Portrait of Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes PPadres

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2019 Projections (Preseason PECOTA - seasonal age 33)
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Birth Date6-24-1986
Height6' 5"
Weight240 lbs
Age33 years, 3 months, 25 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
2007 NYA MLB 13 13 72.7 5 3 0 64 29 58 8 102 7.9 3.6 1.0 7.2 0% .268 1.28 4.41 4.46 102 4.77 98.8 0.8
2008 NYA MLB 8 8 34.0 0 4 0 43 15 23 3 103 11.4 4.0 0.8 6.1 0% .348 1.71 4.36 6.62 112 5.88 125.3 -0.1
2009 NYA MLB 51 7 86.0 8 3 3 68 28 96 8 110 7.1 2.9 0.8 10.0 0% .280 1.12 3.26 3.03 95 3.71 79.6 1.6
2010 NYA MLB 31 29 176.3 18 8 0 162 58 146 25 115 8.3 3.0 1.3 7.5 0% .273 1.25 4.22 4.19 109 4.36 98.5 1.8
2011 NYA MLB 17 14 74.7 5 5 0 84 27 47 9 106 10.1 3.3 1.1 5.7 0% .304 1.49 4.61 5.79 118 5.79 134.6 -0.7
2012 NYA MLB 32 32 191.3 16 13 0 196 46 165 35 103 9.2 2.2 1.6 7.8 0% .286 1.26 4.51 4.23 117 5.66 129.6 -1.1
2013 NYA MLB 30 29 145.7 4 14 0 170 42 121 24 101 10.5 2.6 1.5 7.5 0% .324 1.46 4.52 5.19 119 5.67 135.7 -1.3
2014 MIN MLB 32 32 209.7 16 10 0 221 16 186 16 106 9.5 0.7 0.7 8.0 0% .324 1.13 2.68 3.52 85 3.29 80.6 4.0
2015 MIN MLB 27 25 155.3 11 9 0 184 16 94 29 108 10.7 0.9 1.7 5.4 0% .304 1.29 4.66 4.40 112 5.28 123.3 -0.4
2016 MIN MLB 12 11 59.0 1 7 0 76 13 34 11 112 11.6 2.0 1.7 5.2 36% .323 1.51 5.03 5.95 115 5.69 126.0 -0.2
2017 MIN MLB 14 9 53.7 4 3 0 72 13 38 12 112 12.1 2.2 2.0 6.4 30% .333 1.58 5.41 5.87 115 6.12 130.3 -0.4
2018 MIN 0 7 2 12.0 0 0 0 14 5 8 4 102 10.5 3.8 3.0 6.0 24% .270 1.58 7.69 6.75 123 7.15 159.8 -0.3
2018 SDN 0 16 0 20.7 0 0 0 30 5 24 7 96 13.1 2.2 3.0 10.5 31% .377 1.69 5.93 6.10 114 5.93 132.4 -0.2
2018 TOT MLB 23 2 32.7 0 0 0 44 10 32 11 98 12.1 2.8 3.0 8.8 28% .337 1.65 6.57 6.34 117 6.38 142.5 -0.5

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
2005 CSC A SAL 12 12 68.7 7 1 0 46 16 72 1 24 6.0 2.1 0.1 9.4 0% -.489 0.90 2.24 1.97 64 2.54 50.0
2005 TAM A+ FSL 5 4 17.7 2 0 0 8 4 21 0 57 4.1 2.0 0.0 10.7 0% -.286 0.68 2.26 3.05 70 3.93 77.4
2006 TAM A+ FSL 5 5 30.2 2 3 0 19 2 30 0 5.7 0.6 0.0 8.9 0% .247 0.70 1.55 1.79 0 0.00 0.0
2006 TRN AA EAS 21 21 116.1 10 3 0 73 32 138 5 5.7 2.5 0.4 10.7 0% .251 0.90 2.14 2.25 0 0.00 0.0
2007 NYA MLB AL 13 13 72.7 5 3 0 64 29 58 8 102 7.9 3.6 1.0 7.2 0% .268 1.28 4.41 4.46 102 4.77 98.8
2007 TAM A+ FSL 1 1 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 101 0.0 9.0 0.0 13.5 0% .000 1.00 3.30 0.00 92 3.47 71.2
2007 TRN AA EAS 2 2 7.0 0 0 0 5 2 11 0 81 6.4 2.6 0.0 14.1 0% .357 1.00 0.97 1.29 58 3.58 73.4
2007 SWB AAA INT 5 5 28.7 4 1 0 16 8 28 0 92 5.0 2.5 0.0 8.8 0% .232 0.84 2.16 2.20 65 2.45 50.4
2008 NYA MLB AL 8 8 34.0 0 4 0 43 15 23 3 103 11.4 4.0 0.8 6.1 0% .348 1.71 4.36 6.62 112 5.88 125.3
2008 CSC A SAL 2 0 6.7 2 0 0 3 2 6 0 103 4.0 2.7 0.0 8.1 0% .188 0.75 2.66 0.00 96 3.34 68.4
2008 SWB AAA INT 6 6 29.0 1 0 0 34 9 31 2 88 10.6 2.8 0.6 9.6 0% .364 1.48 3.21 5.90 66 4.22 86.3
2008 PEJ Wnt AFL 7 7 30.0 2 0 0 21 13 38 2 6.3 3.9 0.6 11.4 0% .279 1.13 4.45 3.00 0 0.00 0.0
2009 NYA MLB AL 51 7 86.0 8 3 3 68 28 96 8 110 7.1 2.9 0.8 10.0 0% .280 1.12 3.26 3.03 95 3.71 79.6
2009 SWB AAA INT 3 3 19.3 3 0 0 17 3 19 2 95 7.9 1.4 0.9 8.9 0% .283 1.04 2.99 1.87 84 3.66 77.1
2010 NYA MLB AL 31 29 176.3 18 8 0 162 58 146 25 115 8.3 3.0 1.3 7.5 0% .273 1.25 4.22 4.19 109 4.36 98.5
2011 NYA MLB AL 17 14 74.7 5 5 0 84 27 47 9 106 10.1 3.3 1.1 5.7 0% .304 1.49 4.61 5.79 118 5.79 134.6
2011 STA A- NYP 1 1 4.3 0 0 0 3 1 7 1 92 6.2 2.1 2.1 14.5 0% .250 0.92 3.82 2.08 71 2.51 51.3
2011 TRN AA EAS 2 2 9.7 1 0 0 6 4 11 0 86 5.6 3.7 0.0 10.2 0% .261 1.03 2.37 1.86 83 3.28 67.0
2012 NYA MLB AL 32 32 191.3 16 13 0 196 46 165 35 103 9.2 2.2 1.6 7.8 0% .286 1.26 4.51 4.23 117 5.66 129.6
2013 NYA MLB AL 30 29 145.7 4 14 0 170 42 121 24 101 10.5 2.6 1.5 7.5 0% .324 1.46 4.52 5.19 119 5.67 135.7
2014 MIN MLB AL 32 32 209.7 16 10 0 221 16 186 16 106 9.5 0.7 0.7 8.0 0% .324 1.13 2.68 3.52 85 3.29 80.6
2015 MIN MLB AL 27 25 155.3 11 9 0 184 16 94 29 108 10.7 0.9 1.7 5.4 0% .304 1.29 4.66 4.40 112 5.28 123.3
2016 MIN MLB AL 12 11 59.0 1 7 0 76 13 34 11 112 11.6 2.0 1.7 5.2 36% .323 1.51 5.03 5.95 115 5.69 126.0
2017 MIN MLB AL 14 9 53.7 4 3 0 72 13 38 12 112 12.1 2.2 2.0 6.4 30% .333 1.58 5.41 5.87 115 6.12 130.3
2017 ROC AAA INT 3 0 3.0 0 0 0 3 2 1 1 9.0 6.0 3.0 3.0 18% .200 1.67 9.00 3.00 131 5.15 109.6
2018 MIN MLB AL 7 2 12.0 0 0 0 14 5 8 4 102 10.5 3.8 3.0 6.0 24% .270 1.58 7.69 6.75 123 7.15 159.8
2018 SDN MLB NL 16 0 20.7 0 0 0 30 5 24 7 96 13.1 2.2 3.0 10.5 31% .377 1.69 5.93 6.10 114 5.93 132.4
2018 FTM A+ FSL 2 2 10.0 2 0 0 11 1 9 0 98 9.9 0.9 0.0 8.1 39% .355 1.20 2.27 2.70 87 4.90 103.6

