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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pregame notes: Concern for Hughes

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Apr 25, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Before Phil Hughes went into the bullpen this afternoon, the Yankees were already discussing a date for the rehab start that would follow. They were confident today’s bullpen was nothing but a final step toward getting him back in a game.

After only a handful of pitches, Hughes knew the rehab start would have to wait.

“It was probably after about 10 or 12 pitches,” Hughes said. “The first few felt all right and then it’s just like, nothing there. It’s sort of the feeling you get after 110 or 115 pitches that I normally should feel that way, but it’s just way too soon.”

Hughes will see Dr. Christopher Ahmad, but he said he’s still convinced he’s healthy, just suffering an extended dead-arm period. Dr. Ahmad is supposed to be at the stadium later today, and he’ll check on the situation. Up to this point, Hughes has had no tests.

“He had a history of starting off kind of slow (with his) velocity,” Joe Girardi said. “You kind of go by guy’s history, and we saw him get to 92 the other day. As a starter last year he was 90 to 94 mostly, 90 to 93. You felt like, ok, it’s coming back, it’s coming back. It’s just not repeating itself. He’s not to where he needs to be, but when something like this happens where there’s a setback, there is concern.”

As Girardi pointed out, the Blue Jays have experienced almost the exact same thing with Brett Cecil, and last week Cecil was optioned to Triple-A to try to build arm strength and rediscover both his fastball and his command.

“Guys have taken steps backward after being extended, more innings that they’re accustomed to doing,” Girardi said. “As I said, there is a level of concern here because everything seemed to be going in the right direction and it kind of halted a little bit today.”

Here’s Hughes. It’s easy to hear his disappointment.

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• Pedro Feliciano was here today, far more encouraged than the last time we saw him. Dr. James Andrews told Feliciano that he believes this is an old issue that, for whatever reason, just started to bother him. “We’re just going to follow the word Dr. Andrews says from experience,” Feliciano said. “Before he got pitchers that got the same injury – capsule injuries – and he just put them in rehab and it works. Why not do that and avoid the surgery and try to pitch again (this year)?”

• Speaking of pitching again, Rafael Soriano played catch today and Girardi said he would have to check with him before knowing whether he was available.

• Girardi also did not rule out using Mariano Rivera. “You’d like to be able to (avoid using him),” Girardi said. “But he might come in and say he feels great. He’s thrown 30 pitches before and thrown the next day. He had done that. It is early. I think the good thing is he had the four days off before this. You try to be smart about it, but you have to listen to the player too.”

• Who would close if neither Rivera nor Soriano were available? “I could go by matchups,” Girardi said. “I could put Joba there. I could put Robertson there. I could do either one.”

• Brian Costello says Francisco Cervelli will catch for Tampa today and catch for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tomorrow.

• Lance Pendleton has a name tag above his locker now. Still no name tag for Buddy Carlyle, though.

WHITE SOX
Juan Pierre LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Carlos Quentin RF
Paul Konerko 1B
Adam Dunn DH
Alex Rios CF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Gordon Beckham 2B
Brent Morel 3B

Associated Press photo of Hughes

 
 

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75 Responses to “Pregame notes: Concern for Hughes”

  1. Nick in SF April 25th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Still has a right arm = stock photo.

  2. Captain Clutch April 25th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    At the trade deadline Cashman will be doing what he does every year…looking for a starting pitcher. It’s amazing how every year it’s the same crap. Colon probably doesn’t have that many innings in him so they will need a replacement for him at some point.

  3. Nick in SF April 25th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Phil: “Where’s the rest of me?” :(

  4. kd April 25th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    i sense a trip to dr. james andrews for young mr. phil hughes

  5. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Well he can raise his hand to his mouth – that’s a good sign.

  6. mick April 25th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    # BIG AL April 25th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Betsy -

    Are you on drugs? When did I ever mention your name? And when did I ever say anything about wanting to get you banned?

    You seem to over-react about every issue on this board, and then fantatize that people are saying or doing things they never have, get a grip.
    ==============================
    AL-
    Betsy might be going through a dead head period.

  7. Captain Clutch April 25th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    It’s amazing how the Yanks have babied Hughes all of these years but when he has a “dead arm” they don’t get him checked out immediately. Hopefully it’s nothing major but they shouldn’t expect him back anytime soon no matter what.

