Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — That’s the question I’m pondering from St. Pete, just a few hours before the start of a four-game series against the Rays and just a few hours removed from a very convincing start by Phil Hughes.
Hughes looked awfully close to that 18-game winner from 2010 against the Blue Jays on Sunday, when he notched his first win and first quality start, retired eight of his final nine hitters he faced and registered just 80 pitches through six innings. He could’ve gone longer, but Hughes (pictured left by The Associated Press) went deep enough to make a very important point — he looks like an effective starting pitcher again.
Over the All-Star break, the right-hander worked with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on better aligning his stride towards the plate and adjusting his curveball grip. That grip gave him a much sharper breaking ball he was able to use as a reliable No. 2 pitch to offset his four-seamer (one that consistently sat in the 92- to 93-mph range and got better as the game wore on).
Now, the question: If Hughes truly is back, and he’s the 2010 version again, do the Yankees need Ubaldo Jimenez?
Here’s the thing about Jimenez: Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd doesn’t really have to move him. It reminds me a lot of the situation with Padres closer Heath Bell in recent years. Jimenez is under club control for a while (signed through 2012 with two additional club options thereafter), he’s awfully affordable (making no more than $8 million through 2014) and his stock is rather low (Jimenez is 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 starts this year — though he does have a 2.56 ERA since the start of June).
Since the Rockies are 9 1/2 games out of first place and the starting-pitching market is weak, it’s not surprising they would shop him. But considering all the above-mentioned factors, it’s no wonder Colorado seeks the sun and the moon for the services of Ubaldo (pictured right by the AP).
MLB.com colleague Thomas Harding says the Rockies are at least listening to offers for Jimenez, but a deal remains unlikely. Peter Gammons, meanwhile, put the chances of a deal at 10 percent. We all know how quickly things can change as the non-waiver Trade Deadline draws closer, though.
With regards to the Yankees, the names that have surfaced as potential pieces to a deal are the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova and Jesus Montero (though SI.com is reporting today that Montero wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the potential trade, since the Rockies don’t view him as a catcher).
Now, if Hughes is right, then the Yankees would have an in-house rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Hughes at the top, with the final spots going to any two between Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Nova.
Would they still need Jimenez to make a return trip to the playoffs? And would it be worth it to give up what the Rockies would want in return?
Curious to hear your thoughts.
Some links from the series finale in Toronto …
* Efficient Hughes looks strong in first win
* Yankees Notebook, on Gardner, Dickerson, Teixeira and A-Rod
* Yankees intend to push Rays down standings
TORONTO — This should be interesting.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi chose Sunday as the day he’d shake up his lineup and give a few more guys a break from the field surface here at Rogers Centre. So, what we have is quite the afternoon delight — Eduardo Nunez fielding grounders at shortstop, Jorge Posada catching his throws at first base, and an all-turf field surrounding them.
Derek Jeter has the day off, Mark Teixeira is in as the designated hitter and Ramiro Pena gets his fifth start of the season at third base. But all our eyes will be on Phil Hughes, who makes his second start since returning from the disabled list.
Pregame, the Yankees switched outfielders, with lefty hitter Chris Dickerson returning and right-handed hitter Greg Golson being sent down to the Minor Leagues with the Yankees facing more righties in the coming days.
Still no Jose Bautista (ankle) for the Jays.
Here are your lineups …
Pitching: RH Hughes (0-2, 10.57 ERA)
Pitching: RH Carlos Villanueva (5-1, 2.99 ERA)
From the Game Notes …
* The Yankees are 34-18 (a .654 winning percentage) since May 17, marking the second-best record in the Majors over that stretch. Only the Red Sox (35-16) have a better mark since then.
* New York is a Major League-best 27-5 in day games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only team to win at least 27 of their first 32 day games in a season was the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955.
* Nunez has driven in 16 runs this season, eight of which have tied the game or given the Yankees the lead.
And here are some links from yesterday …
* CC stifles Blue Jays for 14th win
* Yankees Notebook, with stuff on Soriano, defense, Jeter and (of course) signs
* Hughes out to build on modest return
* Yankees reportedly one of many teams interested in Ubaldo
* Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees?
