Monday, April 4, 2011

No need to panic over Hughes bad start

I was at yesterday’s game so of course I was troubled by the inability of Phil Hughes to put away hitters and the fact that Miguel Cabrera knocked him down by blasting an 88-mph pitch out of the ballpark. But I’m not going to panic about it. At least not yet.

I pretty much ignored the reports out of spring training about Hughes’ diminished velocity. But watching him pitch live it became very obvious that the New York Yankees have to figure out what’s ailing him and correct it quickly, whether it is a mechanical issue or simply needing to build up arm strength. But I’m not terribly worried about it because it seems like the problem is fixable. I trust that Larry Rothschild and Joe Girardi can guide Hughes through whatever adjustment is required.

Unlike with AJ Burnett, I don’t worry that the youngster is going to fall apart mentally. Sure, he’s probably frustrated, but Hughes is a level headed guy and smart enough to know that one start will not make or break his baseball season. He will put in whatever work is required in between starts and try again his next turn in the rotation.

The only thing you worry about is whether a fly ball pitcher like Hughes can truly master pitching in Yankee Stadium. The wind in the stadium yesterday was ferocious and partly to blame for Hughes getting smacked around the ballpark. But it’s not like the stadium is going to change so it’s something he’s going to have to learn how to pitch with if he wants to stay in the Yankees rotation.

If we see more starts like yesterday from Hughes, then there will be a real reason to be concerned. But we’re not there yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment