Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Phil Hughes Answers the Call

I consider it an extremely good sign that Phil Hughes has pitched well enough to win against two weak A.L. offenses in his last two starts. Hughes clearly doesn't have his best stuff, velocity or command right now, yet he's showing himself to be a canny enough pitcher to win anyway, at least against light-hitting teams. But beating light-hitting teams is just about half the battle.

Whether he's tentative, or still hampered by injuries, it doesn't look like Hughes will show us again this year why he's the best pitching prospect in baseball. That's fine, we can worry about that in spring training if he still looks off. Right now, the Yankees need a #3/#4 starter, and it's beginning to look like Hughes might be their boy.

After the game, Hughes said, "I didn't have that swing-and-miss fastball tonight but I was able to battle through and the offense took over." That sums up his last couple months, but maybe that's OK right now.