At last count, I have received 12 e-mails asking what is wrong with Phil Hughes.
Here’s your answer: nothing.
Where did people get the impression that Hughes had a 96 mph fastball? He usually sits 91-93 and sometimes brushes 94. He a pitcher with good command and excellent secondary pitches, he is not now and never was a guy with an overpowering fastball.
Hughes has been around 90 this season, which is about where he should be at this stage in the season. Keep in mind that he both of his starts came in cold weather.
Focus on whether a pitcher throws strikes, not velocity. Kyle Farnsworth can throw the ball through a brick wall. But it’s straight as a string and tends to get hammered. Hughes has late life on his fastball, which makes it more effective.
Mets pitching coach (and noted Springsteen fan) Rick Peterson has a great expression: Velocity gets you signed, command gets you to the majors.