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr%
2008 594 0.5101 0.4175 0.8750 0.5875 0.2405 0.8989 0.8143 0.1250
2009 1452 0.5351 0.4731 0.7700 0.6409 0.2800 0.8092 0.6667 0.2300
2010 2997 0.5375 0.4928 0.8023 0.6574 0.3016 0.8489 0.6842 0.1977
2011 1284 0.5093 0.4665 0.8531 0.6223 0.3048 0.8993 0.7552 0.1469
2012 3217 0.5064 0.4874 0.7991 0.6440 0.3268 0.8456 0.7052 0.2009
2013 2532 0.5296 0.4858 0.8000 0.6540 0.2964 0.8198 0.7507 0.2000
2014 3028 0.6136 0.5641 0.8197 0.6959 0.3547 0.8585 0.6988 0.1803
2015 2253 0.5664 0.5091 0.8745 0.6748 0.2927 0.8931 0.8182 0.1255
2016 901 0.5394 0.4839 0.8578 0.6749 0.2602 0.8750 0.8056 0.1422
2017 906 0.5364 0.4967 0.8467 0.6914 0.2714 0.8810 0.7456 0.1533
2018 562 0.5552 0.4982 0.7786 0.6699 0.2840 0.8182 0.6620 0.2214

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2014-07-25 2014-07-30 DTD 5 4 Right Lower Leg Contusion Batted Ball -
2014-04-16 2014-04-20 DTD 4 4 Right Fingers Tear Index Fingernail - -
2013-04-07 2013-04-13 DTD 6 4 - General Medical Illness - -
2013-03-22 2013-04-06 15-DL 15 4 - Upper Back Recovery From Cartilage Injury Bulging Disc - -
2013-02-19 2013-03-22 Camp 31 0 - Upper Back Cartilage Injury Bulging Disc - -
2012-10-17 2012-10-19 DTD 2 0 - Back Stiffness - -
2011-09-18 2011-09-25 DTD 7 7 - Back Inflammation Reaggravation From 2004 Herniated Disc - -
2011-04-15 2011-07-06 60-DL 82 73 Right Shoulder Inflammation and Fatigue -
2008-04-30 2008-09-13 60-DL 136 118 Right Trunk Stress Fracture Rib Cage Ninth Rib -
2007-05-27 2007-05-27 On-Alr 0 0 Left Ankle Sprain -
2007-05-02 2007-08-04 60-DL 94 85 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2004-09-01 2004-09-01 Minors 0 0 - Back Cartilage Injury Herniated Disc - -


Year Team Salary
2019 SDN $7,250,000
2019 MIN $5,950,000
2018 MIN $13,200,000
2017 MIN $13,200,000
2016 MIN $9,200,000
2015 MIN $9,200,000
2014 MIN $8,000,000
2013 NYA $7,150,000
2012 NYA $3,200,000
2011 NYA $2,700,000
2010 NYA $447,000
2008 NYA $406,350
10 yrPrevious$66,703,350
11 yrPvs + Cur$79,903,350
11 yrTotal$79,903,350


Service TimeAgentContract Status
10 y 113 dNez Balelo5 years/$58M (2015-19)

