9-25 Yankees-Twins Preview: 2012 Phil Hughes

64 — 90
89 — 64
New York Yankees 

@

Minnesota Twins
Phil Hughes
16 – 12 (4.05 ERA)
Esmerling Vasquez
0 – 2
(ERA 6.75)

Phil Hughes is going for his 17th win tonight, as he takes the hill against the Twins in the second game of a three-game set.

This is the most wins Hughes has got since 2010, when he won 18-games. And he can still win 18-games, this year.

2012 Phil Hughes: Have we seen the real Hughes that we’ve been waiting for since 2007, this season ? A new Hughes ? Or the same ?

As the season dwindles, and Hughes has only two starts left, I think it’s okay to give him his 2012 season report. And if you look at his numbers this season, there is one positive for hope to see Hughes become a top starter in this rotation.

The similarities between the Hughes of now (2012) and in 2010, is health. In 2010 when he won 18-games, Hughes made 31 starts, and this season he’s about to make his 31st start tonight. That’s why he managed to win over 15-games in those two seasons. That’s a great sign. Because as of right now, if you know that Hughes will make 30-starts in 2013, there’s a great chance he wins 15-games or more.

If you wanna look at Hughes’ stats and era, and say: ‘He’s nothing !’ You haven’t watched Hughes’ starts this season.

Phil has slightly progressed as a pitcher. This season, he’s become more of pitcher. I understand he’s given up 34-homeruns, which is awful. You cannot be a top-rotation pitcher and give up 34-homers. But I believe that can be fixed.

He started to use the slider he’s been hidden, a lot this month. And I think it’s helped. He needed a third pitch; I don’t think that change-up is that effective; it’ll work from time to time, but not all the time. But the slider he’s starting to use, is a pitch he had in the minors and got away from it. And it’s got a bit of a frisbee spin to it.

I’m saying Phil Hughes WILL become a top-starter in the future, I’m just saying there’s a chance, when you notice that staying healthy is the key for him to have a chance to succeed.

Tonight, I expect Hughes to pitch well with a big ball park like Target field, where Hughes can get a lot of fly ball outs.

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