  8. hardwired7 April 25th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    28 hours later, ‘dead arm’ becomes full on Zombie Phil.

  9. stuckey99 April 25th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    “At the trade deadline Cashman will be doing what he does every year…looking for a starting pitcher. It’s amazing how every year it’s the same crap.”

    And today’s utter lack of perspective award goes to…

  10. Jacques Strappe April 25th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I have a rotator cuff problem myself and Hughes pretty much described the tendonitis I feel as a result of it. That aspect of it (as opposed to the crunchy, loose gravel sensation I get in the joint from turning my arm over) happens after a few tosses. It has a really short fuse for fatigue.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean Hughes has a rotator cuff problem (see crunchy, loose gravel sensation above) at least I hope it doesn’t. I hope it’s just a dead arm fatigue type of thing.

  11. BIG AL April 25th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    mick -

    I won’t say anything else on this Phil business, or you know who.

    Its best to talk about other baseball issues since no one can do anything but guees, its best to wait and hear a doctors report.

    Like that old saying, I’m not a doctor, but I play one on LoHud, lol.

  12. RMS April 25th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Re: Hughes.
    If Girardi , who hardly admits anything publicly, is “concerned” I think the Dr. will have some kind of tests done on Phil.

    Mo, who is up there in age, should not pitch tonight. He threw a lot of pitches and it’s only April.

  13. RadioKev April 25th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Dead arm happens to young pitchers after an increased workload the prior year. This has been chronicled for a long time. It’s just Yankees fans aren’t used to seeing it, because we aren’t used to seeing decent young pitchers in NY.

    It’s true.

  14. Tom in N.J. April 25th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    “What did he do in the off season?”

    Phil spent the offseason reading Hemingway’s “Farewell to Arm”

  15. BIG AL April 25th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Later – Got to go.

  16. RadioKev April 25th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    # Tom in N.J. April 25th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    “What did he do in the off season?”

    Phil spent the offseason reading Hemingway’s “Farewell to Arm”
    ———

    +1

  17. stuckey99 April 25th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Since Hughes took some wholly speculative criticism for perhaps hiding an injury all this time, props to him for being forthright about the set-back.

  18. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    For those who think the Yankees should have run off a month ago to get Hughes an MRI.

    Jonathan Cluett, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon in Massachusetts. His subspecialty interests are in the areas of sports medicine and arthroscopy.

    “There are several reasons why your doctor may not have ordered an MRI, hopefully some of these can be explained here.”

    “Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a very useful tool for an orthopedic surgeon. A MRI is helpful at diagnosing many common orthopedic problems. However, an MRI may not always be necessary, and may not be helpful in some situations. Patients are sometimes upset if their doctor does not order an MRI, and may feel as though they are getting inadequate medical care.”

    “An MRI is often not the first step. Treatment of most orthopedic conditions is step-wise. Usually treatment begins with simple steps in an effort to solve the problem with as little disruption to the patient as possible. As treatment progresses, so does the diagnostic investigation. This is the way to solve problems. Ordering every possible test during an initial evaluation may be necessary in some situations, but is not a prudent way to proceed in most cases. Ordering unnecessary tests early in treatment can cause more trouble and confusion, and may even delay the right treatment, rather than proceeding deliberately and logically.”

  19. raymagnetic April 25th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Just give him Wil Smith’s Irobot arm.

  20. hardwired7 April 25th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Encouraging news on Feliciano.

    As the season wears on, he’ll be sorely needed.

  21. Nick in SF April 25th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    This latest setback for Phil makes tonight’s start for AJ HUGE.

    The problem is…. etc.

  22. Jacques Strappe April 25th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    According to Clemens (juuust kidding now so don’t y’all start) Hughes’ problems don’t sound like something a little shot of HGH couldn’t fix lickety-split.

  23. stuckey99 April 25th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for saving me the time Nick.

    Exactly right.

  24. Jacques Strappe April 25th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Hardwired7:
    Regading Feliciano, there’s also reason to worry that as the season wears on, he’ll just be sore.

