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Wednesday notes: Hughes slides by with his cutter

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 23, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Phil Hughes had seven strikeouts tonight, and the way he remembers it, all but one came on a modified version of his cutter. Disappointed in the pitch this spring, Hughes tweaked his cutter grip and turned the pitch into more of a slider, something slightly slower and bigger.

“It’s probably technically more slider now,” Hughes said. “But I’ll still call it a cutter because I don’t want to get in the mode of getting around it and lazy with it. If I just tell myself it’s a cutter, I’ll throw it with conviction.”

Hughes threw a slider when he was younger, including his early years in the Yankees minor league system, but he eventually dumped the pitch and picked up the cutter. When the cutter disappointed him again last week, Hughes had Larry Rothschild work with him on finding a new cutter/slider grip. He tried a few slight modifications, found one he liked and used the pitched 25 to 30 times tonight. He threw it more than either his curveball or changeup.

“It’s bigger so I assume it has to lose a little velocity to get that,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something that’s slow enough that they recognize it… I have to give it my fastball arm speed and not get lazy with it. If I do that, I don’t think it will fall in the same mode I was when I was 16 years old throwing my slider, because I didn’t really know what I was doing (back then).”

Here’s Hughes, who began his interview with his usual banter, suggesting we wouldn’t be able to come up with a first question without Kim Jones, who usually starts the postgame interviews.

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Curtis Granderson is the fourth Yankee to hurt his oblique this spring, and the others told him that the day after is usually the worst. For Granderson, that was good news. He woke up feeling pretty good today. He can feel that something’s still not quite right, but the oblique didn’t really hurt him today.

“Normal movements feel fine,” he said.

The test will come when Granderson is cleared to begin baseball activities. Doctors have told him than an internal oblique injury is unusual — it’s usually the external that’s hurt — and Granderson said his injury is most similar to Joba Chamberlain’s. If he’s out a little more than a week, like Chamberlain was, it might make sense to DL him out of camp and add an extra outfielder for a few days. Granderson could stay back and play out the rest of the minor league spring schedule, which runs through April 3.

“(The weather in New York) can add to potential issues considering what we have and trying to keep it warm,” Grandersons aid. “Obviously being here in Tampa is the best place to be right now.”

Here’s Granderson discussing the injury before tonight’s game.

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• No X-rays for Nick Swisher, who fouled a ball off his foot and was taken out of the game. “Hopefully it’s just day-to-day,” Joe Girardi said.

• Facing another right-heavy lineup, Hughes didn’t use his changeup too often tonight, but he said he was happy with the handful he did throw. “The changeup definitely has its place,” Hughes said. “I didn’t change the slider to not have to answer any more questions about the (changeup).”

• When Girardi said pregame that he thought Granderson could be healthy enough for Opening Day, the the Yankees did not yet have the MRI results. Girardi said the MRI didn’t change his opinion. “I still think there’s a possibility he’s going to be there Opening Day for us,” Girardi said.

• If you missed it in the game post, Jorge Vazquez, Greg Golson, Jose Gil, Jordan Parraz, Brandon Laird, Kevin Russo and Melky Mesa were sent to minor league camp today. Russo, Mesa and Laird were optioned previously, but they’ll actually report to minor league camp this time.

• After the game, the Yankees also sent Ryan Pope, Steve Garrison and Eric Wordekemper to minor league camp. Pope and Garrison were previously optioned but had been sticking around big league camp to serve as backups.

• Sending Golson to minor league camp doesn’t rule him out of making the Opening Day roster. In fact, he was sent down because the Yankees consider him a possible replacement if Granderson does end up on the DL. “Goley is a guy that we would definitely consider if Curtis is down,” Girardi said. “We want him to go get some at-bats. He’s been kind of behind and I don’t want him getting one at-bat (per game) here.”

• Freddy Garcia will pitch at the minor league complex tomorrow. He’s the only big leaguer scheduled to pitch. Jesus Montero will catch him. Austin Romine caught A.J. Burnett at the minor league complex today.

• Alex Rodriguez’s 13-game hitting streak ended on Monday. Tonight, his streak of eight straight games with an RBI came to an end. He did go 2-for-4, though.

• Other than Rodriguez, the Yankees had only four hits, but they beat the Blue Jays 5-3. Derek Jeter, Greg Golson, Brandon Laird and Robinson Cano had the other hits.

• Jeter has a modest four-game hitting streak, with a double in two of the four games. He’s struck out once since March 6.

• One scoreless inning from Mariano Rivera, and one scoreless from Boone Logan. Logan once again struck out three. He also picked up his first save. Hughes was thrilled to learn he’d picked up his first spring win.

