After Years of Yankee Uncertainity, Will the Real Phil Hughes Please Stand Up?

Brian Buckley@brianbuck13Contributor IIAugust 14, 2012

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 07: Phil Hughes #65 of the New York Yankees reacts after Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a solo home run to left field during the fourth inning of the at Comerica Park on August 7, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

At first glance it would appear Phil Hughes is a seasoned veteran.  After being selected with the Yankees first-round pick in 2004, the heralded youngster has become a household name even before he reached the bigs. 

With that being said, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Hughes just celebrated his 26th birthday. 

But, even taking into consideration his relative youth, the patience of the Yankees and their fans is severely being pushed to the limit.  In all reality, Phil Hughes has become an albatross to the highest degree.

For years, the team hasn’t done itself any favors when grooming the righty’s young psyche.  Back and forth from the pen to rotation, which likely caused some his nagging injuries, his level of consistency has been anything but consistent.

This year, Hughes started out with some awful performances against the likes of the Angels and the Twins.  In some circles, the writing was slowly appearing on the wall.  This can’t miss prospect was once again being defined by never living up to his lofty billing. 

However, Hughes showed some fight through the month of May when he only gave up more than three runs once.  Back on track, his season was showing promise and hope.  Yet, in stereotypical Hughes consistency he was shelled on May 28th by the Angels, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in 5.1 innings. 

After the shellacking, he once again put together another string of solid outings.  Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way.  But, finally, finally it appeared he was reverting back to the same hurler who won 18 games in 2010.   The time had finally come for the Yankee community to join hands and chant, “We have faith in Phil Hughes.”

Unfortunately, the message of our unity was plenty premature. 

With the Yankees begging for a pitcher outside of Hiroki Kuroda to step up, Hughes looked to heed the request.  After his last two starts in 8.1 innings, he has allowed 17 hits and 11 runs.  Obviously (and once again), he isn’t ready for the Yankees invitation to pitching reliability.

Even with his youth and potential, the most optimistic Yankee fan has to wonder if Phil Hughes is ever going to “make it work” in New York.  No one is saying his talent isn’t major-league stuff, but after years of hearing his name one has to think:

Can the Yankees ever rely on Phil Hughes?


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