Tag Archives: Phil Hughes

Yankees Update 09/05/09

Well That Sucked

5 straight losses. 2 to the Bosox, 3 to the Rays. Phil Hughes lost. Joba lost. AJ Burnett lost. Andy lost. It was a really forgettable week. Joba struck out 12 in 5.1 innings, but that was about the highlight of the string of losses. They then won one behind CC but are in the process of losing today as I write.

Today’s probable loss will put them at 14-16, 2 games below .500. What’s becoming evident about this team as with the team last year is that they just don’t like they’re capable of going on a hot streak where they win 6 or 7 in a row, and do it a couple times before July which is what they need to get back above .500 and stay there. In a nutshell, they need 2 weeks of all-wins to make up for a week of all-losses and get back on a 95-win pace, which is what they’ll need just to sniff the post-season.

Guess Who’s Back?

In amongst all the losses, You-know-who came back and sent the first pitch over the wall. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alex Rodriguez!  As he was meant to be. He said he didn’t take steroids as a teen. Beyond which he said he wasn’t going to address Selena Roberts’ book. At this point in time, it’s probably a good call. The return of A-Rod’s bat is probably the best news this week.

Injury Plagues More

Both Jorge Posada and Jose Molina have ended up on the DL. So, just as the Yankees make up the fall from A-Rod to a coterie of Ransom, Berroa and Pena, they get to los it in the drop from Posada-Molina to Cash-Cervelli. If the former was a 7 win drop, this is still like a 5 win drop. It sucks, believe you me.

Nady, Wang and Bruney are still out. It’s like a MASH unit again with Posada and Molina out.

Meanwhile Ian Kennedy at AAA got diagnosed with an aneurism in the arm and went under the knife. It’s notable on this list because the pitching has been atrocious and anything that depletes the depth is bad. It means that if Wang is out and Phil Hughes keeps stringing bad starts, they might have to look past Kennedy to look at Kei Igawa. Most fans don’t want another Igawa start in pinstripes ever again.

Phil Franchise

Not only did Phil Hughes lose against the Sawx, he took a shellacking today. I don’t know about you, but it seems the guy dominates AAA only to get hit hard at the major level. He does throw in a couple of good starts, so clearly he can pitch at the major level. Maybe he’s tipping his pitches? Maybe he’s being tentative? Maybe the jump from AAA to AL East is much bigger than we think? Whatever the case I hope he puts it together by the next start, if not now.

Derek Jeter And His declining BABIP

Derek Jeter is hitting .260 or so with a .770 OPS. His BABIP is sitting at .290 as of this writing. That’s about 80 points short of his career level, but when you go look at the fangraphs of BABIP over the years, you see a steady decline in the last 4 seasons. It’s either the case that the short stop position is catching up to his legs, or that there’s something different in his swing – he’s hit 4 HRs to date with an ISO of .150 which is uncharacteristic at this point.

Or it could just bee that he’s been a little unlucky again and this will all correct itself as the season progresses. I don’t know, but I just thought I’d mention it here.

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Yankees Update 02/05/09

Doing It Tough But Phil Was Huge

The Yankees ended up being swept in Boston at the start of the week. Considering they had the Sox on the ropes in 2 of the games, it was hard to take those losses and to get swept.

They then rolled into Detroit where CC Sabathia pitched 8 innings and still lost 4-2. Then, something good started to show. Phil Hughes pitched 6 strong innings for a win, followed by Job Chamberlain who also pitched into the 6th and got his first win. The Yankees then returned home to face the Angels and won 2 interesting, edgy games with walk off hits by Melky Cabrera and Jorge Posada. That left the Yankees 2 games behind division leaders Toronto, unti of course they lost today’s game 8-4.

The Bullpen Is Flammable

The 2 games coughed up in Boston were in no small part due to the bullpen. In fact, the leads coughed up in the Angels game also were due to some bad outings from the pen.The ERA of these guys are looking really ugly as we speak:

  • Edwar Ramirez 5.40
  • Jose Veras 7.94
  • Damaso Marte 15.19
  • Jonathan Albaladejo 7.50
  • Mark Melancon 2.70
  • Phil Coke 3.72
  • Mariano Rivera 2.79

So right now, 3 of the 7 guys in the pen are good, the rest are dreck. Things can’t keep going this way, what with Joba pitching to about 5.2 innings and Phil Hughes filling in for Chine-Ming Wang. Surely there will be some changes shortly.

Ramiro Pena

The guys that the Yankees get to fill infor their injured superstars can be surprising. Erick Almonte in his stint filling in for Derek Jeter back in 2003 did all right. Cody Ransom filling in for A-Rod was less impressive, and then got injured. Right now, the man filling in at 3B for A-Rod and Ransom is Ramiro Pena who has hit 8-for 17 in the last 5 games. His line now sits at .333/.393/.367. Anybody can hit anything in 5 games, but it’s nice to get that out of your second string utility player. 