  • 5 years/$58M (2015-19). Signed extension with Minnesota 12/22/14, replacing final two seasons in previous contract. 15:$9.2M, 16:$9.2M, 17:$13.2M, 18:$13.2M, 19:$13.2M. Limited no-trade protection (may block deals to 3 clubs each year). Annual performance bonus: $0.2M for 200 innings pitched. Acquired by San Diego in trade 5/27/18 after being DFA by Minnesota 5/21/18. Twins paid Padres $14,522,742 as part of the deal. Hughes had $8,941,935 remaining in 2018 salary. Cash from Twins covers $8,572,542, with Padres responsible for $369,193, a pro-rated share of the Major League minimum salary. For 2019, cash from Twins covers $5.95M. Padres pay $7.25M. DFA by San Diego 8/10/18. Released 8/15/18.
  • 3 years/$24M (2014-16). Signed by Minnesota as a free agent 12/13. 14:$8M, 15:$8M, 16:$8M. Performance bonuses: $0.25M each for 180, 195 innings pitched. $0.5M for 210 IP. Limited no-trade protection (may block deals to 3 clubs each year).
  • 1 year/$7.15M (2013). Re-signed by NY Yankees 1/16/13 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$3.2M (2012). Re-signed by NY Yankees 1/16/12 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$2.7M (2011). Re-signed by NY Yankees 1/18/11 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$0.447M (2010). Re-signed by NY Yankees 3/12/10.
  • 1 year/$407,650 (2009). Re-signed by NY Yankees 2/09. Optioned to Triple-A 3/21/09. Recalled 4/28/09.
  • 1 year/$406,350 (2008). Re-signed by NY Yankees 3/4/08. Recalled 9/13/08.
  • 1 year (2007). Contract purchased by NY Yankees 4/07.
  • Drafted by NY Yankees 2004 (1-23) (Foothill HS, Santa Ana, Calif.). $1.4M signing bonus.

2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

90o 0 4.9 0 14 9 54.9 53 17 45 9 .275 1.27 4.13 4.35 -6.8 -0.7
80o 0 4.7 0 13 8 49.4 51 16 41 9 .289 1.35 4.53 4.78 -8.4 -0.9
70o 0 4.5 0 12 7 45.6 49 16 38 8 .298 1.42 4.82 5.09 -9.2 -1.0
60o 0 4.3 0 11 7 42.4 47 15 35 8 .307 1.47 5.08 5.36 -9.8 -1.1
50o 0 4.1 0 10 6 39.5 46 15 33 8 .314 1.53 5.32 5.61 -10.1 -1.1
40o 0 4 0 9 6 36.6 44 14 30 8 .322 1.59 5.56 5.87 -10.4 -1.1
30o 0 3.8 0 9 5 33.6 42 13 28 7 .331 1.65 5.83 6.16 -10.6 -1.1
20o 0 3.5 0 8 5 30.2 39 13 25 7 .340 1.72 6.15 6.49 -10.5 -1.1
10o 0 3.2 0 7 4 25.6 35 11 21 6 .354 1.83 6.60 6.97 -10.2 -1.1
Weighted Mean04.1010638.94514328.3131.525.295.58-9.9-1.1

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BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

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BP Chats

2015-02-13 19:00:00 (link to chat)Hi, Mike! Thanks for your work. 16 team points league with 18 keepers (25 man-roster + 3 minor slots). I'm keeping Pujols, Beltre, Xander, Stanton, Ellsbury, Wright, Russell, Greinke, Gerrit Cole, Waino and Stroman. But I'm struggling with other 7 slots, so I decided to ask for help. Pretendents: McCann, Odor, Profar, Choo, Duda, Gausman, Phil Hughes, Holland, Doolittle, Wade Davis, Archie Bradley, Giolito, Stephenson. Thanks!
(navarra from Ukraine)
Ukraine! Wow! Thanks for reading.

A lot of this obviously depends on whether you're looking at this year or the future. McCann, Profar, Duda, Gausman, Hughes, Davis, and Giolito are the seven I think I'd keep, but that's a nice list with a nice set of problems to have. Stephenson and Bradley are tough to drop, but I don't like going with too much rookie pitching in a format like this. (Mike Gianella)
2014-07-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Baseball commentators always say "these things work themselves out" when talking about a team's farm system having more good players/prospects than positions available -- like the Cubs' current overloaded on one side farm system. That is kind of true -- but not always (e.g., the Nats' current "extra-player problem" was easy to see coming the minute they drafted Rendon). What I don't get is why team's choose to put themselves in a situation where the best case scenario is a problem. For example, the Cub's farm system is great, but how much better would it be if they had used that 4th overall pick to take a pitcher like Nola and traded the Shark/Hammel for the pitching prospect equivalent of Russell. You'll hear experts say they can always trade those position players for pitchers, but those deals are not easy to pull off. But more importantly, why choose to create that hassle if your players develop? I see hubris or at least extreme over-confidence by the Cubs' front office in their two signature moves in 2014.
(R.J. from Phoenix)
Well, when you say the best case scenario is a problem, you don't mean that; you mean the best case scenario becomes somewhat suboptimalized, but it's not a problem; a problem is having not enough good players. If you need to produce 100 widgets and you have a staff that is, when deployed efficiently, capable of producing 120, but in your somewhat inefficient system is only capable of producing 110, that's not a problem. When your staff is only capable of producing 90 widgets, and they're deployed perfectly and make every GD one of those 90 widgets, that's a problem. So I think the answer is these clubs see two players; they like one of them more; they know that, yes, these things do generally work out; and they'll kick themselves if they don't take the player they think better and that ends up being the problem.

