Phil Hughes Should Not Be a Starter

If last night was enough, I really think the Yankees need to consider removing Phil Hughes from the starting rotation and put him in the bullpen. I know that all Yankees fans think he’s a legitimate “quality” starter, but the fact of the matter is, he definitely is not! Looking at his stats in 2009 and 2010 were enough for me to base this judgment. At the start of 2009, Hughes was in the Yankees starting rotation, and struggled. After being removed from the rotation and put into the bullpen, his ERA was cut by almost 75% (as seen in the table below)…

2009 Stats Wins Losses IP ERA Ks Hits ERs
Starter 3 2 34.2 5.45 31 37 21
Reliever 5 1 51.1 1.40 65 31 8

If the stats above don’t make you believe that Hughes would be better out of the bullpen, why don’t we take a look at his stats during the 2010 season when EVERYONE became a fan of Hughes because he won 18 games. In 2010, sure, Phil Hughes looked amazing from a win-loss perspective; however, when you look deeper at his stats, you find that he was nothing more than a mediocre starter. Hughes went 18-8, and everyone thought that our homegrown talent had finally arrived.

After looking at his stats outside of win-loss, we see that he had a sub-par 4.19 ERA on the season, with 162 hits in 176.1 IP, with 146 K’s, 58 BB, and a 1.24 WHIP. Sure he got a lot of wins, but the stat that no one looks at that played a HUGE part in his win total for all of 2010 is the fact that the Yankees averaged 6.75 runs per game that Hughes started.

So, we’ve looked at 2009 and 2010… and we all know how 2011 and 2012 (so far) has turned out as a starter. But if you don’t know, I will share his overall stats.

Wins Losses IP ERA Ks Hits ERs WHIP
2011 5 5 74.2 5.79 47 84 48 1.50
2012 1 3 16.0 7.88 17 24 14 1.88

With how bad his stats have been as a starter, there is absolutely no reason why the Yankees don’t put him in the bullpen, especially with Andy Pettitte coming back in a few weeks. Why not give David Phelps a shot. He’s proven so far that he can pitch at the big league level and should be given a chance.

What are your thoughts on Phil Hughes? Should the Yankees keep giving him the ball every 5th day, or should they give someone else (like David Phelps) a shot? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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