Thursday, April 15, 2010

Phil Hughes time is now

Phil Hughes gets his chance to start living up to all those projections of greatness as a big-league pitcher with his first start of the 2010 season. It's his time now and I’m rooting for him to make the most of it.

I'm sure Hughes is anxious to get out on the mound and show the baseball world his stuff, particularly his new changeup. He will have to keep his nerves in check, which could be a challenge. Sometimes it's easy to forget Hughes is only 23 years old. It feels like he's been around for a long time, making his big league debut with the Yankees in April 2007.

I see a lot riding on Hughes having a good season in the fifth spot because I have major doubts that Javier Vazquez will be a reliable starter for the New York Yankees this year. But unlike Vazquez, Hughes will have a honeymoon period with the media and Yankees fans, in part because he was so successful setting up Mariano Rivera during the regular season last year. For sure, he stumbled in the playoffs, but that didn't hurt the team on its way to winning a 27th World Series title.

We know he has the stuff to be a great starter in the big leagues because we’ve already seen the flashes of greatness. He just needs to have the confidence to pitch well consistently. It's definitely something he's capable of doing.

Good luck, Phil!

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