• Today’s lineup with Jeter in the leadoff spot and Brett Gardner batting ninth could be the Yankees usual setup against left-handed starters. Girardi said he’s seriously considering a different leadoff man for righties and lefties. “It could possibly happen,” he said. “It’s not unusual to have one lineup for left-handers and one for right-handers. Sometimes guys move up in the order or you drop a guy down a little bit.”

Associated Press photos

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175 Responses to “Wednesday notes: Hughes slides by with his cutter”

  1. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Does anyone here have a subscription to Baseball America?

    I am interested in knowing who the #2 prospects were on their top 10 list of Yankees prospects for the years 2003, 2002, and 2001.

    TIA

  2. Jerkface March 23rd, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Hughes is not someone satisfied with failure.

  3. Jerkface March 23rd, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Or not getting the best out of his abilities.

  4. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Betsy–as Phil says in his interview, his curve is a bit loopy so that hitters recognize it more than his new cutter. That pitch, with a 2 and 4 seamer, and change–and Phil can be great without the curve.

  5. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Bojo-

    It’s a “Slutter”.

    (no wisecracks please).

    ;)

  6. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    The thing that is impressive about Hughes is his intelligence. He really reminds me a lot of Tom Seaver. A lot of weapons…and a thinking pitcher. I hope to see some real improvement from him this year in terms of consistency.

  7. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Rothschild could be their best offseason pickup.

  8. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I prefer culider

  9. LGY March 23rd, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Hughes may incorporate a gyroball into his arsenal by the time he retires.

    I still wonder why he ditched the power curve for a loopy one.

  10. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    (no wisecracks please).
    _____________
    You ask the impossible…Have you not been reading my posts before?!

  11. tyanksfan36 March 23rd, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    oh man, I am going to have to try to get out of work early tomorrow so I can get up to the minor league complex, I would love to see Montero catch up close but I bet a lot of people are going to be up there tomorrow. The past couple days theres just been about 15 people watching the games including family of players.

  12. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Bojo-

    Sounds too “atomic” to me.

    ;)

    Rich-

    Is he the Pitching coach version of KLong ?

    Maybe a stretch. If so gotta be happy.

    :)

  13. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    “The thing that is impressive about Hughes is his intelligence.”

    I have always thought that about Jeter.

    ““Goley…”

    Not too annoying.

  14. fiveironfromfenway March 23rd, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Phil’s curve is not always loopy.
    At the beginning of the year last year it was a much harder and tighter pitch that was very effective. Later in the year it became more loopy and hittable.
    It is hard not to fall into the trap of thinking that Phil’s maturation as a pitcher is complete. Adding and adapting to his repertoire will hopefully lead to continued improvements over time.

  15. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    MTU

    That’s a high bar, but normally pitching coaches have far more impact than hitting coaches, so I think it’s possible.

  16. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Now if Phil will just go to the “Splitty”.

    :)

  17. West Coast Yankee Fan March 23rd, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Hughes throws a four-seamer, a curve, a change, his original cutter and the new cut/slider. He doesn’t throw a two-seam fastball and doesn’t need another movement pitch. It would just be duplicitous.

  18. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Rich-

    Absolutely. I was only half serious.

    KLong is fantastic IMO.

  19. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Phil looks a bit pleased with himself, lol and he should be.

    So, he threw a few good changes and curves – and came up with a new cutter/slider (the cider?)… I’d say a good night

  20. LGY March 23rd, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Hughes used to have a true powEr curve. He never threw that last year.

    He was more kind of caught in between last year in the beginning. Not a power and not completely loopy

  21. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Bojo, there’s no reason he can’t tighten up that curve………there’s no reason he can’t have a good curve, unless he just absolutely, completely, totally lost the feel for it for some reason.

  22. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    It doesn’t sound like Phil is still throwing “his original cutter.”

  23. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    As Rothschild continues to improve the pitchers and get good results, he is going to gain more and more influence. I do believe he will have a huge say in Joba’s career. If he likes what he sees with consistent mechanics, Joba is exactly the type of power pitcher he loves to have in a rotation. I agree with Rich that Rothy could be the best pick-up of off-season.

  24. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I don’t think Hughes’ curve has been the same since he pulled the hamstring throwing one in Tex in 2007.

  25. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    All it takes, since I think Phil has an aptitude for pitching, is a committment to one kind of curve. I don’t know what he threw tonight – was it loopy? What kind of curve did he have in the minors that it was rated as plus?

  26. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Betsy–

    True…but I just don’t think it is urgent for him to get it back…not if he has the other pitches working. As he says in the interview, the curve is just another weapon for days that the cutter might not be working.

  27. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Betsy–when he originally came up, he had a hard power curve…but then he learned a new grip from Mussina and changed it. Perhaps it was easier on his arm…who knows?

