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Article: On Phil Hughes and Re-establishing the Curve

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:49 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...lf-In-Minnesota

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"

#2 Linus


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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

Very interesting, as usual. However, if TD can figure it out, I'm pretty sure everyone else in the American League will as well.

#3 Willihammer



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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:23 AM

[FONT=Arial]“A lot of times with curveballs, more than any other pitch, it will go above the fastball plane,” major league pitching instructor Tom House told the [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Washington Post [/FONT][FONT=Arial]in 2012[/FONT][FONT=Arial]. “And if it goes above the fastball plane, then the hitter knows it’s not a fastball.”[/FONT]

They know its not a fastball, but they don't know if its a strike, so a lot of times they give up on it. The get me over curve still has a place, IMO. Specifically in first pitch and 0-1 counts.

#4 Jim H

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 04:47 PM

Good article. I haven't seen much of Hughes. Working during the day, means that his last outing was really the first time I watched him pitch this spring. Unfortunately, despite his good SO rates, his decent walk rates, and generally OK hit rates, I think the last outing was sort of a demonstration of why he has been pretty much a back of the rotation starter the last 3 years.

He has one major league pitch, his fastball. It is a good one, he's got good velocity and some good late movement, at least some of the time. But his curveball, is not special. He can throw it for strikes, but you can see why he doesn't dare use it very often. I really liked his fastball at times. Striking out Baptista on 3 fastballs was impressive. Especially the last one. Nobody is going to hit a fastball, up and moving in on your hands like that. Unfortunately, it wasn't a strike, if Baptista doesn't swing, its a ball. That is sort of the problem with Hughes fastball. He can throw down and away sometimes, and it is a good pitch, or he can throw it up and out of the strike zone and it is a good pitch. But if the batter lays off those pitches, most of them will be balls. If he gets too much of the strike zone, good hitters are going to hit his fastball, often quite hard. That is what happened in the 6th inning.

I am not a pitching coach, or even good at what Parker does here, but Hughes really looks like he needs another effective pitch. You can see why the Yankees wanted him to work on his slider. He needs a slider, or a good changeup, or maybe a splitfinger. Something that looks more like his fastball out of his hand, but is slower and dips down. Maybe he has this pitch and it will show up more as the season goes along. But, right now he looks like a back of the rotation starter to me.