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Progress report on Phillip Hughes

Mark Feinsand


How has Hughes been doing in the Minors? When do you think, if ever, he will get a chance to pitch for the Yankees, considering their rotation can be shaky at times?
-- Ben H., Livingston, N.J.

Hughes had great success early this season at Class A Tampa, going 2-3 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts. He allowed just 19 hits and two walks in 30 innings, striking out 30 batters.

Those numbers earned him a promotion to Double-A Trenton, where he has a matching 2-3 record but a bloated 4.46 ERA in seven starts. His strikeout rate is similar, with 35 Ks in 40 1/3 innings, but he has walked 13 batters and given up 41 hits.

I don't think Hughes is ready to make the jump to the Majors just yet. I'd say he will have to have a terrific spring in 2007 to earn a spot on the Yankees, and his future will more likely include a year at Columbus, with his Major League career getting under way in 2008.