With Struggles Mounting, Hughes Must Go
Years ago, a kid who earned the nickname “Phil Franchise” rose through the New York Yankees minor league system. He had scouts salivating over his talent. In just his second big league start, back in 2007, he carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, but an injury forced his exit from the game. That was six years ago, and since then, a lot has changed for Phil Hughes.
June 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes (65) on the mound before bring replaced against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Sure, Hughes has a World Series ring on his resume. Yes, he was an 18-game winner once before. In sports, however, specifically in New York, it all comes down to “what have you done for me lately?” And lately, Hughes has been downright disappointing. He has a record of 3-7 this season, with an ERA of 4.82. Hughes is not pitching well – and that is an understatement.
In 5 of Hughes’s 15 starts this season, he has given up at least five earned runs. This includes his outing on May 15th, against the Seattle Mariners when he was unable to get through the first inning, allowing seven earned runs in just two-thirds.
The Bronx Bombers must soon figure out what to do with Phil Hughes. There are a few feasible options; they can decide to let Hughes go after this season, allowing him to test free agency, they can propose a qualifying offer which would allow him to remain in pinstripes for one more season, or, like many fans would like to see, the Yankees can trade him.
While it is never easy to give up hope on a former first-round pick that was expected to be a stalwart of the pitching rotation for years to come, it is now time to trade Hughes. In order for there to be October baseball in the Bronx once again, the Yankees are in need of a right-handed batter and some infield help. Although a package for Hughes would certainly not bring in any top hitters, Brian Cashman can certainly work some decent players into the deal to help stop the bleeding, while Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are all still on the road to recovery.
The New York Yankees (42-39) are in danger of falling out of playoff-race if they do not start scoring some runs. To score runs, however, they need a line-up with batters capable of consistently hitting. Trading Phil Hughes will allow that needed extra piece to come to the Bronx. It has been a good run, Phil, but it is time to move on.