"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hughes hopeful

Phil Hughes believes he has discovered what has made him lose command of his pitches. He says he is going through his delivery too quickly, as his body moves toward the plate before his arm does. This results in his elbow dropping and the loss in command, according to Ed Price.

"It's a split-second of staying back to let my body catch up," he said. "It will make a big difference with my command. I rely on getting a strike one with my fastball. That's the big key for me."

When Hughes throws a first-pitch strike, opposing hitters are 5-for-27 (.285) with one walk. When he falls behind 1-0, Hughes allows hitters to go 11-for-20 (.550) with seven walks.

"It's such an easy problem to fix," he said, "but it's so hard to do it when you're out there. When you're in the bullpen and you have all the time in the world, (if) you miss a couple of pitches up, you say 'okay, you're going to stay back a little bit longer.' When you're out there (in a game), you're going a million miles an hour, it's hard -- even though it is a simple adjustment -- it's really hard to do it when you're in a game situation.

"Sometimes it's not as easy as just saying it."

At least the problem has been identified. This is why it's great having Dave Eiland around as a pitching coach.

In Hughes' last two starts, he has pitched a combined five innings, allowing 12 hits and nine earned runs. He has also walked seven batters.

Hughes starts tonight in Baltimore, so we'll find out if he's made the proper adjustments sometime this evening.

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)


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