February 22, 2010

Hughes smart to work on changeup

Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger reported this morning Phil Hughes is working on his changeup. A good changeup can be one of the nastiest pitches if used correctly. Just ask Johan Santana.

“That’s going to be a big focal point for me this spring, even if it has to take its licks,” Hughes said, as he relaxed in front of his locker the other day. “I’ll throw my changeup as much as I have to, to get it to the point where it’s usable.”

Note: A changeup is a pitch most starters have, while it is not really necessary as a reliever. In other words, Hughes’ intentions are to win the starting job. Don’t believe me?

“I think it’s important that you have more than two pitches when you are trying to go through a lineup the second, third or fourth time,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s when it becomes really important.”

Now you do.

Another important note: Keep this in mind when comparing Hughes’ and Joba Chamberlain’s springs. As Hughes said, there’s a good chance his changeup is going to get beat up a bit because he’ll be overusing it in order to get better at throwing it. This all ties back to my initial point of not choosing the fifth starter based on spring performance.

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