Phil Hughes Moves to the Bullpen
On Monday evening, Phil Hughes made his 2011 debut out of the New York Yankees' bullpen. A role that he thrived in 2009 during the postseason. The Yankees are hoping he can rekindle his dominance from two seasons ago.
Find out what role Hughes will serve in this crowded but yet talented bullpen.
Hughes will join the likes of Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera in the late innings along with Boone Logan, Luis Ayala, Corey Wade, and most likely AJ Burnett. While the late innings are already occupied with Soriano, Robertson, and Rivera handling those duties, Hughes could be a huge asset out of the 'pen if the Yankees need a big strikeout in the 6th inning if their starter seems to be winding down.
In 2009, Hughes served as a 7th/8th inning reliever teaming up with Joba Chamberlain and Damaso Marte as the bridge to Mariano Rivera. Hughes was successful as he had great command and velocity of his fastball, something that has been a problem for him during this season, especially with the velocity. The Yankees are hoping that Hughes coming out of the bullpen will give him a boost of energy to pump up his fastball.
On Monday night Hughes went 1 2/3 innings pitched giving up 1 hit, no runs, walking 2 and striking out one. His command was not sharp with the two walks and the high counts but this was most likely due to the fact that he hasn't pitched since the Seattle series over a week and a half ago.