Angels rough up Hughes in blowout

Austin's bat powers Charleston to win
Scouting The Waiver Market: Rich Thompson

Hiroki Kuroda was great on Friday, and Phil Hughes was the exact opposite on Saturday. The game was essentially over by the fourth inning as the Angels sailed to a 7-1 win.

(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Inefficient and Ineffective

In his first start last week, Hughes couldn’t make it through the fifth inning for pitch count reasons. In his second start on Saturday, he couldn’t make it through the fourth because he was both inefficient and ineffective. The Halos roughed him up for six runs in 3.2 IP, with five of those runs coming on two homers. Chris Iannetta’s two-run blast was a total Yankee Stadium cheapie, a fly ball down the line in right that hit the top of the wall above the 314 ft. sign. It probably traveled 314 ft. and two inches. Seriously.

The other homer was a mistake to Howie Kendrick, Phil’s final pitch of the afternoon. He tried to throw a front door cutter for a called strike three — just as he had two batters earlier with Peter Bourjos — but the pitch was too far over the plate and hammered to left. A no-doubter. Mark Teixeira was unable to turn a hard-hit grounder into an out one batter earlier, compounding the problem. It happens, but we’re used to seeing Tex make plays like that. The other run came on a double to Albert Pujols, which is just something that guy tends to do.

Hughes threw 84 pitches to 20 batters and only faced six batters with no one on base — four of those six were the leadoff man of the inning. The only significant difference between this Hughes and the Hughes of last year is his ability to miss bats with the fastball. Today he got five swings and misses out of 32 four-seamers (15.6%) compared to 6.63% in 2011. Night and day difference. With Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda on the way, Phil has something like 3-4 starts left to prove that he deserves to remain in the rotation.

Phelps Makes His Case

(Mark LoMoglio/

Replacing Hughes was David Phelps, who continued his stellar early season work. He retired the first four men he faced before finally allowing his first big league hit and run, a solo homer by Vernon Wells on a hanging slider. Phelps walked Iannetta one batter later, but he then retired 12 of the final 13 men he faced. He struck out four, walked two, and allowed the one hit while throwing just 78 pitches across 5.1 innings. Only four of the 19 men he faced hit the ball out of the infield.

The Yankees do have Pettitte and Pineda coming back sooner rather than later (hopefully), but Phelps certainly made a statement against the Angels. He pitched with confidence and showed that he can turn over a big league lineup multiple times, maintaining his stuff despite a relatively high pitch count. If the Yankees need a spot start at some point — or need to take Hughes out of the rotation before Pettitte/Pineda is ready — Phelps cemented his status as the first in line for a starting job. He was fantastic on Saturday.


The Yankees had C.J. Wilson bent over a few times but he did not break. The left-hander stranded runners on the corners in the first, a man on first in the second, and men on second and third in the fourth, fifth, and sixth. The only run came across when Robinson Cano grounded a seeing eye single through the left side after Eduardo Nunez and Derek Jeter singled. Ten of the final eleven Yankees made outs, the one exception being Alex Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth. He reached when Erick Aybar booted a ground ball. That was it offensively.

Jeter did lead the game off with a hard-hit ground ball single off Pujols’ glove, his sixth first inning leadoff hit in eight games. At .361, he’s the only starter on the team hitting over .250. Russell Martin did draw a walk, raising his team leading OBP to .448.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

ESPN will carry the rubber game on Sunday night, when Ivan Nova gives it a go against Jerome Williams. If you want to attend, RAB Tickets can help get you in the door.

Austin's bat powers Charleston to win
Scouting The Waiver Market: Rich Thompson
  • Johnny

    Yay David Phelps!

    I would like to have Dave start a game and then have Dave close the game.

    • Havok9120

      Maybe next year.

  • ClayDavis

    What a terrible game to attend. One of the worst I’ve been to in a very long time.

    • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

      Going to games is a waste of money.

  • Reggie C.

    Cano will come around and return to his all-star form. I’ll reserve my concern for Teixeira. But that’s a story for another night since Hughes couldn’t get out of the fourth.

