Phil Hughes Makes Spring Training Competition Seem Silly

Back in Spring Training, the Yankees put Phil Hughes into a competition with other pitchers like Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre, and Alfredo Aceves. The four pitchers competed to see who would be the Yankees 5th starter. Obviously Hughes won the job and since then, he is making it seem like there never should have been a competition.

It’s tough to say Hughes has been the Yankees best starter, because most of them have been pitching extremely well this season. You can however say Hughes is right up there with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Andy Pettitte.

The young starter has show a new degree of confidence this season. He is dominating opponents on a regular basis.

Hughes has started six games so far this season and after last nights win, he is now 5-0 on the year with a very impressive 1.38 ERA. That is the lowest ERA of any Yankees starter this season.

Last night Hughes pitched the night cap of a double header against a Detroit Tigers team loaded with talent. The Tigers lineup is very tough. Hughes worked through them with ease. He went seven innings giving up just five hits. He walked just one and struck out eight. Of his 101 pitches thrown, 71 were strikes. That’s confidence and domination!

Hughes has gone seven innings of more in four of his six starts, including the last three. Those last three starts, all in May, were against Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, and Detroit. So far in the month of May, Hughes is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.86.

The young righty has pitched 39 innings this season and has 39 strikeouts. He has given up just 22 hits and 14 walks, for a WHIP of 0.92. Opponents are hitting just .165 against Hughes this year.

So, really, was there ever a competition in Spring Training? Sure there was, but I don’t think there should have been. Phil Hughes is a pitcher. He goes about his business and now has the confidence to back it up. You can make quite a case for Hughes being the Yankees best starter at this point in the season.

If you ask me, it’s pretty impressive that the American League leader in ERA was competing for a job this spring. It shows how far Hughes has come. He is also tied for the league lead in wins with five.

I believe this is just a sign of things to come for Phil Hughes. He has ace type stuff and he is now showing it on a regular basis.