I'm more surprised teams don't draft much more explicitly for their home ballparks, to be honest. I don't understand how a system that has incentives to put players in the positions where they are most likely to succeed would end up putting Phil Hughes in Yankee Stadium for so long. I just don't get that. I keep meaning to write about it, but as you can see I'm stuck on the relatively shallow "I don't get it" first stage. (Sam Miller)
2014-07-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Phil Hughes proving that a good starting pitcher doesn't need a change-up?
(Ace from PA)
A lot of pitchers live without a change and do so quite successfully. Hughes is solid and I think he will continue to be, even with the recent rash of meager starts (Paul Sporer)
2014-05-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thoughts on Phil Hughes tonight at SD and ROS?
(Peter from Punxatawny)
Love him for both. I was a huge fan of him leaving NYY and he's been brilliant after three bum outings to open his Minnesota career. I really believe there was no worse marriage of park and player than Hughes and Yankee Stadium. He was a huge buy for me this year (Paul Sporer)
2014-04-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)Who is one pitcher that you expected more out of based on their mechanical profile but never quite succeeded?
(Nick from Southern California)
Another fun one. I really thought that Phil Hughes would be more successful than he has been, but hard to fault a guy who will have at least 10 years of big-league service on his resume.

Kirk Saarloos was a guy that I thought would make an impact but fell short. Yusmeiro Petit is another one. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Are there any pitchers that come to mind who may not have great stuff but have excellent mechanics? Any you think could be in for a breakout season?
(nubber from tx)
Phil Hughes, James Shields, and Ian Kennedy come to mind. They all have legit stuff, but mechanics allow their stuff to play up a notch. I might focus on mechanics in my analysis, but at the end of the day raw stuff triumphs over mechanics. Mechanics determine how well that stuff plays. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-02-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Can J.Johnson give us anything to get excited about in his return? Last years' numbers were so, so brutal
(Aaron from SD)
More for the previous question: I like Ian Kennedy for deep guys. Phil Hughes if it's deep enough. Maybe Josh Johnson, but mostly because at that point it's so easy to let him free. I don't actually expect anything from Johnson. Like Ben wrote last year, at a certain point the Good-Or-Injured guys tend to lose the Good. (Sam Miller)
2013-11-22 14:00:00 (link to chat)What are your thoughts on the Hudson signing for San Francisco? With a projected rotation of Cain, Bumgarner, Hudson, Lincecum, and XXX, do you think they will make another signing for their 5th spot (Arroyo? Haren?) or stay within the organization (Petit)? Thanks for the chat!
(Alex from Bridgeton)
The Giants have done well with pitcher development regardless of the player's style or repertoire, though most of their success stories were high-end picks, and the cupboard is relatively bare at the higher minor-league levels. I think that Petit is a fine choice at #5, but the team likely needs more depth given the departures of Vogey, Gaudin, etc. I could definitely see another signing in their future, and both Arroyo and Haren make some sense, but I could also see a lower-priced option. Actually, Phil Hughes would be a great fit for that ballpark, and still has some theoretical upside left in the tank.

On the jukebox: Slayer, "Seasons in the Abyss" (Doug Thorburn)
2013-08-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Any thoughts on Wacha's move to the bullpen? Obviously the Cards still intend on him to be a SP long term, but between this and how they've handled Carlos Martinez's role, I've been a bit baffled by their decision making this season with their top pitching prospects.
(Aaron from Chicago)
I don't see a problem with it. This isn't a Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain situation where the organization is sending mixed messages. These guys are going to be starters long term, but for now, their best benefit to the team is out of the 'pen. Wacha and Martinez aren't going to suddenly forget how to be starting pitchers because they came out of the bullpen a few times during the season. Either way, Wacha has shown massive stuff out of the bullpen, working 95-98 with big downhill plane and the wipeout changeup. He could be a serious difference maker down the stretch. (Jason Cole)
2013-08-08 17:30:00 (link to chat)I need to include some bench players in an AL only trade this week. Which 3 will I LEAST regret dealing of these guys: Doolittle, RHernandez, Ogando, TBauer, Rubby, Bedard, PHughes. Thanks!
(Bruce from Atlanta)
Hi Bruce.

Hmmm. I could go in a number of different directions, but I'll pick Sean Doolittle, Roberto Hernandez, and Phil Hughes. Doolittle is solid, but even in AL-only middle relievers are fairly fungible and there are no guarantees that Doolittle is a closer at any point in the future. Roberto Hernandez is a pretty pedestrian fifth SP for me. Hughes is a free agent after this year and could wind up with an NL club, but does it even matter? I don't get the love for Hughes. He has never put up a decent season as a starting pitcher, and people keep hanging onto this idea that he will. I think Hughes could be a solid reliever like he was way back in 2009, but why gamble on such a pedestrian starter? (Mike Gianella)
2013-08-08 17:30:00 (link to chat)I'd love some help prioritizing some available Al SPs for the rest of the year: Phil Hughes, Alexi Ogando, John Danks, Dan Straily, RHernandez, and Erik Bedard. Thanks!!!!!
(Frank Finley from Jasper)
Heya Frank.