Tex, It’s May Now

So you can commence hitting.

A .189 Ave is pretty yuck, but he’s walked 5 times in the last week. As a result his OBP is sitting at .358. He’s still helping when he’s not hitting, but in an injured-Jason-Giambi kind of way. That being said, actually hitting some would be nicer.

A-Rod Miasma

There have been more leaks from Selena Roberts’ upcoming book about A-Rod, imaginatively titled ‘A-Rod’.

The new assertions are that he took steroids since high school and that he tipped pitches to opposing players back in Texas – Doug Mientkiewicz who played with him in High School said it was unlikely, because he was with him 20hours a day and didn’t see it. Other allegations include how A-Rod is totally obsessed with Derek Jeter and how he was playing up with strippers and hookers while his wife Cynthia was pregnant.

Even if you think 90% of these allegations are wrong in some way, it leaves the picture of a guy who isn’t exactly the kind of guy you’d want to have as role model for your children. All the same, you probably shouldn’t have superstar athletes as role models for your children – parents should be the role models for their own kids.

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Phil Hughes News

Breaking Records, Eclipsing The Don

The Aussie Phil Hughes became the youngest player in history to score a century in each innings of a Test as Australia cruised by South Africa. That’s pretty remarkable. Here’s the report.

The 20-year-old Hughes followed up his first innings 115 with an unbeaten 136 to break West Indian George Headley’s record set against England in 1930 and move Australia to 3 for 292 at stumps, an overall lead of 506.

Hughes could scarcely have been more impressive in besting Headley’s mark by almost six months, striking 13 boundaries and two sixes in a virtually chanceless innings.

In a day of milestones for Australia, Ricky Ponting earlier surpassed his predecessor Steve Waugh as the fourth-highest Test run-scorer of all-time behind Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Allan Border.

If this form stays good, the reconstruction of the Australian Test side seems to be going at a good pace. It kind of did better than Rachel Hunter’s advice about shampoo: it did happen over night.

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Phil Hughes Makes Australian Side

And Just Like That He’s In

What’s in a name, seriously? 20y.o. budding NSW batsman Phil Hughes has cracked the Australian Test side. He’s the youngest player since a teenaged Craig McDermott made the side in 1984.

The 20-year-old has been rewarded for a stellar season in the NSW side having scored 891 runs at 74.25, including four centuries and a highest score of 198.

His selection in the touring squad all but confirms he will become the youngest Australian since Craig McDermott to make his Test debut when the first Test begins in Johannesburg on February 26.

The Australian also understands that Bryce McGain, the 36-year-old Victorian leg-spinner, has also been chosen in the squad.

Since Hayden’s retirement at the end of the domestic three-Test series against South Africa, the question of who would replace the big Queenslander has been the biggest talking point in Australian cricket.

Hughes, who won the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award on Tuesday night, has had glowing reports from all quarters, including Greg Chappell who has worked with him. Steve Waugh also backed the young batsman.

That’s pretty cool news. As for the Yankee Phil Hughes, pitchers and catchers report in a matter of days!

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Transition Phase Blues

Like It Or Lump It

Which ever way you look at it, the current summer of discontent for Australian Cricket is a function of the changing of the guard that’s been under way since the Ashes defeat in 2005. One of the things that’s amazed me during this time is not the departures of McGrath and Warne at the same time or the shock retirement of Damien Martyn or Stuart McGill, but the persistent selection of Mathew Hayden.

I have a running joke with an old school friend of mine wherein I say, ‘everybody knows Hayden’s washed up. I’ve been saying it since 1991 but he keeps proving me wrong.”lately he’s looked more like the guy who probably should go. Even some older, wiser heads are thinking the same thing.

In persevering with Hayden for the Sydney Test, Benaud said the selectors had missed a chance to introduce 20-year-old opening prodigy Phil Hughes in a dead rubber in preparation for tours of South Africa and England.

“I’m not sure how the selection for this next Test fits into the rebuilding program unless they have made a decision that Matthew Hayden is going to be there in the long term and that Nathan Hauritz is the answer to their spin-bowling problems,” he said.

“[Simon] Katich has assumed the senior opening role and I think they have missed an opportunity to use a dead Test to trial an opening batsman. It seems they are being nice to Hayden because he’s been a great player. Well, that is putting the individual ahead of the good of Australian cricket. It shows the players or the sentimentality are being put ahead of the hard-nosed approach that’s needed.

“When you have a heroic team, it is like the West Indies, people get edgy about leaving heroes out even if those heroes might be in decline. There is a sense of that about this selection panel.”

Anyway, it’s an added pisser for me because my newer Phil Hughes doesn’t get to make his Test Debut in Sydney. Certainly not this year. There’s even this bit:

Benaud was on the panel that picked Warne for an underwhelming debut in 1992 and said the current panel of Hilditch, David Boon, Hughes and Cox had been too conservative.