    Whos next on the schedule for Hughes?

    • Knoxvillain

      Tex is probably the most irritating player that I’ve ever seen. There’s no reason this guy shouldn’t be hitting .290 with a .385 OBP every year. I like Tex a lot, but every game I like him less.

      Cano always starts off slow. If he was hitting .180 I wouldn’t worry at all. He will eventually come around and finish at .305/25/100.

      • The Guns of Navarone

        I agree about Tex. I think what’s so irritating is that we saw how good he could be in 2009. People love to cite his HR/RBI numbers, but he’s also getting on base at a much lower clip. I wouldn’t care as much about the AVG if he were replacing all those extra outs with some more walks instead.

    • Karl Krawfid

      I want to know why the hell is he keeping 2 hands on the bat from the left side? His swing was so perfect in 2009 from the left.

      2012 Tex would try to pull that.

      • AC

        It’s a Kevin long thing. Did same with Gardner and Grandy.

  • Brad G.

    Another RISPfail kinda day. It’s also getting rather difficult watching Teixeira be a near guaranteed out day in and day out.

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    The Coach’s Son aka Phillip Hughes remains a tremendous failure. Too bad we didn’t ship his clown ass out and keep IPK. Yanks looking good though, won’t be surprised to see 105 regular season wins.

    • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

      IPK’s #’s don’t count because it’s the NL. And it’s just luck anyway.
      Unless it’s CC. If CC does well, it’s because he’s an amazing human being and whites call him ‘big man’ and they feel good about themselves.
      It’s tough remembering all the RAB talking points.

      • Len S.

        Is this for real?

        • FIPster Doofus

          Nah. He’s just the resident douche.

          • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

            Just trying to fit in.

            • jjyank

              By being the biggest troll here?

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I think “troll” is an incorrect label, but he’s certainly one of the few which I cannot understand, for the life of me, why they spend so much time on here if they feel so negatively about the team.

                The only logical reason I have for this is “reaaaaally lonely pre-teens.”

                • Havok9120

                  Its not even the team he feels purely negatively about. Its the writers and posters on this site. Which means its even more of a head scratcher.

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    The Coach’s Son aka Phillip Hughes remains a tremendous failure. Too bad we didn’t ship his clown self out and keep IPK. Yanks looking good though, won’t be surprised to see 105 regular season wins.

  • echo

    The Coach’s Son aka Phillip Hughes remains a tremendous failure. Too bad we didn’t ship his clown self out and keep IPK. Yanks looking good though, won’t be surprised to see 105 regular season wins.

    • Havok9120

      Its good to see that the practice of people changing their usernames in order to repost things and make their opinion seem more pronounced is intact. Usually people change the word order or add or subtract a talking point or two to make it seem credible.

      We need to recover the art.

      • Havok9120

        Of course, then I notice the username in use and realize I’ve made a fool of myself. Oh well, it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last.

        I now see what you did there.

  • RustyJohn

    At least nothing really bad happened…like Noesi throwing a five-hit shutout or Montero going 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBIs…

    • Zack

      Noesi threw a shutout against the A’s…not too hard to do.

      • Kosmo

        It still counts. It´s funny whenever an ex-Yank succeeds it´s because they don´t play in the AL East. That´s just crap.

        • Buffalo Bill

          Yes, you’re right. It still counts. And so did Noesi’s previous start, when he was an utter abortion after getting spotted a four run lead in the first inning against Texas.

        • Havok9120

          Yes, it does. Just like his last start.

          Besides, his problem wasn’t with the AL East, it was with the A’s. Which really isn’t all that unreasonable.

    • STONE COLD Austin Romine

      Let it go.

      • Monterowasdinero

        This “let it go” stuff needs to go too. We can have better grief counseling than that. How about Bartolo throws a shutout Friday, Noesi Saturday, Phils sucks and Montero would be the best right handed hitter on the Yanks.

        There I feel better.

        • jjyank

          No, you really do need to let it go. Nobody should need “grief counseling” about a baseball team trading a prospect.