  28. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Rich, Moose taught him a curve also – maybe it’s just too many cooks spoiling the broth. He likes to tinker, I think, and maybe he’s tinkered TOO much with the curve. He and Rothshchild shouldn’t have much problem figuring out what grip and type of curve works best for him

  29. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    JCPD March 23rd, 2011 at 10:51 pm
    Is mentioning 80 degree weather in Savannah cruel and rude?
    ————————————————————–

    Yeah, that’s pretty cruel GB……… you and MTU, two peas in a pod

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    I didn’t deserve that insult. MTU? Why not WCRSF? It’s the same thing.

  30. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Has Girardi been calling Betances “Betty?” I prefer The Big Bet…

  31. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I don’t care what Phil throws as long as he can get hitters out with it.

    ST is a great time to “experiment”.

    Nova seems to have found a new pitch too.

    :)

  32. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Bojo, I’ll listen to it later, but that’s disappointing that Phil doesn’t think his curve can be a weapon. He seems to have given up on it………too bad. The cutter is a nice pitch, but it’s not the be all and end all.

  33. BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Bedtime–good night night people.

  34. CB March 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    It looked to me like Hughes was staying more on top of the ball and less around it.

    I really liked what he did tonight. The story of this game was that new cutter/slider. It was a very good pitch with very good depth on it.

    Before his cutter was more of a third pitch. Something that works because it keeps the ball off the sweet part of the bat.

    Tonight that was a legitimate second pitch. One that is going to miss more bats. If he can continue to throw it with that kind of bite it’s going to help him turn those 2 strike foul balls into strike outs.

  35. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Clutter? Clider? Slutter?

  36. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    GB-

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    Good thing he didn’t compare you to Randy.

    ;)

  37. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Cider, lol.

    Night, Bojo!

    The best thing that may have happened was Phil’s cutter being bad this spring, lol

  38. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    CB March 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 pm
    It looked to me like Hughes was staying more on top of the ball and less around it.

    I really liked what he did tonight. The story of this game was that new cutter/slider. It was a very good pitch with very good depth on it.

    Before his cutter was more of a third pitch. Something that works because it keeps the ball off the sweet part of the bat.

    Tonight that was a legitimate second pitch. One that is going to miss more bats. If he can continue to throw it with that kind of bite it’s going to help him turn those 2 strike foul balls into strike outs.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Every so often, I’d like to see Hughes drop down on hitters like Bautista, Youkilis and some of the big right handed mashers.

  39. Nick in SF March 23rd, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Pat M, it sounds like you have Jimmer Fever. The only cure is more Jimmer.

    Alabama turned out to be easy, I hope the Cougars can do the same.

  40. West Coast Yankee Fan March 23rd, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    A pitcher can have numerous quality pitches and if he can’t command them he’s not going to succeed. That’s what’s going to make Hughes a better pitcher; throwing his pitches where he wants to. It’s a game of inches in the show and especially in the AL East facing the likes of Longoria and Youk, etc. — you get too much of the plate up and it’s going to get hit. Hughes is most effective when he changes eye levels, changes speeds to keep hitters off balance and work the ball in and out. He knows this, it’s just being able to do it that’s the hard part. That’s why I think the slower cut/slider is an important tweak.

  41. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 11:02 pm
    GB-

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    Good thing he didn’t compare you to Randy.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    MTU only made me mad. Being called Randy is fightin’ words.

  42. MTU March 23rd, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    It’s gonna be fun having a lockdown BP again.

    Lot’s of games are gonna be over after the 6th inning.

    Ponder that.

    See you all tomorrow.

    :)

  43. Against All Odds March 23rd, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    # BoJo March 23rd, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    As Rothschild continues to improve the pitchers and get good results, he is going to gain more and more influence. I do believe he will have a huge say in Joba’s career. If he likes what he sees with consistent mechanics, Joba is exactly the type of power pitcher he loves to have in a rotation. I agree with Rich that Rothy could be the best pick-up of off-season.

    ————————————

    I hope he does have a say in Joba’s career.

    I don’t want to get too far ahead with Rothschild but if his methods work is it something that the whole organization should adopt or is Nardi’s philosophy here to stay?

  44. CB March 23rd, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    GB7-

    He should do something to get RH hitters off the plate.

  45. JCPD March 23rd, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    OK GB, I’ll do my best to try not to insult you anymore. :-) By the way, thanks for all your minor league reports. I’m outta here.

  46. LGY March 23rd, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Hughes has a nasty slut.

  47. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    CB, the big RH hitters really have nothing to fear because his control is so good they don’t worry about getting hit. Would love to see a Jeff Nelson type pitch on 2 strikes.

  48. Pat M. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    CB…….I was just looking at video of Hughes tonight and he is definatley staying on top of the ball…….A new wrinkle for 2011….Nick in SF…..Who is going to guard Jimmer tomorrow ???? It really doesn’t matter as I think he hit for 38 vs them last time……Arizona is my play, I just want more points if I can get them

  49. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Have a good night, JC.

