Posted by: gravessack | July 1, 2017

Hughes’ Move to Bullpen Could Work Out

Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes pitching in baseball game. (Photo: Paul Sancya, Associated Press)

Photo: Paul Sancya, Associated Press

The last couple years have been rough for Twins pitcher Phil Hughes. After a great 2014 season in which Hughes went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA, his numbers have declined dramatically. His low moment came last year, as he was 1-7 with a 5.95 ERA. Hughes was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, a blood disorder, in the middle of the season, causing him to miss the rest of the year. He experienced some of the same symptoms earlier this year, causing him to miss some time.

A couple weeks ago, it was decided that Hughes would be a reliever once he returned to the active roster. I think this was a good decision by the Twins since the thoracic outlet syndrome has appeared to cause Hughes to fatigue quicker than in previous years. Relievers tend to pitch one to two innings at a time, whereas starters usually pitch about six innings per start. Hughes was a reliever in 2009 for the Yankees (who won the World Series that year) and was very effective, eventually becoming the setup man.

Hughes has said his symptoms may not be completely gone, but he plans on pitching the rest of the season. He will likely continue to be a reliever through 2017, possibly longer. This transition will hopefully be the solution to what has been an extremely frustrating couple of years for Hughes.

What do you think of Phil Hughes as a reliever?

Written by: Sam Graves

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