Think I'll go Ogando, Straily, Bedard, Danks, Roberto Hernandez and Phil Hughes. With a group like this, you're looking for upside and Ogando and Straily probably have the most upside of the group. Bedard has some upside but runs into problems with high pitch counts; if you're in a wins league, that's a problem. Danks is meh even for onlies, and I'm not a fan of Hernandez or Hughes. Both are risks even in only. (Mike Gianella)
2013-06-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Rank for ROS: Tillman, Hughes, Kluber, Gee, Lyles
(Billy from Beantown)
Kluber, Gee, Tillman, Lyles, Blank Roster Spot, Chris Davis as a pitcher, Phil Hughes (tired of his crap) (Paul Sporer)
2013-06-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey, Paul, we need a 4th guy for our laser tag team. Can you think of anyone?
(Corey, Dillon, Jordan from MLB)
Not Phil Hughes, he sucks at it. My friend Chris from Baltimore is available. (Paul Sporer)
2013-04-30 12:00:00 (link to chat)Is Phil Hughes a no-doubt asset in a 12-team mixed league? Where would be rank with Doubront and Corbin, for instance?
(Jim Clancy from Exhibition Stadium)
Corbin is the safest of the three for me. Doubront's probably the biggest upside play. I guess that would put Hughes somewhere in the middle. He seems like he's better than he's pitched so far but the home-run bug is something to be leery of. (R.J. Anderson)
2013-04-04 11:00:00 (link to chat)Ian Kennedy was the opening day starter for the Diamondbacks but at one time he was a prospect for the Yankees behind Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. Both those guys haven't stayed healthy but do you think the Yankees are at fault for picking the wrong guys? Thanks for the chat.
(Ray from DC)
It's easy to assign fault or blame with revisionists views. Sure, they could have handled the situation better, but that's easy for me to say as I sit in my apartment and type out my answers. Player development and personnel decisions are complicated and I don't have access to all the information the team was working with at the time of the decisions. Personally, I thought Hughes/Joba were jerked around a bit. (Jason Parks)
2013-04-04 11:00:00 (link to chat)Did someone just say I don't throw a cutter? I certainly do it's just a natural one unlike that thing Phil Hughes tried to throw that killed his heater for awhile
(Mariano Rivera from Bronx)
This is the real Mariano Rivera (Jason Parks)
2013-03-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the chat, Daniel. Any word on Phil Hughes and his back issues? Wondering if I should drop Matt Harrison in favor of Hughes...
(cbelford from Chicago)
You're welcome, cbelford; thanks for stopping by.

Hughes threw a simulated game the other day, so it sounds as though he's on track to return early in the season. The Yankees don't need a fifth starter on their first turn through the rotation, and it's possible that he could be ready to tackle the assignment as soon as he's needed. (Daniel Rathman)
2013-03-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the chat, Daniel. Any word on Phil Hughes and his back issues? Wondering if I should drop Matt Harrison in favor of Hughes...
(cbelford from Chicago)
You're welcome, cbelford; thanks for stopping by.

Hughes threw a simulated game the other day, so it sounds as though he's on track to return early in the season. The Yankees don't need a fifth starter on their first turn through the rotation, and it's possible that he could be ready to tackle the assignment as soon as he's needed. (Daniel Rathman)
2012-10-16 14:00:00 (link to chat)What are the odds of Phil Hughes giving up a homer to Miguel Cabrera?
Hughes gave up a ton of home runs this year--35 in just over 190 innings. In fact, only one qualified pitcher allowed homers at a higher rate (Ervin Santana). As you'd probably expect when you're talking about a Yankees pitcher, he gave up most of those homers at home, but he's still a pretty safe bet to give one up tonight. I don't know whether Cabrera has a better chance of being the one to hit that homer than Prince Fielder--probably not, given platoon splits--but the odds are good. If you wanted actual odds, and not just "good," which you already knew, I'm sorry. Math and chats don't mix. (Ben Lindbergh)
2012-09-14 14:00:00 (link to chat)How do you expect Pettitte to fare if the Yankees reach the postseason?
(Alex from Anaheim)
It's amazing that such a wealthy ballclub seems to be consistently short-handed on the mound. With CC scuffling, the Yanks will need somebody to step up at the back-end of the rotation. Kuroda has been quietly awesome this year, and Phil Hughes is starting to put things together, but a healthy return for Pettitte could help to extend the season in New York. His velocity and pitch command were solid early in the season, and a return to form will go a long way toward stabilizing the pitching staff in the postseason.

On the jukebox: Lagwagon, "Give It Back" (Doug Thorburn)
2012-08-27 14:00:00 (link to chat)Phil Hughes going forward -- fungible starter or poised to break out as #2 guy?
(eliyahu from DC)
I still believe he has a little room to grow, but I'm not sure I buy him as a legit number-two, especially for a team like the Yankees. Not necessarily fungible either, maybe a solid number-three guy. (Derek Carty)
2012-01-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you think the Yankees should do with Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett, assuming Ivan Nova gets a spot in the rotation?
(PJ from Bronx)
You'd think Nova would have earned the spot, though I'm skeptical of his ability to repeat given his low strikeout rate (unless the new ground ball effects persist). Hughes seems likely for the bullpen, and at this point maybe you have to stop thinking about what he was or might have been and accept what he is. I think they really have to look at Burnett as a sunk cost and make him someone else's problem. (Steven Goldman)
2011-09-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Considering how Colon has fared in recent starts, wouldn't it make sense to skip him once? I can't help but think he's gassed after pitching only intermittently the past few years. Any ideas about Sweaty Freddy Garcia? He seems to have lost his touch since the knife incident.
(Nick Stone from New York, NY)
It might make sense to skip Colon, though it's worth noting that his two unsettling starts this month have come against the Blue Jays, who have absolutely pasted him this year (26 runs, 21 earned, in 23.2 innings). Take those away and his RA/9 drops from 4.56 to 3.40. Fortunately for him, Toronto won't be making the playoffs. Both of his starts would come against the Rays; the first one is the nightcap of tomorrow's doubleheader, but I'd consider resting him for the second one, or restricting him to a short appearance.

