Dec 15, 2007

More Phil

It was really a crime that Hughes missed three months of the 2007 season. Not only did it rob him of three months of developing and adjusting to ML hitters, but it will likely prevent him from pitching 200 innings until 2010 at the earliest. He pitched 111 innings this year - going by the 'rule of 30', he'll pitch about 140 in 2008, 170 in 2009 and finally 200 in 2010. Of course, this is all subject to injuries and how efficient Hughes pitches, e.g. if he hits 140 in 2008 with relative ease (in terms of pitches/inning) he could be extended past it.

Watching some of his minor and major league starts tonight, it was apparent that Hughes made it tough for players to hit him. In other words, when hitters did make contact it seemed like very weak contact. Was this statistically true?

- Hughes ranked 5th in the AL in BABIP (batting average on balls in play) in 2007 (for starters who pitched at least 70 innings). His babip was .271, better than Johan Santana, and better than any other Yankee starter.

- He ranked 13th in the AL in OPS+ at 83. Again, better than any other Yankee starter - just ahead of Wang and just behind Johan Santana.

- He also excelled in BAA (batting average against), ranking 7th in the AL (.235), ahead of Vazquez and Beckett and behind Verlander and Santana.

Pitchers and catchers report in exactly two months! Can you tell I miss baseball?

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