Joe Girardi says he fully expects the 25-year-old to be in the Yankees’ rotation next season, but Hughes told the Daily News Wednesday that he knows he must deliver to keep his job. Part of that is coming into camp fitter than ever.It's time for Hughes to really take that step forward and I'm glad to hear he's working hard and making sure he comes into camp in shape. The sad part is that he wasn't in shape last year, which is unacceptable and probably should have been talked about more when it was an issue. Either way, it's going to more than just losing a few pounds to get Hughes back on track.
“I’m at a point where the patience is running out,” Hughes said during a telephone interview. “I’m not a prospect anymore and I’m not 21 years old anymore. You’re gauged on what kind of year you had, not what you’re capable of doing.”
“I’m certainly not at the point in my career where I can come in and go through the motions, and if I give up eight runs in an outing, it’s all good because it’s spring training,” Hughes said. “ For me, coming off a bad season, I’m trying to do as much as I can to make sure that I’m ready to go when spring training rolls around.”
The first step was a return last month to Athletes’ Performance Institute in Los Angeles, where he trained in 2008-09. Hughes reported a few pounds overweight last season, and while he doesn’t attribute his velocity or injury issues to conditioning, he couldn’t rule out a link, either.
“It’s hard to say, but if there’s even a 1% chance that it did, then I’m doing everything I can now to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Hughes said.
“It’s always good to hear your manager say that he expects you to be in that spot,” Hughes said. “But at the end of the day, if you don’t do what you’re expected to do, there’s going to be somebody that will.”
Thursday, December 1, 2011
From Mark Feinsand: