Here is my main point regarding Phil Hughes: He was called up because they needed him, not because he was ready.
He had three starts at AAA. One fair, one poor and one great. Does that make him ready? Hughes is 20, not 22 or 23. He has dominated lower levels of baseball and needs to learn how to hold runners and get ahead in counts along with establishing faith in his off-speed and breaking pitches. That’s why they have the minor leagues.
Do you know how times he has faced a hitter with the bases loaded in the last two years? Twice.
Did everybody forget he pitched poorly in spring training against big-league hitters?
I don’t buy the notion that he should learn on the job in the majors. That leads to overthrowing and an increased possibility of injury. It’s almost impossible to protect a young pitcher in the majors, especially in New York. Once they get to the Bronx, it about winning.
I blame Brian Cashman for this. He had way too much faith in Carl Pavano’s ability to stay healthy and for whatever reason invested a lot of money in Kei Igawa. Now they’re paying the price. If Hughes gets hurt in two weeks, somebody has to answer for that.
But what’s done is done. He’s here and I suspect he faces Texas next week. They have nobody else.