Mariano Rivera played catch in the outfield at Cleveland’s Progressive Field today and said that his sore right triceps feels better, but he still feels something in there. He’ll give manager Joe Girardi a full report after the session, but told reporters that it’d take an emergency for him to pitch tonight.
Earlier today, Rivera said the toughest person to convince is usually Gene Monahan, who’ll nod when a player says he feels OK and then tell the manager to give him another day off. You’ve seen it before, but Rivera might get a little extra leeway with Girardi because of who he is and what he’s been through.
“Basically, you know your body,” Rivera said. “Those things are going to happen. You always have some aching feelings and soreness. I’m not concerned because I haven’t done nothing wrong. I expect that it’s something that’s going to calm and go away, the same way it came.”
Other pre-game tidbits:
- Derek Jeter is in the lineup, batting leadoff and playing shortstop. Girardi said he checked with Jeter last night and today to make sure he’d be ready to go. They wouldn’t commit to a start on Wednesday here in Cleveland.
- Luis Ayala is available tonight. Cory Wade has pitched in three of four, so he’s out. Eduardo Nunez is available off the bench, Girardi said.
- Just a day off for Russell Martin after catching four straight, and a half-day for Mark Teixeira, who’s DHing while the Yanks play this stretch of 13 in a row. Girardi said that it’s to the point now where he doesn’t think twice about having Jorge Posada play first base.
- They’re expecting 100 pitches out of Phil Hughes tomorrow.
- Another setback for Eric Chavez, who felt something in his abdominal and has been sent back to New York for tests. Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano is set to throw a bullpen in Tampa tomorrow. Best case for Soriano is the first game after the All-Star break, but a little cushion room is more likely.
A.J. Burnett will be the Yankees’ No. 2 starter and Phil Hughes is the No. 3 starter, Joe Girardi confirmed today.
- The Yankees have sent Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances to Minor League camp. Brackman will start the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; Betances will begin at Double-A Trenton.
- Russell Martin was in New York’s original lineup today but Girardi decided to rest him after he took a beating catching Burnett’s four innings yesterday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, starting Austin Romine instead. Martin is fine physically and will catch Sabathia tomorrow against the Phillies in Clearwater.
- Ivan Nova will pitch a simulated game tomorrow at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
- In case you’re looking ahead, Manny Banuelos will pitch on Monday against the Rays in Port Charlotte behind Bartolo Colon.
- As I sit here in the press box writing this blog post, Dante Girardi is taking batting practice off his dad. He belted one homer into the right-field party deck (OK, so he’s hitting with a metal bat from shallow right field. Still, that’s not bad for 8 years old!).
Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes will be presented with awards from the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at its annual dinner tonight.
The gala affair, to be held at the New York Hilton, also features the presentation of baseball’s eight national awards to both league’s MVPs, Cy Youngs, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year.
Cano has been selected for the Joe DiMaggio Toast of the Town Award, coming off a breakout season in which he batted .319 with 29 home runs and 109 RBIs in 160 games for New York.
Hughes is being presented with the Good Guy Award after posting a career-high 18 victories and his first career All-Star Game selection, recording a 4.19 ERA in 31 games (29 starts).
Longtime Yankees principal owner George M. Steinbrenner, who passed away on July 13 at age 80, will also be posthumously honored with the Joan Payson Award for community service.
We’ll have an update with quotes and more information after the dinner on MLB.com and Yankees.com.
Back in 2005, I was dabbling with shooting photos at the Minor League games I covered. I’m no professional and the camera certainly wasn’t great, but typically we’d be able to use them online. Sometimes they’d even make it into the magazines we produced. Anyway, I was going through some old files last night and plucked out a few faces that are now very familiar.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi shed more light on why Andy Pettitte couldn’t pitch Game 2 of the ALCS today, and why the team instead went to Phil Hughes for Games 2 and 6 against the Rangers. Here’s the transcript:
(Any second thoughts about how he set up Pettitte and Hughes?) Sometimes as a manager you have to do things for certain reasons. As I said before, we lined up our rotation, there were a lot of factors that went into our rotation. Sometimes you’re going to take heat or people are going to question things that you do about it because you’re trying to protect a player or protect a strategy.
