Phil Hughes: I Think There'll Be Opportunities

Kevin RozellSenior Writer IFebruary 12, 2009

With the New York Yankees' recent offseason moves, the team didn’t leave a spot open in the rotation for Phil Hughes. We know that the Yankees wanted to put the best team out on the field, so it’s understandable. This year is a different year though, as Phil won’t get a guaranteed spot.

So…what is Hughes going to do? For you guys already giving up on the kid, remember he is still 22 years old.

Phil will start the season in Triple-A Scranton, and he will try his best to impress the Yankees. He hopes to last a full season without getting injured. He hasn’t had a lot of luck with these weird injuries, but hopefully he can turn back to form this season.

Hughes may get a chance to pitch in the majors this season if any injuries occur, or if they need to skip Joba’s turn in the rotation.

Hughes was horrible last season for the most part. He went (W-L) 0-4 with a 6.62 ERA with the Yankees. Terrible, right? The way I see it is that things can only get better for him.

Hughes is at the Yankees' minor-league complex down in Tampa and this is what he had to say in a recent interview:

“It is what it is,” Hughes said of his situation. “It’s the Yankees and we’re going to put the best team on the field. Last year was obviously a different situation than this year. But I’ve been in spring training before where there wasn’t a spot open for me and that’s the way it goes.

“If I pitch really well in spring and I still start the year in Triple-A, there’s nothing you can do about it. You just go out and pitch well and let things fall how they will. It’s one thing to complain about the guys we signed, but on the other hand, we’ve got a pretty good team. There’s no lack of effort by the front office to put a good team on the field. I look at that as a good thing.

“I think there’ll be opportunities. You don’t often hear about guys who are lights out at Triple A and never get an opportunity. I look at it from that aspect. I don’t look at it in any sort of a bitter way or anything like that.”

“That’s not something in our minds,” GM Brian Cashman said. “There just aren’t enough quality starters in the game, in the system, to do that. You can always find relievers, but we believe Phil is a quality starting pitcher.”

Hughes added 10 pounds over the winter to get to 240—he’s 6'5"—because he felt he was too light last season at 230. “I’m trying to keep myself where I can be durable and be able to get through a whole year,” Hughes said. “For once, right?"




A-Rod still has fans / Non A-Rod questions about the Yankees / Jeter in 2009

Cashman won’t get fooled again / Giambi glad A-Rod, Tejada went public

Last Year Gives Reasons for Optimism / No answers to questions — yet

Spring is here! / HOT-ROD’S HOT GALS