Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hughes Brings Back The Slider!/Ledger_Yankees/status/50731441549623296
As Joe from RAB points out in this excellent post, this isn't exactly a new pitch for Hughes. As you can see below, while still a prospect Baseball America mentioned Hughes' slider several times over the years:

2005: “Hughes changes a hitter’s sightline with a slider that at times has good bite and depth.”

2006: “He has a hard, late-biting slider that the Yankees wouldn’t let him throw in last year, but he likes it better than his curveball and has the go-ahead to use it again in 2006. … As he reintroduces his slider, he should become a starter with well-above-average control and above-average command who throws three plus pitches for strikes.”

2007: “Hughes’ greatest accomplishment as a pro has been to forsake his slider in favor of a knockout curveball, which is more of a strikeout pitch and produces less stress on his arm. … While his slider is still a good pitch, he rarely throws it in games anymore.”

For a pitch that had potential, it's good to see him going back to it. 

As Joe also mentions in his post, the pitch "will go a long way in making [Hughes] a more complete pitcher," and if the pitch is effective, that certainly will be the case. Obviously it's not something that he just picked up last week, so I'm fairly confident the pitch will be a good one for Phil. Let's hope it is, because whether he takes that next step or not could make or break the 2011 season.

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