I'd be more concerned about Garcia, who has suddenly gone gopher happy in his last few turns. As I wrote today at Pinstriped Bible (, the bottom line is that the Yankees have their hands full figuring out their postseason rotation, determining if Phil Hughes' late mini-surge is enough to justify giving him a start ahead of one of those Scrap Heapers (I think the vote is in on A.J. Burnett). (Jay Jaffe)
2011-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)Why do teams keep asking Yanks for their entire farm system in prospective trades, as if it's 1985 and/or George's ghost is going to emerge to force Cashman to agree? Yanks haven't done a deal like that since 2000 for Neagle, and even then the prospects they gave up turned into Bust, Buster & Busted.
(DrManhattan from NYC, NY)
Teams try to extort the Yankees because they're working with an outdated paradigm of the way the organization functions. Which isn't to say it isn't without its dysfunctions, but the Yankees have moved a long ways from the days when they so willingly surrendered prospects that went on to flourish elsewhere. I looked at this years ago in one of my first BP articles, "The Claussen Pickle" - they've generally done a very good job of avoiding giving up on Jay Buhners. If these were the Madness of King George days, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain would have been in other uniforms for 3-4 years now. (Jay Jaffe)
2011-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Yankees did something wrong with Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, or do their struggles fall under the heading of young pitchers will break your heart? I find myself turning my eyes (and hopes) to Manny Banuelos...
(Rob from Andover, CT)
It's easy to look back and question the way the Yanks handled both arms. That said, its not uncommon for "can't miss" pitchers to miss. I think Hughes still has a bright future. I can't say the same for Chamberlain. Banuelos should develop into a solid starter at the major league level, but if he fails to take that final step, I'm not sure how much the Yankees will be to blame. (Jason Parks)
2011-04-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Steven: Great work at Politics & Prose last month! Anyway, where are you on the Phil Hughes velocity issue: a) still building up arm strength or b) something nefarious is going on and this is an ominous sign?
(JZirinsky from Washington, DC)
Thanks! We love going to P&P and I hope the recently-announced sale does good things for the store. Re Hughes, that's the $100,000 question, and I wish I knew the answer. In our last Collateral Damage here at BP ( Corey Dawkins had some dire things to say, but I hope he's wrong. The last thing the Yankees need is to start believing that only veterans stay healthy or something. What I wonder is if this issue, if indeed it is an issue, really began last May, not this April. Hughes has not pitched consistently well since the middle of May, 2010. (Steven Goldman)
2011-02-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)On Phil Hughes: Is the dominance he showed in the first half real, and was the 2nd half the result of a workload increase and growing pains or more likely the norm?
(Jquinton82 from NY)
I'm actually pretty bullish on Hughes, and expect he'll be fine this year. The talent has always been there, and he's, what, 25? I also like that fact that Buchholz shows up on his comps. I don't think the Yankees rotation is quite the shambles that some are making it out to be. (Ken Funck)
2011-01-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Steve, What are your estimates of the ERAs needed from the Yankees' 4th and 5th starters so that the team can win a post-season berth?
(bumphadley from NJ)
I love the reference to Bump Hadley, noted headhunter. If the offense is as solid as it should be, the Yankees should have some flexibility with the RA of their back-end starters, and don't forget the bullpen should be pretty reliable as well, so it's not like they have to go seven every time out. I'm not sure why we should get crazy if they pitch to a 5.00 ERA. Phil Hughes did it from May 15 on and nearly won 20 games. Not every pitcher on the Yankees has to be Steve Carlton '72. (Steven Goldman)
2010-11-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you feel Cashner is better utilized in pen or rotation for the Cubs?
(Matt from Chicago)
Any pitcher who has value is better utilized in a starting rotation. I don't care if this is Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Neftali Feliz, etc, because my opinion stays the same. Getting 165-200 innings of quality production is much more valuable than 55 innings. (Eric Seidman)
2010-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Marc, thanks for the chat. I'm trying to pick 5 keepers from this bunch: Hellickson, Heyward, Stanton, Aroldis Chapman, Phil Hughes, Pedro Alvarez, Jesus Montero, Neftali Feliz, Lincecum...Should I try to corner the young pitching market with Hughes, Hellickson, Chapman, Lincecum, Feliz or are the 2 20-year old OFs more valuable?
(cbelford from Chicago)
In real life, you can never have too much pitching. But in fantasy, you need to bet on the sure thing more often, because the reason you can never have too much pitching is due to the volatility of the performances and concerns over injuries. I am much more comfortable keeping the two 20 year old outfielders and Pedro Alvarez than by going all pitching. Heyward, Stanton, Alvarez, Feliz, Lincecum would be my five from your group. If you can make a trade by packaging some of the others together, I would explore it. (Marc Normandin)
2010-07-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's up with Phil Hughes? His numbers lately haven't been too impressive. Fatigue? Over-reliance on the cutter? Has the league adjusted to him and does he need to make a re-adjustment? Injury?
(Nick Stone from New York, NY)
Hey, Nick, thanks for dropping by! As I noted first via Twitter yesterday (@jay_jaffe) and then again in today's Hit List, Hughes has a 6.85 ERA since the Yankees skipped his turn a few weeks back, and a 5.51 ERA over his last 11 starts. I think everything you mentioned could be a factor in varying degrees, with the bottom line being that he doesn't seem to be getting as much movement on his pitches, and hitters are responding better. Let's not forget the fact that he's pitched a ton of competitive innings this year already, far more so than he's been on pace for in recent years, and could be having a physical and mental impact on his game. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)again on Fowler: but maybe it actually was a legal catch. see the ending of this post and the quote from Jim Evans: "...former umpire Jim Evans has the answer. He stated, "The word 'or' should be inserted in between the three requirements of a catch." With that in mind, how is this for an amended catch rule: A fielder can make a legal catch of a batted ball if he has secure possession of the ball, or control of the ball, or makes a voluntary and intentional release of the ball."
(JayStellmach from Sacramento)
What is the intention of that last clause? Is it really there to insist that a fielder stay conscious after catching the ball, or simply to prevent controversies if the fielder drops the ball while making the transfer?

