"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Over at PB, Jay Jaffe takes a look at the two-halves of Phil Hughes’ season:

On both sides of the line, Hughes has received virtually identical defensive support from his teammates, above-average support at that, given that the league batting average on balls in play is .294. He’s got two main problems: he isn’t striking out hitters at nearly the same clip as early in the year, and his home run rate has more than doubled. The latter is a byproduct of him generating fewer groundballs (which don’t go for homers) and getting a bit more bad luck on his increased number of fly balls (which do, given enough of ‘em).


1 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 13, 2010 12:37 pm

At the risk of self promotion, I did a similar analysis three weeks ago (http://tinyurl.com/2c27na2). In summary, the three factors at play seemed to be home/road splits, fallout from being skipped as well as evolution of pitch selection (using the curve more at the expense of the cutter).

2 The Hawk   ~  Aug 13, 2010 12:56 pm

I seem to remember a stretch of a few games, or at least a couple, where his cutter was getting hammered (I think David Ortiz was involved in this trend), thus less reliance on it. My impression isn't that they moved away from what was working but rather it just wasn't working as well so they stopped using it so much.

I feel like Hughes has picked it up a bit lately. It doesn't necessarily have to be a tale of two seasons; let's see how he does from here on out.

3 monkeypants   ~  Aug 13, 2010 1:44 pm

[2] Yep...he's had three pretty nice starts in a row. Not great, but not bad either. He gave up the late HR to lose v. TB (6 IP, 3 ER), had a nice start against Toronto cut short by his head cold (5.1 IP, 1 ER), and he was a tough luck loser against Boston---rough start but settled down (6 IP, 2 ER).

4 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 13, 2010 1:56 pm

[2] I think Hughes may have allowed a few bad cutters to push him back toward the curve ball, which for some reason has seemed to regress as a pitch. One thing I found was his performance were better when he threw more cutters, but there could be a chicken and egg effect. I should probably take a look at what he did in his last three starts to see if a return to the cutter has been a factor.

[2] [3] Jaffe kind of picked a bad time to do the analysis because he has turned things around. His last three starts have all shown evidence of improvement.

5 The Hawk   ~  Aug 13, 2010 4:40 pm

Maybe it's telling that during perhaps his roughest stretch where four out of six games saw him give up 5+ runs, he had a 7 IP, 1ER run outing.

One thing he's been in recent starts is less efficient. He's performed decently lately - especially that last game where it seemed he would never get past the 5th - but it takes too many pitches. Lucky for my viewing pleasure it's not the type of "too many pitches" he and Joba used to try and bore me to death with.

All in all I'm really encouraged by this year. I don't think it's necessarily gonna happen but he seems to have the makeup to be an excellent pitcher for a long time to come.

6 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 13, 2010 5:33 pm

My comment's awaiting moderation again :(

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver