Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hope Hughes rules work better than Joba rules

Now that Phil Hughes has officially been named the fifth starter for the New York Yankees, the team has announced its preliminary plans to limit his innings to prevent overuse and injury. Let's hope the Hughes rules work better than the Joba rules.

In an admirable attempt to protect a young pitcher, the Yankees intensely limited Joba Chamberlain's workload during the last two baseball seasons. But the constant evolution of the rules and limits completely messed up Joba's head, leading to erratic performances. Let's hope the Yankees have learned from the mistakes they made with Joba.

Hughes doesn't have Joba's fiery personality, but he has talent and experience gleaned from being the set-up man for the incomparable Mariano Rivera last year. What he needs now is consistent guidance from Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi and staff. The plan seems to be starting off on the right foot, with him pitching in two extended spring training games before making his first start of the regular season on April 15. I hope the Yankees continue with a plan that limits his innings early in the season rather than in August and September because that clearly ruined what should have been a good second half for Joba last year.

Now that Hughes has earned his new job, it's time for him to shine. Let's hope the rules don't get in the way.

Thanks to Mandalatv via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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