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Scott Dierking

Turns out Phil Hughes is just bad, not hurt

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This Hughes story could get interesting. He was horrible for the vast majority of the second half last season, got crushed in the post-season, and has picked up right where he left off.

I saw an article the other day that pointed out Jim Abbott's rapid decline and it cited his one dominant season in which, like Hughes last year, he relied heavily on his cutter and by the following season, he was never the same.

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Anyone want to trade me a Phil Hughes baseball card for this mint-condition Sam Militello card I got? How about this Paul Wilson?

I sat in the RF bleachers watching Sam Militello's ML debut (I think it was against the Bosox) and he threw seven solid innings. He was the future...LOL

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From the Daily News

Yankees' Phil Hughes makes rehab start for Trenton, velocity still down as Brian Cashman watches

BY Ebenezer Samuel

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Originally Published:Friday, June 24th 2011, 11:05 PM

Updated: Saturday, June 25th 2011, 2:29 AM

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Friday was Phil Hughes' 25th birthday. But aside from the extra-large birthday cake that the opposing team presented him, he had little cause for celebration.

With Brian Cashman looking on, the Yankee righthander made his second rehab start, taking the mound for the Double-A Trenton Thunder against the New Britain Rock Cats and showcasing a fastball that was consistently in the low 90s.

But just five days after what he described as an "encouraging" rehab start in Brooklyn, Hughes' effort against the Rock Cats gave him no such confidence in the 3-2 Thunder loss. He needed 72 pitches to get through 31/3 innings, throwing just 42 strikes, and never looked dominant. In Sunday's rehab start, his fastball had touched 95; Friday, he didn't eclipse 93, and the Rock Cats routinely caught up with his pitches and fouled them off.

"I felt like I was uncharacteristically wild a little bit... my fastball was all over the place," said Hughes, who has been on the DL with a dead arm and shoulder inflammation since April 15. "I'm encouraged by the fact that I feel good and everything like that. But as far as the results and what I was doing out there, I'm not encouraged."

Hughes' final line (three strikeouts, two walks, three hits, one earned run) hardly told the story of his struggles. Hughes said he saw positives - he threw "some good cutters," felt "healthy" and gave up a pair of infield singles. But he never showcased overpowering stuff, inducing just six swing-and-miss strikes.

Hughes hit 93 on the radar gun seven times over the first two frames, needing 28 pitches to sail through two hitless stanzas. But his fastball never eclipsed 91 thereafter, and his control seemed to gradually abandon him.

He surrendered a one-out single to light-hitting center fielder Mark Dolenc in the third, then walked the next batter on four pitches. Things got worse in a 28-pitch fourth. He issued another full-count walk to Chris Parmelee, struck out a batter, then surrendered singles to Yangervis Solarte and Brian Dozier. Dozier's single scored Parmelee and signaled the end for Hughes.

"I wasn't ahead in a lot of counts," he said. "That was the biggest difference (between Friday and last Sunday), that my command was not as good today."

No wonder Cashman wants Hughes to keep rehabbing. In the ideal world, Hughes said, he'd like to be back with the Bombers after one more rehab start. But the GM has another plan.

"He'll probably need about two more to go, as long as the New York side is OK," Cashman said before the game. "As long as the New York side is OK, we'd like to stretch him up to about 100 pitches, increase him by about 15 every outing."

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Hughes will win the AL Cy Young next season. Take it to the bank.

Ham, still waiting on the seven point blue print man. When's that gonna' be finished up?

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It is strange as he looks good at times. I was watching Kershaw the other night and remembered the days when MadMike would tell us how Hughes was better.

...and that Micah Owings was the next big thing. Dude's been bouncing around as a middle reliever for about five years now.

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Last night was exactly what Hughes needed. A minor league start w/o having to actually go to the minors.

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