July 24, 2009

Feinsand: Hughes should close

Phil Hughes recorded his first career save last night after tossing two perfect innings in relief with a three-run lead. Apparently, that is enough for NY Daily News beat reporter Mark Feinsand to believe Hughes will be Mariano Rivera’s successor.

No, it was not a knee-jerk reaction, as he had already stated that he thinks Hughes should be the next closer in the Bronx after Mo. However, this was the first time I’ve heard the idea come from one of the Yankees’ beats.

As my readers know, I’m firmly in support of Hughes as a starter. Sorry, Michael Kay, the “Philthies” will be breaking up after this season, hopefully. As much as Feinsand’s opinion ticks me off, I’m still only worried with Brian Cashman’s opinion. From what has been said, this is only a temporary time in the bullpen for Hughes.

Hughes is riding a 22-scoreless inning streak, and has allowed only two runs as a reliever. I am sure these numbers will be compared to Joba Chamberlain’s 2007 stint in the bullpen.

For me, there is no question that a dominant starter is more valuable to a team than a dominant closer. And I think Hughes still has a chance to become an ace, as he was wrongfully pulled from the rotation for the oft-injured Chien-Ming Wang.

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