...Good start for Phil Hughes today. And the Yankees really needed it. (Steven Goldman)
2010-07-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)The New York Yankees have been having abnormal years by players, CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, Robinson Cano, Mark Texiera, A-Rod, Nick Swisher, did I miss anyone? Are these years for real or has luck played a major factor in their years?
(SabrGreg from Westchester, NY)
Every team has its share of surprising performances, though, right? And how many of these are truly shocking over the sample size we're talking about? By the end of the season, Swisher probably won't be hitting .296, Pettitte won't have a sub-3.00 ERA, etc. If I had call one of those seasons the most "for real," I'd go with Hughes. (Ben Lindbergh)
2010-07-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)With Lee that means the Yankees have six starters for five slots. Barring an injury we don't know about, it would seem that Vazquez would be the odd man out, but do you think there's any chance the Yankees are self-defeating enough to move Phil Hughes back to the pen?
(mattymatty2000 from Portland, OR)
I don't think the Yankees would mind separating themselves from Vazquez, and he's the most probable one to move due to his contract, whereas Burnett is firmly rooted in New York because his isn't running out as soon. Hughes will most likely stay in the rotation. (Marc Normandin)
2010-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm in a shallow 8 team league with some friends. I drafter Chipper, but grabbed Headley on the waiver wire. Do I drop Chipper and grab a pitcher? Jaime Garcia, Brad Penny, Phil Hughes, Brett Cecil, and Wade Davis are all available. Bonus round: I already snagged CJ Wilson off the wire. Do you like any of the guys I listed better than CJ? Thanks!
(Gregjitsu from Cal)
I like C.J. Wilson a lot. I think he's like Buehrle with more strikeouts (more walks too, though). I wonder why he started out as a reliever, because he's got the stuff and repertoire to be a starter.

Hughes, Cecil or Davis would all be worthwhile IMO. Cecil will probably give you the fewest wins though, when the Jays remember they are the Jays. (Marc Normandin)
2010-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Two questions Marc: 1) Phil Hughes, really this good or are we going to some regression and growing pains as the league catches up? 2) Jenrry Mejia, does the continued presence in the bullpen stunt his development or is really a valuable learning experience? ... I think he'd be better served pitching in the minor every 5th day given his upside.
(Jquinton82 from NY)
I'm with you on Mejia. He's not going to have time to mess with his array of pitches if he's in the bullpen pitching every now and again. That's the Mets for you though.

I like Hughes a lot and have for a long time now. His walk rate is still a bit high for me, but you have to love the strikeout rate. I think he's pretty legit (with obvious SSS ERA caveats). (Marc Normandin)
2010-02-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Steven. Liked your recent stuff on Wholesome Reading...anyway, my question is this: if the Yankees are serious about innings limits, then how is this 5th starter competition even a competition? Phil Hughes will only be able to throw a certain number of innings (i.e. not enough), while Joba has been stretched out and should be ready to contribute a bunch, right?
(JZirinsky from Washington, DC)
Thanks for the good words on Wholesome I'm happy to be back and talking history and politics, and there's a new section brewing that is about a month away that I'm kind of excited about. After last season's Joba implosion, the questions is to see if he can achieve consistency. Hughes also has a crazy high upside as a starter and you have to start the process somewhere, innings limits or not. (Steven Goldman)
2009-12-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)I really hate the idea of a rotating DH spot for the Yanks because it means the Yanks will have to rely on positional depth which has not been strong point in recent years. Also, the market for a primary DH is flooded and can be had for cheap. My question is, does the rotating DH spot make any sort of sense? And more generally, what should the Yanks do the rest of the offseason?
(Nick from San Francisco)
I don't have a problem conceptually with the idea of a rotating DH spot, particularly with a bunch of guys who need rest built into their regimens -- A-Rod, Posada, even Jeter and Damon, if he returns -- but you're absolutely right, they need some depth in order to make that worth their while. Mark DeRosa would seem to be a very good choice for such a task, and he's still out there if the Yankees want to go that route.

Beyond that, the Yankees' need to solve left field one way or another, and find a capable back-rotation type who would be comfortable working out of the bullpen so Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes can both get a shot at the rotation. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-12-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)What will become of Phil Hughes? Help me Obi Wan!!
(norcal from slopes)
Hughes will go back to the rotation armed with the cut fastball he learned from Mariano Rivera - the reason he become so dominant in relief in 2009 - and will establish himself as an above-average major league starter. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-05 16:00:00 (link to chat)What would you do with Phil Hughes next season? Did the arguments that worked for Joba not apply to him? Is this an easy one? Thanks!
(Tony from Brooklyn, NY)
Any good pitcher is going to be worth much more to a team in the starting rotation as opposed to the bullpen, even with the crucialness of the late inning situations taken into account. Hughes came up as a 21-yr old in 2007 and put up a 4.46 ERA and 2.00 K/BB in the AL and was unjustly given up on after 8 starts last year as a 22-yr old. He's now 23 and just finished a season in which he posted a K/9 approaching 11.0, a K/BB approaching 3.50, and a 3.03 ERA. The guy deserves another shot in the rotation. I guess that comes at Pettitte's expense? (Eric Seidman)
2009-07-24 16:30:00 (link to chat)Any feeling about what the Yanks should do this trade deadline?
(Nick from NYC)
Move Phil Hughes into the starting rotation, try and trade for someone like Jason Frasor or Chad Qualls. (Eric Seidman)
2009-07-30 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is there anybody out there still speaking of "Joba to the Bullpen"? I donīt have much access to mainstream media (yeah, I know, it is strange!) but I figure it must have been dropped some time ago.
(Guillermo from Madrid, Spain)
It does seem that the Joba to the pen talk has died down now that Phil Hughes to the Pen has worked so well for the Yanks. (John Perrotto)
2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)What does the hype around Phil Hughes and Matt Wieters tell us about Strasburg and others in the future?
(karysingh from Beloit, WI)
Couldn't help but get a dry chuckle from your question. "Curb your enthusiasm, lest it jump right over the curb and leave you in a ditch, smacked up against a culvert." We do need to avoid getting totally insane about some prospects, yes. That said, Wieters really is going to be good. Hughes really is good. And Strasburg? I don't think we're talking Brian Bullington here. (Folks will always remember Bullington, which takes the Reds off the hook for taking Chris Gruler with the third overall pick somewhat, I guess. A peek at that draft reflects a lot of massive early-pick disappointments.) (Christina Kahrl)
2009-06-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Have you gotten to see much of Phil Hughes in action? How's he holding up this season? Do you still think he has a high upside (#2 starter)?
(Rob from Brighton)
Yes, I do, and I hate the decision to stick him in the pen. Any time you guys want to shoot the #6 starter...anytime. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you approve of the way the Yankees are using Phil Hughes?
(Eric from Manorville)
I do in the short term. I think there's nothing wrong with giving a young pitcher who has had trouble with consistency some lower pressure outings in the pen. Hughes has been good enough, though, that it's time to explore the upside, be it back in the rotation, which might eliminate the will he/won't he Wang stuff, or in higher leverage relief situations. (Steven Goldman)
2009-06-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Joe. True or false? The Yankees would be better off with Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes in the rotation (in place of Pettitte and Wang).
(Joe V. from Washington, DC)
I'm as big an Aceves fan as you'll find, and I'm not sure I'd start him over Wang. I was there last Thursday, and Wang wasn't that bad, caught some bad breaks in the third that set everything else up. Pettitte is clearly the team's #6, and signing him to block Hughes, even at the cost, was not a great idea. Aceves or Kennedy could have taken some starts if you really wanted to bring Hughes along slowly. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-06-03 15:00:00 (link to chat)What do the Yankees need to do to hold onto (I know its early) a playoff spot? Sort through their pile of middle relief arms? Or do they need to make a trade? Anything else they should address? Do you think the improved defense and increased Ks mean they are less likely to crash out of the Division Series, as they did in '02, '05-'07?
(Nick Stone from New York, NY)
Hey Nick! The Yanks certainly need to fortify their bullpen, and in the forthcoming BP/ESPN soup du jour I've advocated they try Phil Hughes in relief once Chien-Ming Wang reclaims his starting job. I'd also like to see them give Mark Melancon another look, but I suspect they probably need to get an experienced arm from outside the organization if Brian Bruney's not going to be back anytime soon.