  50. Dionysius Thelxinoe March 23rd, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    “duplicitous” – characterized by deceit.

    Next time try “redundant”

  51. Pat M. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Hughes got hurt last year at The Stadium with righthanded hitters going away and punching flys over the boards ……

  52. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Or duplicative.

  53. tyanksfan36 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    # trisha – true pinstriped blue March 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    “Bryce Harper ”

    Man alive, if I were in a keeper league, I’d have him already. I drafted Stephen Strasburg last year, pretty cool because he ended up coming up – for about six games. But it was nice while it lasted.

    :(

    ____

    My friends husband picks on my all the time about Harper, he refers to him as “your boy Bryce” apparently he struck him out before he twisted his ankle and was pretty happy about that.

  54. GreenBeret7 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I always remember Nelson dropping down even lower on Frank Thomas. Not sure if Big Frank ever did get a hit off of Nelson.

  55. CB March 23rd, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Pat M-

    It’s wasn’t just with that cutter. It was also with his curve. He stayed on top of the pitch and got very good depth on the ball.

    When he gets around the ball the curve got more loose.

    I’m encouraged by that new cutter.

  56. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I get that Phil is a FB pitcher, but he gave up HRs to some really bad hitters, leading me to think that many of them were just bad pitches…….meaning, if he executes better, he might be ok

  57. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    CB, what do you mean that Phil “got around” on the ball? Thanks!

  58. David March 23rd, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    When I took up martial arts, my handshake grip went from soft to vicelike, without any concious change, my hands got much stronger.

    I wonder if pitchers, especially young ones as they complete their growth, have to adjust?- i.e. if a young pitcher’s fingers grow even a milimeter or two during the early twenties, could that effect the grip enough to alter the spin enough to, for example, turn a hard curve into a loopy one or vice versa?

  59. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Betsy

    I think we discussed this. Most of those HR were v. LHH (17 v. 8), the BJs hit 7 of those 25 HR.

    So I think that’s both fixable and anomalous.

  60. BIG AL March 23rd, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Pat M. -

    Were you looking for me? Duke vs Az tomorrow night perhaps?

  61. Mike_Boston March 23rd, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Goley takes the cake so far…

  62. Nick in SF March 23rd, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    “Arizona is my play, I just want more points if I can get them…”

    You know what they say, bet favorites early, bet dogs late. Who knows if it’s really true.

    But I bet our pals at ESPN will be slurping hyping Duke plenty tonight and tomorrow, so you could get that extra half point or so.

  63. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Rich, yes we did……..but he’s going to face lefties and the Jays again this year, lol

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....ew-weapon/

    It’s just something to get them off my fastball,” said Hughes, who allowed three runs over seven innings in the Yankees’ 5-3 victory. “Sometimes, my curveball gets big and loopy so they see it out of my hand. With that pitch, it’s a fastball out of my hand and they have to commit. If I can throw it when I’m behind in the count, that’s going to be a big pitch for me.”

    After his previous start, Hughes adjusted the grip he uses for his cut fastball. He experimented with it in the bullpen, and then again while warming up before his outing Wednesday, when he threw 25 or 30. The pitch comes in a bit slower but has a sharper break. It has its place, especially against right-handed hitters like Rajai Davis and Jose Bautista who struck out against it in the first inning. Because his old cutter has more side-to-side movement, it still has value as a pitch he can bore inside to left-handed hitters.

    “If I have four or five pitches, and maybe two or three are working,” Hughes said, “that’s better than having two pitches and only one of them working.”
    ***************

    I like the last comment- the more options the better.

  64. LGY March 23rd, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Will be interesting to see if the new cutter will help Hughes with his arm action on the curve.

    It slows him down a bit so it is not as much of a change from his old cutter to curve.

  65. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    “Goley takes the cake so far…”

    When it comes to nicknames, Giradey is becoming a caricature of Torre.

  66. DocTodd March 23rd, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    LMAO…..Goley,Gardy,Noonie,I could just imagine Girardi talking to one his young kids……

  67. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    So he is going to throw both versions of the cutter or whatever is.

  68. Pat M. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Big Al…..We’re waiting for you to make your Duke bet so the line jumps up for Arizona….8 1/2 to maybe 9 or 9 1/2

  69. tyanksfan36 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    # Mike_Boston March 23rd, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Goley takes the cake so far…

    _____

    I am definitely guilty of giving “-ey” nicknames to people, except the people I add that to their names are usually pre-potty training age lol. Whatever floats his boat.

  70. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Goley, lol………….oh brother.

  71. DocTodd March 23rd, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    If Youklis was on the team, no doubt he’d be Yookie….these names are a hoot!

  72. Yank1 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Hitters to homer off Hughes

    Home:

    Matsui
    Ortiz
    Drew
    Branyan
    Cash
    Reyes x 2
    Gutierrez
    Overbay
    Wise
    Lind x 2
    C. Izturis
    Napoli
    Podesednik
    Ankiel
    M Cabrera
    Wells
    Buck
    Joyce

    Road:

    Joyce
    Betimit
    Wells
    Dan Johnson x 2

    He only gave up 1 HR during his notorious 6-start stretch to start the year (Matsui). Didn’t give up a road HR until July 30th.

  73. BIG AL March 23rd, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Pat M. -

    Already done!

    Do you want AZ + 8 1/2?

  74. Nick in SF March 23rd, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    We can only hope that “Goley” is the nadir.

    How much more will he make us suffer?

  75. tyanksfan36 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Yank1

    I remember the first road homerun off Hughes. Matt Joyce. My friend loves Joyce and got a kick out of the fact he got the first road HR off my Yankee.

    That Dan Johnson is a pest too.

  76. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I assume Tex-y is next – or Alex-y?

  77. Jerkface March 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    5 road HRs all year :x

  78. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Phil came back and got Johnson on a change, I think, at YS a few weeks later……

  79. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    :mad:

    :mad:

    I just love that face

  80. Pat M. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Yank 1…..I’ll forever remember the Vernon Wells tomahawk 0-2 blast at SkyDome that just ruined that outing……..Big Al…..I can have 8 1/2 from several brokers, I’m holding out to see the line move upwards in Arizona’s favor and then the moneyline…..

  81. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Jerkface, home is definitely not where Phil’s heart is, lol…….

  82. Mike_Boston March 23rd, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Monty is great because it makes me think of Rodney Dangerfield’s Monty in Easy Money.

    What’s he going to do for Manny B?

  83. BIG AL March 23rd, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Pat M. -

    OK, good luck with that. I’m satisfied with the 8 1/2 pts., I think Duke will win by 10, but no, I’ll not give you 10.

    Duke has never let a big lead slip away, like what happened with Michigan, I don’t see them doing it again.

    AZ got lucky to advance, and unless they get those same calls tomorrow night, they should lose, but, anything can happen.

  84. Rich in NJ March 23rd, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I wonder if Girardi extends his nickname neurosis to writers.

    If so, it it Chadey or Jenney?

    j/k Chad

  85. tyanksfan36 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    benshpigel:

    Huh. Only one player last season homered off Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez: Nick Swisher

  86. Nick in SF March 23rd, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Yes, if it comes down to a team being gifted shaky calls, I would bet on Duke.

    :roll:

  87. BIG AL March 23rd, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Its been a long and lousy day, so I’m getting out of here, later.

  88. CB March 23rd, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    “But I’ll still call it a cutter because I don’t want to get in the mode of getting around it and lazy with it. If I just tell myself it’s a cutter, I’ll throw it with conviction.”

    Betsy,

    Getting around the ball is a bit difficult to explain. It’s what Hughes was referring to above. It’s sort of means that the pitcher gets on the side of the ball and it kind of rolls off his hand that way.

    What it means more formally is that the component horizontal rotation involved with throwing is accentuated relative to the vertical rotation component of throwing.

    With a pitch like a slider you get “around’ the ball to impart horizontal spin on the ball so that it breaks in a side to side fashion as well as in an downwards fashion.

    But what Hughes wants is for his pitch to bite downwards rather than rotate horizontally. He doesn’t want to get around the ball – he wants to stay on top of it.

    That’s what he seems to mean by “conviction.”

  89. Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I guess Lupica would be Loopy………Feinsand would be Marky……..Harper would be Harpy (how appropriate, lol)

    CB, got it – thanks! So his fingers are on top of the ball basically instead of the side? If this works for him, that’s great…………as I think someone said earlier, what’s not to like about a pitch that looks like a slider but doesn’t put strain on the arm like that.

  90. m March 23rd, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Great stuff, Chad! Very interesting turn of events re: the improvised pitch. And the banter about the first question is hilarious. In a sad way…

    Please tell Phil that mama mel likes the new hair cut.

  91. tyanksfan36 March 23rd, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    # Betsy March 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I assume Tex-y is next – or Alex-y?

    ___

    I have a baby Alex where I work, I havent figured out how to add an -ey to his name so I just call him “cokey” which is his last name with a -y attached. His brother is shawn or “shawney” its really an bad and addicting habit.

  92. CB March 23rd, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Not only his fingers.

    It’s his his arm slot and gets transferred down his kinetic chain to his elbow to his hand to the ball.

    It’s keeping the entire sequence of throwing over and on top of the ball.

  93. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Alex-y kind of sounds like Alexei – I love it, a Russian name.

    CB, thanks – I’ll keep an eye on that from now on.

    M, I like it, too – but then I’ve never liked long hair on men, lol

  94. Pat M. March 24th, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Thta whole y / ie attached to a players name is certainly old school stuff…….I had the misfortune of being Patsy, something I still cringe about, but it also meant that the skipper was somewhat fond of you ……Giradi and Tino Francona are bringing it back…

  95. pat March 24th, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Toughen up Hughes-y!

    PhilHughes65 I’m being spoiled with this warm weather. Might go sit in my fridge to get ready for next week.

  96. AZ88 March 24th, 2011 at 12:11 am

    PhilHughes65
    NY rent is outta control

    Guy is having a blast on twitter lol

  97. LGY March 24th, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I wonder if Hughes voted for this guy

    http://www.google.com/imgres?i.....29,r:9,s:0

  98. Pat M. March 24th, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Didn’t Phil just get a million dollar raise ????

  99. m March 24th, 2011 at 12:19 am

    A little more than that, Pat M!

  100. pat March 24th, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Most of the under 30′s lived in NJ not NY last season.

  101. Nick in SF March 24th, 2011 at 12:21 am

    No politics, please. :mad:

  102. Tank March 24th, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Hughes lives in Jersey now, doesn’t he? So does Joba.

    Not exactly Park Ave. rent prices….

  103. Nick in SF March 24th, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Isn’t Johnny Damon’s old place still vacant?

    (will I have HISSSSSS nightmares tonight?)

  104. LGY March 24th, 2011 at 12:28 am

    “No politics, please.”

    —————-

    That rule doesn’t apply to politicians that have mustache sideburns.

    True story.

  105. Pat M. March 24th, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Ouch in Phoenix

  106. UnKnown March 24th, 2011 at 12:31 am

    for some reason Granderson always goes down when he is about to face his former team. Weird coincedence.

  107. pat March 24th, 2011 at 12:32 am

    “Hughes lives in Jersey now, doesn’t he? So does Joba.”

    Yes, but maybe they are moving on up. To the East Side. To a deluxe apt. in the sky…….

  108. Nick in SF March 24th, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Who is that putting on his lipstick in the foreground of the top photo?

  109. Ed H. March 24th, 2011 at 1:08 am

    LGY, Nick is right. Posting guidelines do not involve politics. Please respect other posters and this blog by following the guidelines.

  110. Jerkface March 24th, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Kevin Russo

  111. tyanksfan36 March 24th, 2011 at 1:13 am

    I love that Manny still hasn’t been sent to minor league camp. Well, kinda in that its cool they are letting him stay up with the big leaguers for as long as he has been but I’d like to see him again before the season starts. Clearly I am conflicted.

  112. Nick in SF March 24th, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Suck on that, LGY! 4G doesn’t give you any special rights!

    :evil:

  113. jacksquat March 24th, 2011 at 1:51 am

    It’s a slutter, lol.

    My question is, does he throw it like a cutter, or like a slider?

  114. Jerkface March 24th, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Throws it with a cutter grip

  115. Pat M. March 24th, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Face……Your banter today with Tricia I find entertaining to a degree…..She’s more than a formidable opponent……

  116. Pat M. March 24th, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Good NIGHT & Good Morning to Doreen and her breakfast club….

  117. joeman March 24th, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Safety is like a lock – But you are the key

  118. joeman March 24th, 2011 at 5:52 am

    might get into the 50′s next week with lows in the upper 30′s at night….

  119. Doreen March 24th, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Good night, Pat M and the midnight crew. :)

    Good morning, morning people. :)

    (It’s like the changing of the guard.)

    I almost wish we didn’t have those gorgeous days last week – it makes the return to winterish weather so much harder to take. And it’s not just the cold, it’s the slush, sleet, hail and snow. The ugly, hazardous features of winter. (Snow is not ugly.)

    ****

  120. upstate kate March 24th, 2011 at 6:48 am

    good night and good morning all

    Phil looked good against his old nemesis.

    We didn’t get any snow, at least not yet. Just clear and cold.

    Doreen
    since I neglected my team, Morrow, one of my SP, is on the DL :(

  121. tyanksfan36 March 24th, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Good morning morning people! Another day closer to the start of the season. I won’t be able to watch the game since I have to cancel my mlb.tv subscription next week. Thankfully I have at-bat so I can keep up.

  122. Doreen March 24th, 2011 at 7:14 am

    upstate kate -

    :(

    Can you move him to the DL and pick someone else?

    I keep waiting for Kendrys Morales to be officially placed on the DL so I can make a move.

    I dropped Octavio Dotel and picked up his teammate Jon Rauch because it looked like Dotel would miss time, as would another of their closing candidates. Now it looks like Dotel might start the season out ok. Dotel was a ‘panic pick’ for me (I was freaking out because there was no one left!), so I’m okay with dropping him even if he ends up starting the season. I think he will get hurt again, it’s just a matter of time.

    But I’m starting to see that you have to watch the player reports at least twice a day, especially because there are some players in our league who are very savvy and they will be quick to pick up players. Also, have to start looking into some of those available players and get more information on them – some of the more obscure of them.

    Or else, just relax and not worry about any of it! That’s another way to go!!! :)

  123. upstate kate March 24th, 2011 at 7:32 am

    yeah, I will have to take a look later and see who is available

  124. blake March 24th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Morning everyone.

    Great development last night with Hughes.

    Looking more and more like Garcia will be the 5th starter, with Colon being the long man and Mitre possibly traded/DL’d/DFA’d. We’ll see but that’s how its looking to me.

    Sherman has a column this morning that calls the continual jabs at Arod.by the media unfair.

  125. upstate kate March 24th, 2011 at 7:58 am

    who do you think will be the BUC?
    Flaherty seemed to make a good case for Romine so that Montero could continue to catch FT.

  126. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I hope its Montero but I really don’t know at this point…..I kinda still think they’ll take him.

  127. pat March 24th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Reading through the 2 Player X stories in The Post can’t help but think the union needs to have a rising tide raises all boats talk with players so they stop looking like idiots.

    Player X may not like Boras and how he does business or Alex and the “hype” he gets but both guys have put extra money in EVERY current players pocket so perhaps he should put that cash on a table and walk away from it before he starts talking about someone elses money.

  128. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Pat,

    I agree. The public is free to assume player X is anybody and therefore could be representing all players and how they think. Its not the best presentation.

  129. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Morning, all!

    Blake, I hope that’s how it works out. If Mitre is released, I wish him the best, but I think Colon and Garcia would help us the most

  130. hardwired7 March 24th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I’m just waiting for the day some pitcher is brazen enough to combine a cutter w/a splitter and call it a ‘clitter’.

  131. Doreen March 24th, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Hi Betsy -

    I just watched a video on the Kim Possible mission. I’m going to suggest it to the family. I think it would be fun to do the WS in a different way. Plus, even though we’ll be at EPCOT with my parents, we’ll also be there by ourselves a couple of days later.

  132. Erin March 24th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Looking at the first picture in this post, is somebody putting on lipstick??? lol

  133. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Blake, Sherman is right. I love Aaron, so that was disappointing- very. As to ESPN the mag, that player sounds like someone who is jealous, period. The important thing is that Alex just doesn’t care anymore what people say about him. He’s got his friends and family -and his teammates. As he said last year, I think, that’s all he needs. Who cares about what anyone else thinks?

  134. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Betsy,

    Yea Mitre might be tradeable, I don’t know. The issue with Mitre is that he’s not really good enough to be a good starter option for the Yankees and he generally doesn’t get enough work as a long reliever to keep his sinker working properly.

    It would be difficult to let Colon go after the way he’s thrown the ball this spring ….he may run out of gas by the break but I almost think you have to ride out what he’ll give you and see what happens. Best case would probably be that they are able to deal Mitre to an NL team needing a 5th starter and get something of use in return. We shall see how it unfolds.

  135. Mell March 24th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    “Sherman has a column this morning that calls the continual jabs at Arod.by the media unfair.”

    To be honest, I found what Player X had to say a lot less objectionable than some things players have said about Rodriguez in the past. As probably the only legitimate comp for Pujols in the game, it’s not outlandish to cite Rodriguez when the topic is Pujols contract negotiations. Don’t necessarily agree with everything he said re: inflated numbers and such, but it is true that with the exception of his early days in Seattle, he has played in more favorable hitter’s parks and in better lineups than Pujols. Would generally like Player X put his name on such statements, especcially ones as relatively tepid as this one, but after Buck Showalter proved himself a moron in his recent statements, maybe I can understand his reluctance to parts ways with the Player X monniker.

  136. 108 stitches March 24th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    It’s time to give some props to Larry Rothschild for his hard work throughout ST. Anything read or heard shows he has the full attention of all pitchers. Being innovative in having pitchers throw 8:00 AM bullpen sessions has worked well along with his one-on-one communication with all pitchers and also the catchers. Tony Pena does his usual tough drilling with the catchers but Rothschild sees merit to pitchers and catchers strongly on the same page.

  137. Mell March 24th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    “Yea Mitre might be tradeable, I don’t know”

    He’s definitely pickup-able following his release, but I can’t imagine anyone willing to trade much more than some batting practice balls for him. Teams know the Yankees have a bit of a numbers crunch here.