  25. hardwired7 April 25th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    sore and still throwing breaking balls to Adrian Gonzalez in August or September is better than sitting @home mending from shoulder surgery.

  26. Pauldanand April 25th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Note to Coach:
    Bad idea to use mo today.
    Just saying…

  27. BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I may be the only one but I still think Phil will be ok.

    It may be a few weeks of rest and strengthening exercises but I don’t think he has a significant injury.
    u
    I’ve injured myself countless times including my ‘throwing’ arm (orn rotator from baseball, elbow, torn bicep, etc) and if Phil is truly feeling no pain or even discomfort, I just can’t see how there is anything seriously wrong.

    Hope I’m right.

  28. jacksquat April 25th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I agree, I would not use Mo today.

  29. BoJo April 25th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    You never can have too many arms…unless of course you can’t afford a good tailor to alter all those suits you have.

    This could take a while for both Phil and Feli to come back…luckily we have depth…If this happens to Red Sox with Clay Buttholes or RiceK, they have problems.

  30. BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Jacques,

    What did Phil say?

    I also experienced loss of arm strength after my rotator cuff issues but there was never any doubt that I had torn it – sharp pain.

    I dont know how you could have any tear in that area without feeling it.

  31. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Is it appropriate to be taking about Phil Hughes in Betsy’s absence? I believe that is against Lo Hud Terms of Service if I am not mistaken. :(

  32. YankeesNmore April 25th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    this could actually be good news for the Yankees.

    Hughes is nothing special anyway and maybe, just maybe, this will force Cashman to get off his lazy @$$ and DO something.

  33. stuckey99 April 25th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    let’s not also forget Hughes isn’t suffering from an extreme lack of velocity. This isn’t like his arms is hanging by a string.

  34. jacksquat April 25th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I don’t think you can have a rotator cuff tear that’s more than very minor without feeling it, and that probably would not cause a loss of strength.

    Inflammation/tendonitis yes.

  35. BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 6:03 pm


    Dead arm happens to young pitchers after an increased workload the prior year. This has been chronicled for a long time. It’s just Yankees fans aren’t used to seeing it, because we aren’t used to seeing decent young pitchers in NY.”

    ——-

    More recently, Cole Hamels 2008 to 2009.

    His innings, with 3 rds of playoffs, were way up in 2008.

  36. BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    jack squat,

    Agreed.

    If Phil was being truthful that he felt no pain or discomfort, it just doesn’t seem to add up to an injury. Certainly not any kind of tear.

    But who knows.

  37. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) – From what I understand, rotator cuff injuries could be something as minor as inflammation to the tendons that connect the rotator cuff muscles to the bone — where rest is what is needed — or as serious as a tear where surgery is needed.

  38. YankeesNmore April 25th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    stuckey99 April 25th, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    let’s not also forget Hughes isn’t suffering from an extreme lack of velocity. This isn’t like his arms is hanging by a string.
    ———————————————————————
    Which, considering the results, is pretty damning in and of itself.

  39. BoJo April 25th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    ____________
    Also the Rays staff in 2009. These things happen, and I am lowering my expectations for Phil’s numbers this year based on the history of those other pitchers.

  40. RMS April 25th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    How about losing the Betsy jokes. Try picking on some guys for a change.

  41. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Jonathan Cluett, MD, — board certified orthopedic surgeon.

    “The most common symptom of a rotator cuff problem is pain. Patients usually complain of pain over the top of the shoulder and arm. In some patients, the pain can descend down the outside of the arm all the way to the elbow.”

    “The other common symptom of a rotator cuff tear is weakness of the shoulder. Weakness causes difficulty lifting the arm up overhead or difficulty with activities such as reaching, getting dressed, or carrying objects.”

  42. Crawdaddy April 25th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    WCYF trying to get his online medical license.

  43. MG April 25th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    It’s puzzling that Hughes could be feeling like this but hopefully he’ll recover his arm strength and rejoin the rotation.

    At the same time, I beginning to believe that this modern approach of monitoring both innings and pitches is a bunch of hogwash. The fact is that a significant %age of pitchers have blown out their arms for the past 100 years and continue to do so in spite of all of these new theories.

    Frank Tanana threw over 200 innings for five seasons beginning at age 20-he blew out his arm and, although he was never the same, continued to pitch for another 15 years. Many other pitchers threw 200+ innings at a very young age and never had serious arm problems.

