Posts Tagged ‘Phil Hughes’

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Yikes, Where Did The Time Go?

July 16, 2009

So, I disappear for two months, only to find that my traffic was doubled for the time I wasn’t updating. Is my style so off putting that I am more entertaining in silence!? All of the posts after this one will contain nothing more than ellipses…

So the All Star break is about to end so it is as good a time as any to get back in the swing of things. And what could be a better place to begin than by acknowledging unfounded rumors about a trade that won’t happen!?

Roy Halladay: Future Yankee?

Ehhh, no. I don’t think so anyway, though I would love for it to happen.

I have an idea. Let’s play a game! In this game we pretend we are in an alternate universe. The Mets entire team isn’t crippled from the waist down, Chien-Ming Wang isn’t broken,  and the Blue Jays have no qualms about trading Roy Halladay to a team above them in the division. So what might it take for the Yankees to get Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays? Being that they’ve gone through approximately forty starting pitchers this season, they would obviously want a young starter back in exchange for their exceedingly durable ace . They could use a young shortstop to take over for Marco Scutaro in the next year or so. They also need a catcher. The Yankees have prospects in two of those areas, so they certainly could meet the need. One of Wang/Hughes/Chamberlain, along with someone to fill an offensive hole, like CF Austin Jackson or catcher Jesus Montero, and another decent prospect or two would probably be a pretty enticing offer for the Jays.

Back to the real world: Of course, Wang’s value is in the tank right now, which somewhat limits that possibility (along with the fact that he shouldn’t be sold at the absolute bottom of his value). The Jays might want to get a little something more from the Yankees than they would expect from any other team, as a tax of sorts for an intra-divisional trade. On top of that, Cashman might still be keen to keeping both Chamberlain and Hughes.

It likely won’t happen, but even so, if an offer comes in revolving around one of Chamberlain or Hughes (without gutting the ENTIRE farm system), you have to take it. The Yankees are one of the few World Series aspiring teams this season, and Halladay would provide another ace for at least several more seasons (with an extension). If Halladay isn’t the best pitcher in baseball, he is right next to them (and it wouldn’t hurt him to replace a few starts against the Yankees offense each year with the Blue Jays). And even with a trade of one of those young pitchers, you’re still left with several young starters, particularly if Wang rights himsef.

One quick opinion on Wang: He needs a full offseason of conditioning and work. He still has his sinker, just not the location, and he shouldn’t have been working himself out in the major leagues at all until he proved himself worthy in the minors for more than two starts. He will be fine next season, barring any reoccurrences in his foot or other lower leg troubles.

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Chien-Ming Wang: Easiest Word Play in Baseball?

May 4, 2009

As someone so incredibly noted two weeks ago Chien-Ming Wang has been dealing with a sore foot. The foot problem has led to hip and leg problems, which in turn has given him a release point about as consistent as a Sammy Sosa’s English. Wang’s DL stint and rehab will be switching focus from arm  stamina to a lower pitch count lower body strengthening program designed to help his legs and hips recover.

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Not having his legs beneath him would go a long way in explaining Wang’s historically bad start to the year, and hopefully he can be back before the end of the month pitching like he is capable of.

In the meantime, Phil Hughes had a suberb start this week, striking out six in six innings against a very good Detroit offense. He allowed only one hit (a single) to Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez combined, and only two hits total.  His pitch Fx data for the game is here. There is a ton to be encouraged by, even if it is only one start. His pitches ranged from a high of 94 mph to a low of 73 mph, a pretty huge difference in speeds, and his fastball averaged 91.33 mph, which is just where it should be if he wants to have enough velocity to get it by hitters on occasion. The variation pitch to pitch is incredible, and it really looks like his time in AAA has been paying off.

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Hughes even had some trouble getting his great curveball over the plate, it often was left high, but the break on it is so sharp that he was able to get away with it. If he can consistently throw his curve where he wants to Hughes’ arsenal is pretty tough to match.hughes2

He still has to prove he can be healthy for a full year, even though none of his injuries have actually been arm related, but a game like that one is exactly what everyone who has been following him in the minors knows he is capable of. It is yet to be determined if he will start tomorrow against Boston or be pushed back because of today’s rain out. Boston is probably an even more daunting game than his season debut, but I would love to see how he comes out of it. He could really push the Yankees to keep him in the majors with a good start.

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Return Of Sir Philip?

April 24, 2009

Via Peter Abraham’s blog:

UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: Nardi Contreras just told reporters in Tampa that Wang needs more arm strength and that is sinker is not consistent enough.

I don’t know what injury they’ll claim he has, but every indication is that Wang will be on the DL sometime soon.

This seemed obvious. Options for starting are probably one of Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy or Alfredo Aceves. Hughes and Kennedy are tearing up AAA, and while I have a few reservations about whether or not they can carry some confidence over from the minors to the Yankees I would like to see one of them get the call to start. The next scheduled spot after Wang’s start was skipped in Boston will be in Detroit. Quite a daunting task for one of these young guys. As one of two people in ownership of a Phil Hughes jersey (this is the other) I am especially excited about the possible return of our top prospect to the majors. The situation from which this possibility arises is less than desirable, but getting to see a pitcher currently dominating the minors with major league stuff is always exciting.

And for anyone who thinks the Yankees rotation is in dire straits, the Orioles are there to cheer you up. Any city that can not only employ Adam Eaton but  give him a standing ovation is okay with this blog. Just to refresh your memory, Eaton is the man Phillies fans booed during the World Series ring ceremony. In spite of his gem today Eaton is essentially a terrible pitcher who somehow has stuck in the majors on reputation alone. The particularly puzzling thing is that Eaton’s reputation is as a terrible pitcher. Yeah, chew on that one, baseball fans.

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