  138. Yankee Trader March 24th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Good morning all.
    Colon “might” accept an assignment to the minors. He makes 900K if he makes the club. I don’t think he has performance bonuses in his contract like Garcia does. The Yankees don’t even need a 5th starter until they play the 9th game in Boston. Now that is unfair!!

    Does Ayala get released.

  139. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Alex would be within a 5% margin of where he is now no matter where he played and if he had never taken anything PED related IMO. He’s maybe the 2nd most physically talented player in history, perhaps only behind Mantle.

  140. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Doreen, was this on You Tube? I think it sounds like fun, too. I’ll be at WS, Epot several times…….and I’m definitely going to do it. I just put a Disney theme on my computer desktop – it’s a photo of the Walt/Mickey statue (the one where they are holding hands) in front of Cinderella’s Castle. It’s a great photo and it’s making me very antsy for my trip!

    Get this, lol. I received a package from Disney recently that included some maps and a disk about the parks. I put the disk in my computer, but I got an error message………so I took it to work, but the disk wouldn’t fit. I had no clue what was going on, so I asked my IT department to look into it. It turns out that it was a DVD, not a CD-rom, lol. I never, ever use CDs in the computer and I watch DVDs all the time, so I can’t believe I assumed it was a CD!

  141. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Player X was mean-spirited, but he’s probaly a scrub anyway, lol.

    Blake, agreed………..Colon has always been big, though; did he have stamina issues before?

  142. upstate kate March 24th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    anyone have a link, or are you going to make me search for it myself?

  143. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Mell,

    A L screen or a bag of balls would be better than nothing…..I don’t know if anyone would deal for him or not……maybe call up Towers and see if he’d do another deal like with Miranda.

  144. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Anyhow, so far Rothschild has made a major difference. I’m going to check out MLB.com after work to see if they have any videos of Phil since I only saw him pitch part of the 7th inning.

  145. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Happy 137th birthday to Harry Houdini- maybe this year he will make an appearance on Halloween

  146. Doreen March 24th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Betsy -

    http://disneyworld.disney.go.c.....-possible/

    That’s funny about the cd/dvd. :)

  147. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Betsy,

    Watch for the difference in his cutter…..I noticed it the first one he threw, less velocity and more vertical break……it really looks more like a slider as he said and he got a lot of swings and misses with it last night.

  148. Mell March 24th, 2011 at 8:40 am

    “Player X was mean-spirited, but he’s probaly a scrub anyway, lol”

    Nah. Mean spirited is unecessarily assailing a guy’s character. Right or wrong, Player X confined his remarks, at least those I saw in Sherman’s account, to baseball related matters. I’d have a lot bigger problem with “he’s a diva” or “he’s a numbers guys first, winning second” or “he’s a phony” remarks of yesteryear, than I do with this.

  149. Betsy March 24th, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Doreen, I’ll have to click on this later as I need to get to work – thanks!

    Blake, thanks – sounds good! I really liked that he apparently mixed his pitches.

    Have a good day!

  150. MG March 24th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    “Goley is a guy that we would definitely consider if Curtis is down,” Girardi said.
    —————————————-
    Did the Yankees sign Henrik Lundquist as a spare outfielder after Grandy was hurt? :)

    It’s a good thing the Yankees never signed JJ Putz with Girardi managing

  151. mick March 24th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    The Yankees don’t even need a 5th starter until they play the 9th game in Boston. Now that is unfair!!
    ======================
    April 6th vs Minn. is when they need a 5th starter, the 6th game on Wed.
    AJ goes 4/2

  152. Ys Guy March 24th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    morning everybody! this is why phil will just get better and better. there is no ‘good enough’ with him, he makes the yankees rotation but instead of getting fat and happy about it, he keeps honing his craft and working on his pitches.

  153. Nat March 24th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I wouldn’t say mean-spirited, but I would like to see the entire article. Just from Sherman’s account, Player X seems to spend more time talking about why A-Rod don’t deserve his money than why Albert deserves his money. Of course, Sherman may have only pulled the parts that talk about Alex because that was the focus of his article today. So I’ll wait.

    However, Hank Aaron’s comments on Alex in that Q&A with Serby were not only ridiculous, but based on something that Alex never said (that this was his first great winter). He should have been called out for that, but he wasn’t because his criticism was directed at Alex. Sure, Alex has created this feeling that many don’t want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but letting people (even well-regarded Hall of Famers) spout crap without correcting that doesn’t say something about Alex, it says something about the media, fans, etc.

  154. Fran the original March 24th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Good morning.

    New post :arrow:

  155. blake March 24th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    What matters is that Alex is entering his 17th season and still works extremely hard despite making all that money …..

  156. pat March 24th, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Mell

    What player was used as a comp for Alex to get his contracts?

    Sad if we are lowering the bar to “less objectionable” now.

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