    Now we have pitchers protected in the minors so they never get nearly enough innings before reaching the majors. Maybe what is needed is just that-have your starters throw as many innings as they can in the minors for 2 or 3 years (regardless of age) and then have them in the majors with no pitch counts or innings limitations.

    It won’t happen because of agents trying to protect their investments at all costs-a major league starter (even an average one) can easily earn over $100M in his career, but I truly wonder if the game is enhanced having these artificial limits in place that keep a young pitcher from making his mark on a team at whatever age they can.

  44. BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    WCYF,

    Sure – though I’d still think a pitcher would know how his arm should feel. If Phil truly didn’t feel anything different…

    who knows…. I’m hopeful it’s a matter of strengthening the arm until I hear otherwise.

    I’d be surprised if anyone had a tear in the rotator cuff and couldn’t feel it – especially when pitching and putting tremendous stress on it.

  45. BoJo April 25th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    RMS April 25th, 2011 at 6:06 pm
    How about losing the Betsy jokes. Try picking on some guys for a change.
    _______________
    It makes no sense to me either. Betsy is polite and never mean to anyone except when defending herself.

    If you don’t like her topic or post, scroll past it. There is no need to be cruel to a nice person.

  46. YankeesNmore April 25th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I tend to agree with MG.

    You treat a guy like a baby his entire pro career, don’t be surprised when you end up with a baby.

  47. LGY April 25th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    At the same time, I beginning to believe that this modern approach of monitoring both innings and pitches is a bunch of hogwash. The fact is that a significant %age of pitchers have blown out their arms for the past 100 years and continue to do so in spite of all of these new theories.

    ——-

    No approach could possibly keep every pitcher healthy.

    The idea is to reduce the risk and limit the amount of injuries as much as you can.

  48. Tom in N.J. April 25th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Hughes threw a lot of pitches last year-he led the league it pitches per inning- and he threw over 100 more innings than he did in ’09.

  49. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) April 25th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    WCYF, Sure – though I’d still think a pitcher would know how his arm should feel. If Phil truly didn’t feel anything different…who knows…. I’m hopeful it’s a matter of strengthening the arm until I hear otherwise. I’d be surprised if anyone had a tear in the rotator cuff and couldn’t feel it – especially when pitching and putting tremendous stress on it.

    **********

    Agreed. I have been doing some research and reading. It appears that not all rotator cuff injuries involve a tear, sometimes the tendons are just inflamed. Let’s hope that’s the case if it is connected to the rotator cuff at all which no one knows at this point. No one knows if he is even injured.

  50. mick April 25th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Hughes threw a lot of pitches last year-he led the league it pitches per inning- and he threw over 100 more innings than he did in ’09.
    =======================
    Maybe they didn’t baby him enough.

  51. MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Mike Marshall has some interesting ideas on how to “prevent” injuries to pitchers.

    If you’re interested go to his website. Just google Mike Marshall.

    He has extensive video on his theories.

    You may not agree with him but should at least find them interesting if you take the time to watch.

    :)

  52. LGY April 25th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Considering the Yankees had Hughes jump 90 innings over the previous year and 55 over his previous high which was 4 years ago, it is hard to say with much credibility that he was babied last season.

  53. YankeesNmore April 25th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Tom in N.J. April 25th, 2011 at 6:18 pm
    Hughes threw a lot of pitches last year-he led the league it pitches per inning
    ———————————————————————————————-
    That’s funny.

    I vividly recall many of the “experts” on this board who took great exception with my contention that Hughes had more than his share of 20-pitch innings last year… Now we find out he had more pitches per inning than ANY PITCHER IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE!

  54. 108 stitches April 25th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    This is where depth becomes all important. Cashman’s offseason pickups have worked well and at the same time the young arms develop at lower levels without being rushed.

  55. MG April 25th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    LGY, I just wonder if there is any statistical relevancy between all this monitoring and keeping pitchers healthy or is it just based on what they think.

    Now we have two additional examples (Hughes and Bret Cecil) who were brought up through the gradual build up who have tumbled back down a slippery slope.

