Hughes to Start, Joba to Set-Up?

February 3, 2010

Is Chamberlain Heir to the Closer Throne in NY? (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Joel Sherman of the NY Post states that the New York Yankees appear to be set on how to use their two prized young pitchers.

According to Sherman it will be Phil Hughes who will be taking the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation and not Joba Chamberlain as many were expecting. Chamberlain looks headed to the bullpen to be the set-up man for Mariano Rivera and perhaps getting him ready to take over once the future Hall of Famer finally hangs up his nasty cutter.

One thing that confused me a bit was this statement from Sherman:

Because aren’t the 2010 Yanks much better if both Joba and Hughes are in the bullpen? Think about it.

I thought about it and yes, the idea of it would be magical. But you know what? Eventually the Yankees have to decide what exactly it is they are going to do with these guys. Moving them in and out of the rotation and holding them to silly “rules” or pitch counts is only going to hurt them in the long run. Figure out what they are best fit for, make your decision and stick to it.

I analyzed the move of Joba to the rotation last June and Phil Hughes bullpen vs. starter debate last July over at BDD.

If you look based on numbers, both are best fit to be relievers. As a starter Joba loses a lot of velocity and doesn’t appear to have the stamina to get far into games (of course this could be attributed to being bounced around from the rotation to the bullpen). Then Hughes seems to lack the ability to adjust his approach as he faces hitters a second and third time through the lineup.

Either way you slice it, the Yankees need to figure these two out now before its too late and two fantastic arms are not allowed to live up to their potential and essentially wasted.


Reinventing Hughes

July 12, 2009
Hughes has pitched his share of big time games (firebrandal/Flickr).

Hughes has pitched his share of big time games (firebrandal/Flickr).

It wasn’t that long ago that Phillip Hughes was one of baseball’s biggest and most highly touted prospects. Not only did he have a stellar track record as an amateur and minor league pro, but he also had an incredible arsenal of pitches at his disposal. He was every organization’s dream.

But after an up-and-down career as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, it was becoming more and more difficult for the young right hander to find a spot on the big league club. That was until they Yankees needed a new set-up guy.

There has never been any question that Hughes has the stuff to be a big time major league pitcher. But for some reason he has never been able to grasp the consistency to stick in the Yankees rotation. Here’s a look at how Hughes has broken down as a game has gone on…

(click here to continue reading on Baseball Daily Digest…)

Matthew Whipps is a writer for Baseball Daily Digest. If you would like to contact him via email you can reach him at whipps15[at]

The Ultimate Question: Hughes or Ellsbury?

December 3, 2007

It has been discussed for days in the comments section here as well as sites and blogs across the internet. If you were running the Minnesota Twins, who do you want more in a deal for Johan Santana, the young phenom pitcher Phil Hughes or the scrappy table setter Jacoby Ellsbury?

(click here to continue…)

Catch my column “Twins Killings” every day only on the Most Valuable Network.

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