The improved D and high-K staff are nice, but they're compromised by the homer-iffic tendencies of the staff, particularly the bullpen. Until we see Sabathia, Chamberlain and Burnett all firing on the requisite cylinders, I don't think they've got anything that guarantees them a playoff spot, let alone a ride through to the LCS round. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-05-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)Joe, I've figured out Phil Hughes problem. Number 65. This is an offensive lineman's number, not a pitcher's number. It looks completely wrong. Bad taste, probably bad karma.
(Tom Saippe from CT)
And yet, Joba Chamberlain survives. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-05-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Phil Hughes staying or going?
(Eric from Manorville)
Bunch of questions about Phil Hughes, though it's possible they're all from the same fellow under multiple aliases. Mom, is that you? Actually, I doubt my mom thinks about Phil Hughes much. She might think about Mickey Mantle sometimes... I think he should stay, and the Yankees will get their reward for putting up with the inconsistency -- ultimately, he'll break through. Now that's what I think, not necessarily what they'll do when/as/if Wang looks ready and Hughes hasn't made a stronger impression, and maybe you can't argue about it if they're still competitive at that point. If they're just string along as they are currently, maybe it's a different matter.

...I should have mentioned Paul Richards before in that manager question. Before my time, but he seemingly had a lot on the ball. In a minor key way, I've also wondered why Jim LeFebrve didn't get more respect given what he accomplished with the M's and the Cubs.

...And why isn't Whitey Herzog in the HOF? (Steven Goldman)
2009-05-07 14:00:00 (link to chat)Kevin: Is Phil Hughes back? The stuff seems to be back to where it was in 2007 (I know, I know, it's only been two starts).
(Joe V. from Washington, DC)
Sure, he's totally back! Maybe! How many times have we collectively thought he's back? All we can say is that maybe he is, and maybe he isn't. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-01-31 13:00:00 (link to chat)We all know the A's got more for Haren than the Twins did for Santana. But did they get more than the Twins in the Swisher trade as well?
(mbring from Saint Cloud, MN)
Excellent question! Or at least current, as I had discussions like this with a handfull of team officials yesterday. I do know people inside the game who would rather have the Swisher package than the Santana package, but it was almost universal, that teams would rather have Philip Hughes alone, as opposed to the four now-former Mets. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)"You're trading for one year of a player and the rights to sign him to a market-value contract for six or more seasons." I've seen several smart people make this as argument against trading for Santana. It seems to me, however, that having exclusive negotiating rights is actually worth something. With the game "swimming in cash" there is a real advantage to not actually have to bid against other teams. Isn't this something like the opposite of the winner's curse? Just curious for your thoughts.
(bjlevy34 from Santa Clara, CA)
Those rights are worth something. However, they're not worth much when there's no discount to be had, and at that, they're not worth the price being paid.

We can see Santana's past. We can't see Philip Hughes' future. It takes a strong will to argue not only that you're not trading for A, but that B might end up looking like A.

Throw in $150 million with B now. Is that worth the risk? Throw in two other players.

Everyone is acting rationally.

I suppose the one lesson to be learned here is that no-trade clauses aren't worth it. Pay more in cash and retain your flexibility. If Smith could trade Santana for a package that reflects his one-year value, he'd get a lot further than he has been getting. (Joe Sheehan)

BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-07-13 16:30:00All-Star GameAnd Phil Hughes, who hadn't really pitched like an All-Star but for once start since mid-May, takes the loss. (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-28 17:00:002009 WS Game OneJoel (GA): Maybe THIS will be the game where everyone blames the relievers and not the manager... nah.

If the Yankees don't score, it's kind of moot what they did, but clearly the Yankees have some work to do, particularly with Phil Hughes. And now we have a pitcher in the game who is prone to wildness and hasn't worked in about a month. (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-28 17:00:002009 WS Game OneSpeaking of Steve Trout and Ed Whitson, meet Phil Hughes. (Steven Goldman)

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