Let me take you back. Andy Pettitte pitched Thursday against Minnesota. In the seventh inning, Andy’s back started locking up a little bit. His hamstrings got really tight. He gutted it through the seventh inning for us and got through it. He wanted to go back out for the eighth. I think he had about 88 pitches. And I said, ‘No, you’re not going back out. You’ve done your job.’
He came in on Friday and his back was locked up. Saturday was his bullpen because he basically had to prepare for Game 5. He got about halfway through his bullpen and had to walk off because his leg grabbed at him. A little different spot, his adductor. So we thought it was in our best interests, and I thought talking to the trainers and the doctors, if we could give him a couple of extra days he might be able to get through that series. He didn’t throw a light bullpen until Wednesday because we were fearful.
The last time Andy walked off a bullpen, it became a couple of weeks. If I only had Andy for one game in that playoff, I was willing to take the risk to make sure he was healthy. In talking to doctors, trainers, our staff, Cash, we thought we had to give him those two extra days. Andy had some leg problems down the stretch, he had some back issues. It was unfortunate and he pitched a great game.
Who knows what would have happened if he was able to pitch Game 2? We just felt that after having that issue on Saturday, we’d better give him a couple of extra days.
(If Andy was healthy, would he have pitched Game 2?) We might have lined up our rotation a little different if he was healthy, yes.
(Andrus’ tapper on the first play of Game 3) Yes, I held my breath. He seemed to be OK through that start. He talked about a little back stiffness but nothing like he had in Minnesota or when his leg grabbed. Every time he went after a ball, I was concerned. If you share that knowledge, maybe they bunt more. Maybe they try to do more things. And that was a concern of mine.
(Would Andy have pitched ALCS Game 7?) He was OK. At that point, he felt OK, so if I did have concerns, he was going.
The Yankees had their first kangaroo court session of the year yesterday, with the Hon. Mariano Rivera presiding. It took about an hour for the players to get through the list of offenses which have been compiled over the first three months-plus of the season. Most of them are silly ways for teammates to write each other up, and many never see the light of day to the public.
Phil Hughes was a little bit off last night provided a few days off extra rest, as Cliff Lee and the Mariners beat the Yankees, 7-4, on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees also welcomed pitching coach Dave Eiland back after his lengthy absence for personal reasons.
It’s worth noting that All-Star balloting ends tomorrow, and while Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano are secure, the rest of the Yankees could use your help. Fans can vote up to 25 times using MLB.com, so do your part and make your voice heard.
I actually went back and listened to the audio of A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada breaking down that August 22 start against the Red Sox, which still happened to be on my laptop as in MP3 form. That tells me two things — one, I need to do a better job of backing up my data, and two, the tone of both players is now markedly different.
Having a whole spring to work together doesn’t necessarily mean that Burnett and Posada will work as a lights-out battery tonight against the Red Sox, nor does it mean that Burnett will have a wonderful season against the Red Sox – shades of his ’08. But it is certainly possible that Burnett just got a little too amped up to be part of the rivalry, and as Posada says in this story, it is crucial that the Yankees keep his emotions in check.
Those poor extended spring kids never had a chance. Hughes actually had to keep pitching more than the six innings the Yankees allotted, because he’d thrown too many strikes – 70 of 100 pitches, in fact. Then he dashed to Tampa International Airport and jetted up to Boston, where he’ll get a hotel room to watch two whole games in the bullpen. Then, it’s back to (guess where?) — Tampa, Florida. Yes, it seems like some cosmic joke.
Spin that wild setup bullpen wheel! My take on the picture is that the Yankees would love, adore, relish nothing more, than to have Joba Chamberlain stand tall and morph back into 2007 Joba — right up until the game where he had the midges in his mouth. I’m just not sure where that guy is right now; he seemed to be back in the ’09 playoffs, but is he there in ’10? But as Joe Girardi said in our season-opening Q&A (and I’m sure in other places as well), Chamberlain has a “good chance” to be that eighth-inning guy. Now he’s just got to prove it.