparity in the way the team handles its young pitchers.