Phil Hughes pitched well last night. Here’s Chad Jennings with more:
Hughes threw a slider when he was younger, including his early years in the Yankees minor league system, but he eventually dumped the pitch and picked up the cutter. When the cutter disappointed him again last week, Hughes had Larry Rothschild work with him on finding a new cutter/slider grip. He tried a few slight modifications, found one he liked and used the pitched 25 to 30 times tonight. He threw it more than either his curveball or changeup.
“It’s bigger so I assume it has to lose a little velocity to get that,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something that’s slow enough that they recognize it… I have to give it my fastball arm speed and not get lazy with it. If I do that, I don’t think it will fall in the same mode I was when I was 16 years old throwing my slider, because I didn’t really know what I was doing (back then).”
Man, it sure would be nice to see Hughes improve on his 2010 performance. I don’t think it’s asking too much, though he had a decent year, and won a bunch of games.
Think he’ll do it?