Phil Hughes: The New York Yankees MVP…

One of the things on my “to do” list when I woke up this morning was go to the grocery store. I needed your basic stuff like bread, cereal, and pasta sauce. As I was shopping, I thought I should buy some beer. Everyone needs beer in their apartment, right?

As I was looking at the stores many beer selections (oddly enough, The Associated on 22nd and Park in New York has a tremendous beer selection), I saw they had Corona. If I was going to buy some Corona, I was going to need a lime. After all, you can’t have a Corona without a lime.

Then it got me thinking. The Yankees’ bullpen at the beginning of the season was like a Corona without the lime. Sure it was okay, but if they had a lime, then it would go from okay to great. Enter Phil Hughes – the New York Yankees’ lime in their Bullpen Corona.

I know what you are thinking and A. I think about baseball more often than I should and B. I had to dig deep for this analogy.

I got to watch Hughes start a game against the Boston Red Sox in early May. As a starter, I saw a guy with zero confidence on the mound. He threw what seemed like 200 pitches in four innings (94 actually), he nibbled, shook off Jose Molina like 50 times, and gave up a homerun to Mike Lowell I don’t think has landed yet.

I don’t care what kind of stuff you have – if you don’t have confidence in your ability to get batters out, then you have no chance at the major-league level.

Then, Hughes was moved to the bullpen in June and the Yankees’ bullpen and the Yankees in general, went from good to great. Hughes has stabilized the bullpen and has given the Yankees a late inning force they haven’t had since the Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson days.

Hughes has been a force this year

Hughes has been a force this year

As a reliever, Hughes has been almost unhittable. He has a 1.25 ERA, only has given up 20 hits, and has struck out 44 batters in 33.1 innings pitched. Hughes went from having no confidence as a starter, to looking like the next coming of Goose Gossage.

What Hughes’ emergence has done is allowed guys like Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves to move into more suited roles in the bullpen. The Yankees’ bullpen, which was a weakness in April and May is now a force.

While Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter will get MVP votes at the end of the season, the real MVP of the Yankees this year has been Phil Hughes. He has made the bullpen better, which in turn has made the starting rotation better, and has made the Yankees as a team better.

Hughes is not only the line in the Yankees’ Corona, but their MVP as well.

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One Response to “Phil Hughes: The New York Yankees MVP…”

  1. James Says:

    That’s a tough one. Bullpen was their weakness the last few years except with Joba there. It’s tough to say that Hughes can be MVP for the Yankees. Why? He only pitches 1 inning or 2 at the most. If you think that is valuable you must give the MVP to The Closer, day in and day out, he comes in the 9th and close out the game. So essentially, he’s more of a MVP than Hughes. You can’t give Hughes the MVP because that’s what he was expected to do as a setup a guy. He was a starter!

    I would give the MVP to Jeter or Tex. Probably Tex over Jeter because most guys don’t do well their first year as a Yankee. Tex will probably end up career high in Home-runs. Although, A-rod missed a few months and he’s currently only 9 behind Tex.- AMAZING. (30 vs. 21)

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