Evaluating Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes took the mound on Friday at Camden Yards and showed improvement over his previous two starts – Joe Girardi called it a “stepping stone” – but the end result was the same, a Yankees loss.
To be clear, he has not looked terrific this year. The Hughes we saw on May 1 at Texas and in Game 3 of the AL Division Series has not yet appeared, and that’s the thing with young pitchers — consistency.
Then again, Hughes’ performance wasn’t nearly as ugly as the 8-2 final. After all, he did take a 1-1 tie into the sixth inning before the Birds battered him for five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Here’s the thing fans will have to remember — this is going to be a “season of transition” for the Yankees, as Hank Steinbrenner warned months ago, and the kids are going to have growing pains like these.
Hughes is 21 and, though his demeanor doesn’t always tell you that, the results are going to. The Yankees believe that Hughes is best served to learn at the big league level instead of whittling through Triple-A lineups, and they’re going to continue to give him the chance to prove himself on the job.
Ian Kennedy gets the ball tonight against Brian Burres.