Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’

Wednesday notes: Hughes taking nothing for granted

Time to pack it up here in Port Charlotte, where Phil Hughes was the clear story of the day. Hughes looks “night and day” from where he was in 2011, according to Joe Girardi, and Russell Martin can hardly believe he is catching the same guy from last spring. Hughes has a 2.02 ERA in 13 1/3 innings and is giving the Yankees no reason to envision a starting five without him.

“I don’t put a lot into Spring Training, just because some guys have really good springs and some guys have really bad springs,” Hughes said. “For me personally, I’m happy to have some success and throw up as many zeroes as I can. Obviously I wasn’t perfect today, but it’s still pretty good, so I was encouraged.

“… I just try to go out every five days and pitch as well as I can. That’s really it. I don’t try to think too much into it; I have no control over that. I just try to get my work in and do the things that (pitching coach) Larry (Rothschild) asks me to do, and try to get better every day. I try to throw as many zeroes as I can.”

Girardi said he likes the fire Hughes seems to be showing, and isn’t concerned that the rotation crunch – seven men for five spots, if you count Andy Pettitte – could be pushing him.

“I think it’s important because every day is a competition,” Girardi said. “You can’t ever take your job for granted in this business. These are the things that I want to see. I want to see him compete and know, hey, someone wants your job. It’s not just the seven guys that we’re talking about now, there are some young guys that want some jobs too. I think it’s healthy.”

What went right: Hughes made just one bad pitch, a cutter that didn’t cut for a home run, and allowed two runs in five innings. He was most pleased with his changeup, estimating he threw about 15 of them in his 73 pitches … Justin Maxwell got another hit. He’s up to .435. Dewayne Wise is at .476. … Clay Rapada pitched a scoreless sixth. Cesar Cabral got the win and struck out six in two innings, permitting two hits. He has struck out 11 batters in 8 1/3 innings. … Mike O’Connor got a save with a scoreless ninth.

What went wrong: Not much, really. Nick Swisher is going to be down for a few days with the groin issue, but he’s expected to bounce back after receiving treatment all day at Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees left nine on base (four by Raul Ibanez, who is hitting .059 with two hits in 34 trips), and Chris Dickerson made a throwing error.

What they said: “That’d be nice. I’d take a 10-year contract, too.” – Hughes, on if he’d like a guaranteed rotation spot in the future.

What’s next: Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and the Yankees will meet the Red Sox for the second time this spring on Thursday, making their first trip to the new JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., for a 7:05 p.m. ET contest that will air on MLB.TV. Right-hander David Phelps will make his first start and fifth appearance of the spring, with ace CC Sabathia pitching instead in a Minor League game in Tampa, Fla. The Red Sox will start right-hander Aaron Cook.

Hughes: I’ve added muscle

Phil Hughes popped up at the Yankees’ Minor League complex on Monday, telling reporters that he has added muscle to his frame in hopes of rebounding from a disappointing 2011 season. Hughes said that he weighs about 240 pounds, but it’s a firmer 240.

“It’s body composition more than anything — I replaced some weight with muscle,” Hughes said, according to the New York Daily News. “I didn’t lose like 40 pounds, but I feel a lot better and hopefully it’ll pay off.”

Other early-arriving pitchers tossing on Monday included Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, David Robertson and Cory Wade, according to reports.

Hughes is a starter, not a reliever

Phil Hughes shouldn’t be thinking about going back to the bullpen, despite his success there at times during his career. At least, that’s what Brian Cashman told reporters on Monday. 

“I think he’s a starter,” Cashman said. “I know he can pitch out of the ‘pen, but I don’t look at him as a reliever. Never have. I know with any quality arm, whether it’s CC [Sabathia] or A.J. [Burnett] or [Ivan] Nova or Hughes or now [Michael] Pineda, you can run them out there into the ‘pen and they’d look pretty special. But it’s not something you want to do.”

This might be a good time to mention the name Joba Chamberlain … but, nah, there’s plenty of time for that down the road. 

Hughes hoping for one more start

Phil Hughes was at his locker when the clubhouse opened to reporters this afternoon. He said that his back is feeling better after yesterday’s epidural shot and he is hopeful that he’ll be able to throw a bullpen this weekend, preparing for a start against the Rays at Tropicana Field next week.

“I can’t change what’s gone on; I just have to make the most of what’s left,” Hughes said.

It’s a fitting conclusion to a trying season for Hughes, who was an 18-game winner last year but is now just hoping to finish with an ERA under 6.00. He’s also looking to serve some role on the playoff roster, be it as a starter or a reliever.

“Whatever was going to go wrong seems like it has this year,” Hughes said. “The postseason can turn around a lot of bad regular season stuff.”

Game 153: Yankees vs. Rays

Hello once again from Yankee Stadium, where it has turned into a cool and pleasant evening and the Yankees are welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays to town for four games in three days. It gets started tonight with Wade Davis and Ivan Nova facing off.

Some quick updates for you:

  • It looks like Francisco Cervelli may have played his final game this season. Joe Girardi acknowledged that he isn’t sure when Cervelli could come back, since he is still feeling concussion symptoms.

  • Isn’t it funny that the Red Sox (and their fans) may spend much of this week rooting for the Yankees to take care of business against Tampa Bay?

    “I’ll bet they are,” Mariano Rivera said. “It doesn’t matter. We still have to do our job. It doesn’t matter if they’re pulling for us or not. We still have to do our jobs. I definitely know they’re pulling for us.”

  • The tentative plan is to have Phil Hughes start tomorrow’s first game, assuming he’s OK after his bout with back spasms. CC Sabathia would start the night game.

  • Prior to Tuesday’s game, Medal of Honor recipient Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyers threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The first living Marine to receive a Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, Meyers received the award at a White House ceremony on Sept. 15 for his heroic efforts during battle on Sept. 8, 2009 in Ganjgal Valley in which he saved the lives of 13 U.S. Marines and soldiers, in addition to 23 Afghan soldiers.

Here are tonight’s lineups —

September 20, 2011 – Yankee Stadium – 7:05 p.m. ET (MY9/MLB Network, WCBS 880 AM)

RAYS (85-67)

Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Johnny Damon DH
Casey Kotchman 1B
Matt Joyce RF
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS

Pitching: Wade Davis RHP (10-9, 4.41)

YANKEES (92-60)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: Ivan Nova RHP (15-4, 3.81)

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