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Phil Hughes Admits To "Dead Arm"

Get your velocity back, Phil.
Get your velocity back, Phil.

The Yankees formally admitted concern on Thursday when they placed Phil Hughes on the 15-Day DL with a "dead arm." The only thing we can hope is that this is just a minor speed bump on the path to a very successful season, and hopefully, career. 

With Hughes touching 91 and 92 mph on the gun in the first inning of his start on Thursday, I felt some optimism. That optimism faded as his start continued, and after reading this quote from Phil, I'm not feeling too confident about this situation -

You saw it Thursday with the drop-off, 91, 92 mph in the first inning and then it just fell off in the third inning. My arm feels dead. There's nothing coming out.

There is no time-table for a "dead arm." He'll start his long-toss program tomorrow, long-toss again on Monday, and then rest on Tuesday. Hopefully, the arm strengthening exercises will help him discover the velocity he has been missing to start the season. 

I have another issue with this, though.

Hey, Phil, I have a question. Your arm must have felt dead in Spring Training, too, right? I can't imagine a scenario where you flew up to New York and all of a sudden you can barely touch 90 mph on the radar gun. If you knew that your arm "felt dead," and that there was "nothing coming out," you should have said something.

How many times have you heard about pitchers overcompensating because of a problem, whether it was their foot, leg, shoulder, or elbow? That overcompensation almost always leads to injury. Your arm is worth too much to this organization, especially in a year where pitching is at a premium in the Bronx. This team will need you in October, and a few starts in early April are not worth the risk of serious injury.

Hughes also commented on how frustrating this has been for him. I can only imagine, as the fans and Yankee hierarchy had high hopes for him this season. I'm sure he had high hopes for himself as well -

I want to go out there and compete, but when you're trying to do that with sub-par stuff it's frustrating. It's difficult to go through. I didn't really anticipate this happening. 

All I can do as a fan is to hope for you to get better, Phil. I understand that you are an essential piece of the rotation, and nothing would make me happier than to see you pitch the way you did in the first half of 2010. 

But please, do not risk injury. This team needs you.