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Article: Phil Hughes' Long Curving History

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:09 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...Curving-History

"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 Willihammer



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Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:37 AM

Interesting read. It will be fun to follow how Suzuki, Pinto, Herrmann, et. call for that hammer.

#3 halfchest


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:07 AM

If there is one guy I want to succeed it's hughes. #1 is because of his pedigree. He has had the stuff, he's shown it for stints but never fully put it together. As has been noted he was hurt by pitching in Yankee stadium as well. Which brings me to #2 how great would it be that we snagged a Yankee free agent and then he puts it together for us and becomes a solid #2-3 type pitcher for the next 3 years.

I'm not super confident he can do that but more than any of our other acquisitions this past year he's the one I'm cheering for. Hopefully going back to his curve will help that become reality.

#4 Dantes929


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:31 AM

[FONT=Arial]"Part of that is simply a pitch selection decision, since he threw his fastball three times more often in two strike counts. Is that because of lack of faith in his secondary pitch or just knowing his fastball is superior?" Just guessing here but even if his fastball is superior, the pitch selection in any count should be much closer to 50%. He would probably have ended up with more strikeouts. If a batter thinks there is a strong likelihood that an off speed pitch is coming it makes the fastball that much better. He should go back to whatever curveball it was that he had that made everyone drool back in 2007.[/FONT]

#5 jmlease1


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:58 AM

Hughes was always one of the guys I felt the Twins should target this offseason, and I'm pretty happy with landing him for both the length of the deal and the price. But his long term success if going to depend on whether or not he's able to find some consistency with his secondary stuff.

Is there any chance Bobby Cueller will be able to help him refine a change up as a third pitch to go along with the return of the curve? One of the things I felt might help Hughes was a new coaching staff (that and just getting the hell out of New York, away from the park and the fan pressure) and while I've had my issues with Anderson on occasion our pitching coaches seem well-suited to help Hughes succeed.

Hughes should be a good bridge starter for the franchise: if he plays to ability, he's a solid 2-3 starter even on a good team and should be able to grind up innings and hold down a spot while the prospects develop. He's experienced enough to be a good mentor to younger pitcher, but he's not just a guy trying to get by on guts and guile. And the contract is a good one for the team, but not a bad one for the player, which could be important in years 2-3 to reduce the likelihood of a nasty holdout/renegotiation fight if Hughes pitches well.

Now, here's hoping the team (and I) were right about this.

Edited by jmlease1, 05 March 2014 - 10:00 AM.
fix spacing

#6 TiberTwins


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:22 AM

Would Bert be a good guy to consult on which curve to use? Bert could also probably give Hughes some insight on when and how to throw the curve.

#7 Trautmann13



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Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:54 PM

I had no idea about how the Spankees goofed around with Hughes pitches like this. I somehow doubt that it seriously effected him a negative way, but still interesting. Oh and congrats on the marriage, Parker!

#8 highlander



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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:43 PM

Phil just needs to talk to ol'Bert about Uncle Charlie. Soon enough it will be a family reunion of long lost kin folk.

#9 VandyTwinsFan



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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:54 PM

[FONT=Arial]Last year, his concern that hitters were picking up the curve out of his hand...[/FONT]

If that's the problem, why doesn't he just sit and throw curveballs to one of the best eyes in the game...Mauer? Help each other out. Why is it that a pitching coach is the only person who can help a pitcher? After a bunch of curveballs, I bet Joe could tell him if he's tipping his pitch based on his grip/motion. Joe can't tell him how to fix it, but he could point out his weaknesses and that's half the battle.

#10 Jim H

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:54 PM

Good article. I think Hughes was a decent gamble on the Twins part, but you kind of hope a pitcher in his late 20's with as much major league experience as Hughes, would of settled on his secondary pitches by now. It is almost impossible for most major league starters to be one pitch pitchers, so here's hoping he can refine his secondary offerings pretty soon.