Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Should Hughes be demoted?

As soon as Gary Sheffield blasted that 2-2 curveball out of the yard last night in the 3rd I knew the question of the day would be whether or not Hughes should be sent down. After a 0-4 start with a 9.00 ERA it's a good question. The Yankees knew there would be bumps in the road, but I doubt they expected struggles like these.

Here's what Girardi said when he was asked that question following last night's loss: “Right now, he’s one of our starters,” Girardi said. “We will talk about it as a club." Brian Cashman was asked the same question and responded with a "We'll see."

Not exactly what you would want to hear if you were Hughes.

Some problems that I see (and I'm no pitching coach) is that his command is clearly lost, and he's not mixing his pitches enough, therefore becoming too predictable on the mound. He also looks like he's pitching scared and without confidence. "

But would a trip to the minors crush his confidence even more?

You would hope it wouldn't, and that maybe a few dominating performances in AAA would give his the shot in the arm that he needs, but you never know.

Then there's the issue of who would replace him. Right now the options are Kei Igawa (2-3, 3.58 ERA), Dan Giese (2-0, 1.35 ERA), Darrell Rasner (4-0, 0.87 ERA), or Steven White (1-1 with a 3.58 ERA). The leading candidate has to be Rasner, as he's doing the best out of any of the and has experience at the major league level.

But if it were up to me I wouldn't send him down, yet. I've been stressing patience with these kids all year, and I can't abandon that now. I'm not saying keep him up here all year if he's going to continue to get pounded, but I'd at least give him a few more starts to see if he can get his stuff together at this level.

What would you do, send him down or keep him up? And if you would keep him in the rotation, how many more starts would you give him?


bill said...

I say give him a few more starts. Has he even pitched with a lead this year? Seems to me the offense has let him down a few times, of course the offense has let all the
pitchers down. Let the weather break and see what happens.

Eric F. Langborgh said...

I say send him down immediately. What he needs right now, in my not-so-knowledgeable-opinion, is the opportunity to work out his issues (control, mechanics, self-confidence, etc) in an environment free of the immense pressure of the Major Leagues and NYC.

Steve said...

I would think that maybe next time he starts Girardi should play his "A" team and not bench Melky and Melina. What he needs right now is confidence and when you see a runner scoring from 2nd on a hard hit ball right to Damon and the pitcher/catcher getting signals crossed.... that does not breed confidance.

Zone said...

He hasn't pitched with a lead all year because in 3 of his starts he has let up runs in the first inning, and in the other three starts could only hold the opponent without a run until the fourth. And with all that he still has had at least one run leads in half of his starts. He is getting tagged early and often and every time he pitches it's not worth watching because we don't have a chance. Let him build some confidence in AAA and give Rasner a shot, what else does he have to do (4-0 .87 ERA) to get a chance in the bigs.

Zone said...

Another thing I don't get is at this point last year Kei Igawa was 2-1, with a 7.63 ERA and a 3:2 K/BB ratio and everyone was calling for his head. I understand Phil is a nice guy and everyone likes him, but I don't get the difference. He's 21 and the inordinate amount of pressure put on him, especially knowing he's the reason pretty much we don't have Santana must be ridiculous.