          This is obnoxious. Every time a player does well that we traded away we need to have a reactionary, whiney attitude about why the Yankees are stupid for trading them? Noesi is replaceable, Montero netted us a potential frontline pitcher, IPK got us Granderson (who was in the MVP conversation last year), and Hughes has nothing to do with this.

          Let. It. Go.

          • Voice of Reason

            “Replaceable” doesn’t do it justice. There’s no chance Noesi would be in the Yankees’ starting rotation this year.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          The Yankees are the 25 men taking the field. That’s who they are. Jesus Montero is no longer a Yankee. Worry about the players who are, and can, contribute to your team. This is not rocket science.

        • Havok9120

          And Noesi and Colon also got lit up in their previous starts and Kuroda threw a gem against a tougher team than either of them were pitching against. What’s your point?

    • JohnC

      Well, if it makes you feel better, Kuroda threw a 4 hitter against the much better Angels on Friday. Oh did I forget to mention it’s tghe 2nd week of the season?

    • Len S.

      Trades…what a bitch.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      How is that bad? Good for them. I want them to succeed.

  • themgmt

    Am I alone in thinking Hughes looked alright?

    • jjyank

      No, you’re not. His stuff looked good I thought, and he did get 6 strikeouts. Obviously his command inside the zone was off, but I don’t think it was the disaster a lot of people are making it out to be.

      • Kevin Winters

        and he did get 6 strikeouts.


        He faced 20 batters yesterday in 3 1/3 innings

        • jjyank

          I realize that. But Hughes’ problems in the past have been putting guys away, and that wasn’t really the issue here. The point is, I thought his stuff looked pretty good, but his command was bad. I’m just finding the silver lining.

    • Ro

      No. Hughes is one of those players that infuriates me. He has good stuff, er, well outside of early last season and regarding this seasons first two starts, his stuff has been pretty good. It’s just not translating and the results are poor. I don’t get it either. I’ve been wanting him to succeed and I’ve been very vocal here and elsewhere that I expect a big season from him. At this point, I’m beginning to wonder if the guy just needs a fresh start elsewhere. Then the question needs to be asked. What is he worth. While his value is low now, he still has a lot of value in a horribly shitty pitching market. The question is – is he worth more in the bullpen for another season and a half before he’s a free agent or does he bring back something greater in return. Could a package of Hughes and Warren, two quality pitchers, at least on paper, bring back something of value for the Yanks. I’ve got to think so..I could see the Twins, Orioles, Royals, even the Dodgers being teams that would look at this.

      • jjyank

        I think Hughes may need a fresh start, but I don’t think his trade value exceeds his potential value in the bullpen. If Hughes had more control left, maybe. But a guy who has lost the prospect shine, battled injuries, has been mostly ineffective, and is a free agent after 2013, likely has little value. I’m just guessing, none of us know for certain how different teams view Hughes.

        • Ro

          Those are good points and that’s really the exact question I was asking. Part of me too believes that he is more valuable as a bullpen arm for the Yanks, should he be booted from the rotation, yet again and especially considering the Joba debacle. It does seem like Mo will retire after this season. I’m to the point that I wish Mo would, just for his own piece of mind and to go out on top hopefully. Just his general demenour, the way I see him speak in interviews after games. He just looks done, but not the type of I can’t pitch anymore done, but just, I’m done with this part of my life. The relevance this has to the Hughes discussion is that he would likely be of value to the Yanks in 2013 once everyone slides back a spot in the bullpen. If that’s the case, why wait and just stick him back out there once Pettitte is ready.

          However, as I stated, the available pitching options are really freaking shitty right now in the market and there could be a team that will slightly over-pay for two years of cost controllability and that’s in part why you sweeten the deal with Warren, who’s proven nothing yet, but looks good enough. If I’m a team that needs pitching (half in the league do) and can get two good arms (again, that’s what it says on paper) you may just get a valuable piece in return. Let’s keep in mind that Cashman’s strongest trait as a GM has been with trades. The dude is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to these things and while I don’t want to get ahead of myself nor propose a trade for who, would I be shocked if Cashman were to trade Hughes and Warren and get back a single high ceiling A profile prospect, someone who is a few years off? Nope, not at all.