    Baseball, like all sports, is a copycat business-LaRussa started the ‘bullpen by the numbers and innings’ crap, other teams started monitoring innings, other teams started relying on the Billy Beane theories of player selection and development-eventually all of them became adapted by the majority of the leagues.

    Now there is one team (the Rangers) who are going back to the old way of having pitchers throw as much and as often as possible, it will be interesting to see how that works and, if it does, how many other teams will switch back.

  56. YankeesNmore April 25th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    LGY April 25th, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    Considering the Yankees had Hughes jump 90 innings over the previous year and 55 over his previous high which was 4 years ago, it is hard to say with much credibility that he was babied last season.
    ————————————————————————————
    Just every year UNTIL last year.

  57. MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Hopefully Freddy and Bartolo can hold the fort.

    And Nova can get back on the beam.

    Should be an interesting TD.

    ;)

  58. mick April 25th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Should be an interesting TD.
    ================
    One would think Jesus has his showcase before then…

  59. LGY April 25th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Now there is one team (the Rangers) who are going back to the old way of having pitchers throw as much and as often as possible, it will be interesting to see how that works and, if it does, how many other teams will switch back.

    ——–

    I personally haven’t seen much or really any evidence of the Rangers backing up their talk with action.

  60. jacksquat April 25th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’m going to guess that it’s tendonitis. No, I am not a doctor. :)

  61. MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “One would think Jesus has his showcase before then…”

    Could be.

  62. blake April 25th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    MTU,

    Marshall is a guest on mlbradio every now and than and he’s always an interesting listen.
    ——

    I really have no way of knowing this but Id bet a lot of pitchers in the old days got hurt and blew out their arms as well…..but without surgeries and modern rehab methods they never got better and therefore never became known.

    That said I really don’t love the new methods of strict pitch counts etc…..basically throwing less. …..im not sure there is any evidence that it’s causing less injuries…..I just think the pitchers these days can have surgery and continue pitching while in the old days they may have lost their career before ever becoming famous.

    The point is that as long as they throw overhand….its going to be an unnatural motion and pitching injuries are going to happen.

    That.

  63. West Coast Yankee Fan April 25th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    jacksquat April 25th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’m going to guess that it’s tendonitis. No, I am not a doctor.

    **************

    I hope you are right. If he is injured at all.

  64. LGY April 25th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    There are countless pitchers in history that blew out their arm the old school way and we just never heard of them.

    Today though with such increased media attention from the time these kids are as young as 17 we hear, follow, and focus on every injury.

  65. austinmac April 25th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I’m no medical expert, although my job requires a lot of medical record reviews. I would be very surprised to hear of a torn rotator cuff or torn labrum without pain. My belief is something of a lesser magnitude.

  66. MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks Blake.

  67. LGY April 25th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Hughes threw 297 innings over three seasons from 2007-2009 when you include the postseason.

    He threw 192 in just 2010.

    I always found it hard to believe that something Hughes did in 2006 had much relevance to the amount of innings he could throw in 2010, and even then the jump was still big. It is why I didn’t want him in the bullpen in 2009.

  68. YankeesNmore April 25th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:24 pm
    Hopefully Freddy and Bartolo can hold the fort.

    And Nova can get back on the beam.
    —————————————————————–
    When was Nova ever ON “the beam”???

    He’s been a 5-and-fly guy from the start

  69. austinmac April 25th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I have to psyche myself up for Burnett starts. He has beautiful innings, and then, out of the blue, innings that are painful to watch. Let’s skip those tonight. I would like a nice easy win. 15-3 again would suit me fine.

  70. MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    My idea of Nova getting back on the beam is to pitch effectively and throw quality strikes.

    That’s what I meant. He hasn’t been doing that.

    If he does that his pitch counts will be reduced and he should be able to go deeper into games.

    That’s my take.

  71. MTU April 25th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Enjoy the game folks.

  72. joeman April 25th, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Nova is what he is…a 4-5 inning guy that throws 80-90 pitches, his role is best suited for long relief..his track record proves that

  73. rb from LI April 25th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Ted Lilly couldn’t get through 5 when he first came up

  74. joeman April 25th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Lily has been pitching in the majors …look at his win total

  75. LGY April 25th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    :arrow:


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