Sometimes it seems like the Yankees must have their weight scrutinized more closely than any group besides models and female actors. Just this spring we had C.C. Sabathia’s diet tips (hint: cut out one box of Cap’n Crunch per day) and a flurry of stories about Joba Chamberlain’s weight gain. Now it’s Phil Hughes’ turn. From Joel Sherman in the Post:
I talked to a person with strong ties to the Yankees who threw out a theory I had not yet heard on what happened to Phil Hughes’ velocity: He lost too much weight.
This person said that while everyone was focused on Joba Chamberlain’s weight gain and his having to go for individual workouts following the standard spring training workouts in order to shed pounds, it was missed by the media that Hughes also showed up overweight and was dispatched also to what the team refers to as “The Fat Farm.” This person said he believes Hughes is a player who needs the extra bulk to pitch and that it was possible the loss of the bulk explains the decreased velocity.
I asked Yankees GM Brian Cashman about the theory and he essentially said: “hogwash.” He did confirm that Hughes was sent to “The Fat Farm,” but said that he was not asked to drop below last year’s playing weight and, in fact, was still above it a bit when the season began.
This manages to pull off the neat trick of calling Hughes both too fat AND too thin, a treatment usually reserved for starlets in tabloids. Look, I don’t know what’s wrong with Phil Hughes… maybe there’s something to this, maybe not. I certainly don’t blame Sherman for bringing it up – it’s what his source told him, and he’s passing it along. But as an explanation, it feels to me like grasping at straws. It seems a bit more logical to point to the fact that he pitched many more innings last year than he ever has before, but of course that’s just speculation, too.
Meanwhile, the show must go on. Is that a “baby bump” I see on Freddy Garcia?!