    • Greg

      His stuff was good yesterday. That’s the scary part…..and not a good sign. On a day when his stuff is good he can’t anybody out…….

  • JohnC

    Yes, cause of our fairweather fans and their knee kerk reactions

    • Alex C.

      I hate those kind of “fans”. #WhineyCrybabies

  • Kosmo

    Tex,Cano and Arod have a combined 3 RBI so far in the early going. Maybe today against retread Jerome Williams their bats will come alive.

  • Bubba

    I think the Artist formerly known as Phil Hughes needs to leave the building. I known its early but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for Phil. Even when he looks good/ok, the results are poor. He’s quickly becoming AJ without the faint promise of a potential gem.

  • William Bonney

    Hughes has one last shot to prove himself in his next start. He will be facing the Twins and if he can’t turn it around against them then Phelps will take his rotation spot until Andy or Pineda returns. We don’t want Hughes going up against Boston or Detroit or Texas. He’d get shelled. Let Supernova show Phil how it’s done.

    • goterpsgo

      Part of me still wonders if what has happened was due to his injury waaaaaaaayyyyyyy back in that 1st start @ Texas. Or maybe he just isn’t all that great. One will never know.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    I know I’m totally hijacking a game thread, so let me start by saying I’m sorry for it.

    That said, I was hoping to get some help from you enlightened and well-read Yankee fans. I am writing a grad school paper on Yankees scouting (really the quantitative end of it) and was hoping someone knew of articles or books that contained some references to that.

    Thanks in advance. Or no thanks if you don’t help. Whatever.

  • jjyank

    At least the game wasn’t a total loss. I really enjoyed watching Phelps pitch. He looked great, and he did the Yankees a huge favor by sparing the bullpen.

    I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the Phelps/Warren/Mitchell trio before the season. I know they’re decent prospects, but I guess they get so overshadowed by the Banuelos type prospects that I forgot about them. Nova was never a “Banuelos-type” prospect, but he has certainly out-pitched his scouting report. Hopefully Phelps can continue to do the same.

    • Manny’s BanWagon


      It’s such an in exact science projecting these kids that it’s impossible to label them Ace or back of the rotation starter with any accuracy.

      Phelps seems to have good stuff and most importantly solid command. Of course it’s a small sample but he sure looks a lot better than what I’d expected from his typical scouting reports

  • Tom Merritt

    Phil needs to go!! He’s had plenty of opportunities and he just isn’t going to cut it as a starting pitcher for the Yankees. ARod is a shell of his former PED self. Tex is the best fielding 1st baseman I’ve ever seen but his poor hitting should put him into question also. I don’t see him coming out of it with his strange batting mechanics and inability to hit the ball to left field to stop the shifts.

    Lots of talent on this year’s team but some serious holes and concerns. Two horrible contracts with ARod and Tex. Not sure what to do with them.At least we don’t have to look at A.J. any more!!!

    • Ro

      Tom, I’ve got to largely disagree with your statement “Lots of talent on this year’s team but some serious holes and concerns.” Hopefully you’re a fan and just a little confused at the moment, but the Yankees are by far and large the most complete and deep team in the majors at the moment. Perhaps the Rangers and Angels can match that statement, but the Yanks are about 10 deep right now with starting pitchers. Hughes isn’t a “hole,” he’s just not getting the results. Both now and in two weeks, there are probably 4 (FOUR!) arms that could easily that role as SP. Pineda, Pettitte, Phelps, Warren, shit even Mitchell, with Betances, close to being ready. There are very few teams, if any, that could wish they were in this situation. As for Arod – I’ll bet you $1k right now he is of no concern now, next season and the one after, provided he’s not injured. I’m tired of the Arod is a bum talk. Same for Tex. Dude is arguably the best defensive first baseman in baseball and I’ll stand behind that. He has produced more than 100 rbi’s every season and has been good for 35 homers or greater. Yeah, it’s a bit frustrating seeing him with an average hovering around .250, but it is what it is, and I wouldn’t not for a second call him a bust or useless or a concern. He’ll be fine. Stop with the horrible contract b.s. Tex has four more years and if his defense continues to be as good as it is, then what’s the problem?

