I was a little surprised last night at the reaction to the Yankees not putting a radar gun on Phil Hughes during yesterday’s sim game. Truth is, a radar gun reading would have meant almost nothing. Hughes isn’t built up beyond 22 pitches, he spent most of the past month resting, and he’s essentially back in the early phases of spring training.
The Yankees don’t put a radar gun on their starters during bullpens and BP sessions in spring training. Not sure why they’d use one in this situation.
Obviously there’s interest in Hughes’ velocity because it was at the root of his early season struggles, but this is one of those have-to-be-patient moments. Yesterday’s velocity wouldn’t have meant much, if it meant anything at all. There are too many steps to go. It might have satisfied some curiosity, but that doesn’t mean it would have been legitimately useful for Hughes and the Yankees.
Phil Hughes: “I’ll be curious when I get in a real game, when all the adrenalin’s there and there’s not a batting cage up and stuff like that. Then I’ll be curious. I think right now it’s more about the process and not necessarily the finish line. I’m not a week away from it or anything like that.”
Larry Rothschild: “I don’t want him pitching to the gun. I think he needs to throw the ball the way he’s capable of each day. I don’t want him pitching to the gun, especially this early coming back, trying to do too much and tweaking something else. We don’t need that.”
Joe Girardi: “I think it’s probably a little bit early for that, because it’s almost like the beginning stages of spring training for him. As we get a little bit further down the process, we’ll want to know.”