Both Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano started in the minors leagues and turned in mixed results.
Hughes started for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He gave up five earned runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four, walked none and gave up one home run. He also threw 63 of his 91 pitches for strikes, but 91 pitches over 3 2/3 innings won't cut it in the majors.
From Chad Jennings:
“I threw too many pitches over the plate,” Hughes said. “That pretty much sums it up. I was decent, but I left too many fastballs over the plate and they jumped all over them... Physically I felt fine. A little bit of a dead arm, but you're going to go through those days when you don't have your best stuff. You just try to compete and unfortunately I wasn't able to do that today."Jennings says that his velocity was down to 91-93 mph while it had been higher in previous minor-league starts. Jennings also has comments from catcher Chad Moeller, saying that Hughes lacked command of his secondary pitches in addition to his fastball.
If Hughes turned in a good start tonight, he could have been in line to start for the big club this weekend. But now I'm not so sure. If I were in charge, I'd like to see another minor-league start from Hughes.
Onto Pavano: After giving up seven hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings on Tuesday, Pavano scattered six hits and one earned run over six innings tonight. He struck out six and walked one as well. I have no idea where his velocity was tonight, but his line does show that he was successful. If healthy he could be a major-league option as well. That would be something, huh?
Oh, by the way, Melky Cabrera went 1-for-1 with four walks and two runs scored in his first Triple-A game in two years. With New York this season, Cabrera has walked 29 times in 440 plate appearances. Since July 27, Cabrera has only walked twice in 133 plate appearances. And this is yet another reason to not take minor-league stats seriously.