      What other “hole” or “concern” do you have? I look up and down the line-up, the complete roster and frankly, I can’t find a single issue with this team and their depth. Jeter looks like he’s 28 out there right now and while I know that won’t last, but it could, what other criticism can someone have?

      • Brendan

        I agree, but I think it’s looking like it’s going to be a bit of a rough start here until Pineda and then, presumably, Andy are available for the rotation. Nova pitched well last week, and let’s hope he gives a good performance today. Early days, but I think cause for some concern based on performance, if not paper.

    • Holy Ghost

      Sadly, Tex is beginning to look like an overpaid Tino Martinez

  • Preston

    I’m finally off of the Hughes band wagon. When Pettitte and Pineda are healthy he needs to go to the pen. His secondary pitches and location just aren’t effective enough to be a top notch starter. In the bullpen his electric fastball will be enough. I’m really impressed with David Phelps, I hope he gets a chance to make some spot starts this season and gets a legitimate shot at a rotation spot in 2013.

  • smurfy

    There is one other significant difference in Hughes last year to this year: curveball command. Thus far, no more dirty spiked curves, but curves for stikes. Those two, 0-1 and 0-2, were taken on the inside corner, right on his hands. An inconvenient pitch, soon to be slammed? I doubt it. If Albert wanted to swing, he’d have to be quite early with great potential for an earth-shakingly loud foul, or more likely he would pop it up. That is, if he didn’t genuflect at another sweet curve. Phil shoulda thrown one more.

  • M&M Boys

    The only time Phil Hughes was really good was in 2009 when he was the set-up man. Pitching only one inning, his fastball was in the mid-90s and the fastball/curve combo was sufficient. As a starter, he was great the first few months of 2010, but has simply been terrible ever since. And his won-loss record that year was helped by the fact the offense scored an average of 7-8 runs in games he started. Like Joba, Phil is a reliever.

    • smurfy

      He was a tremendous asset in that role. But I remember it as a fb/cutter combo with a few curves. Whether memory serves well or not, he was extremely valuable to the 2009 Championship, and that is an outstanding floor on his value.

      It strikes me, and them (back then)that he was very short-armed then, bringing the pitch nearer his ear, which may be a one-way habit. I am encouraged by his better velocity and rise on his fb that his cutter will improve, as well. Then he will have a variety of weapons that would enable him to perform at a high level as a starter, after he integrates them better. I hope for him to improve on the unpredictabilty factor, all based on establishing his fastball as a pitch you had better be ready for, thinking about.

      I say give him more time,but relieving is not the end of the world, more a hiatis.

  • Captain Gift Basket

    I’m surprised at the fans who want to let the Montero trade “go”. This lineup has been pitiful, to say the least, and without Jeter and Swisher, would be nonexistent.

    Teixeira is a former shell of himself, and the ol’ Arod is not coming back anytime soon. Yanks lost in the playoffs not because of pitching, but because of their weak lineup. I think the Yanks should have at least gone into the season with Montero. Pineda will be a bust.

    • Greg

      And how have the M’s done with Montero in their lineup?

      They have the same winning percentage as we do and they’ve played Oakland six times.

      • Havok9120

        Eh. One batter can only amount to so much. That said, his getting to beat up on the Elite Pitching of Oakland certainly helps his numbers.

    • Adam Parker

      You are right. Instead, the fans should petition Cashman (or maybe Bud Sielig?) to reverse the trade so that it never happened. How about that?

      You need to let it go because it happened, and it can’t be undone. So you need to live with it. That is of course assuming you are a reasonable person.

    • Havok9120

      Your powers of prognostication are astounding. I mean, I disagreed but could see your point with everything you said up until the last sentence. That one is just your bias showing.