“Shane Warne, God bless him, came along and he took 1-150 in his first Test but we still took him to Sri Lanka,” he said. “Now Jason Krejza has been discarded for what I would call a more conservative option. You have to back yourself as a selection panel.

“How could they have been taken by surprise by MacGill’s retirement? He was as old as Warne. I think they have been tardy there. They’ve had an opportunity to be a bit more aggressive about trialling a young spinner and I don’t think anyone sees Nathan Hauritz as someone who is going to be a match-winner. Jason Krejza is head and shoulders above as a spinner and a cricketer.

“They’re in spin chaos to me.”

Greg Chappell, head coach of Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence and a former selector, was also involved with the panel that gambled on youngsters such as Boon, Geoff Marsh and Steve Waugh in the mid-’80s. He said the current selectors faced a choice. “The big difference between now and then is that in the ’80s, the next level of experienced players went to South Africa for the rebel tours so it forced their hand to go with youth and go to the next generation. I suppose that is the challenge now: Do they try and hold it together or go to the future?” Chappell said.

There’s no point holding it together for now if they can’t beat South Africa at home on the WACA and the MCG. At this point in the cycle of this team, they have no choice but to invest in the future players – and they’re certainly there. It’s often said that it’s hard to get into the Australian Test side so it should be hard to get out. To me, that’s a total non-sequiteur. The latter in no way follows on from the former.

The fact is, it’s hard to get in because the competition is fierce – an that is good. By the same token the competition should be fierce enough that an aging player should be axed as soon as they start declining. The problem is, this team’s veterans are greatly in decline and the young guys haven’t found their feet just yet. In this context, the team selectors have to wield a tougher knife.

We’re not talking about Mark Taylor hanging on for one series too long or not. We’re talking about a general mindset that isn’t engaged with what the Australian Test side is going to look like, one year, 3 years, and 5 years from now. In that sense, holding over Hayden for the 3rd test against South Africa is a terrible, terrible decision.

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Double Your Phil Hughes

Why Settle For One?

To me, an ardent Yankee fan, the name ‘Phil Hughes’ spells promise. Ever since the Yankees started drafting more high-ceiling talent since 2004, Phil Hughes has been that promise that more home-grown Yankees were on the way. He’s shown stretches of that brilliance at the MLB level, but his story is largely yet to be writ. It’s going to be interesting and exciting watching Phil Hughes come into his own, hopefully as an Ace-calibre pitcher for the Yankees.


He’s even got a blog!

Of course, living in Australia, my sports fandom also extends to Cricket, and this summer I’ve become aware of another Phil Hughes that is knocking on the elite level of Cricket.

PHIL HUGHES didn’t really need a coach. After school each day from age 14 to 17 he’d just drag his father, Greg, down to the oval at Macksville and have him feed the ball machine. Phil knew which shots he needed to work on. Then he’d have Greg wait while he did his fitness program. Alone. Almost every day.

“If we’d had a big weekend away he might miss the Monday, and maybe some Fridays he’d have off,” Greg Hughes says. “But apart from that it was a daily ritual. It must have worked: he’s scored 53 hundreds so far.”

Phil had reason to work hard. Despite his tender years, he knew he had a rare talent. At 12, playing in a 50-over primary schools carnival final, he hit 159 not out, commanding attention similarly to earlier child prodigies Adam Gilchrist, Dean Jones and Michael Slater.

“That’s the innings that started off all the talk about him,” Greg says. “When Cricket NSW say they knew him from when he was 12, well, that’s where that started. It was probably also about when I first realised he could play.”

After that game Phil met Merv Hughes. Greg has a photo of the moment and marvels at the coincidence of his son meeting one of the men who now can control if or when he plays for Australia.

The thought of playing for Australia was first realistically conveyed to Hughes by Neil D’Costa, his coach since arriving in Sydney. D’Costa, who mentored Michael Clarke to stardom, planted the idea in Hughes’s mind that “in a few years Matthew Hayden is going to retire and you should make that position yours”. The pair have forged a solid link and mapped out a plan for Hughes’s career.

“We looked at how he would attack his rise in cricket with a mental and technical approach,” D’Costa says. “It’s working for him – look at how many people said he would fail in his second year. But I don’t see any second-year blues.”

I started seeing his name in the last few weeks as my Google News kept spitting out this other Phil Hughes to the New York Yankee Phil Hughes. It’s a common name and I might have just ignored it; but even when I know it’s pure coincidence I want to ask what’s in a name? To top it all off The latter Phil Hughes it seems is a New South Welshman. Well damnit, I’d better be rooting for him too, especially if he starts opening for Australia. It’s not as if he’s a South African or a Kiwi or Pom! 🙂

So that’s my present for this Christmas. I get a second young Phil Hughes to root for in the coming years. I’m warning you all that if things get a litle confusing, well, you read about it here first.

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