29 Apr 2008
I am not saying it had anything to do with Hughes’ dud tonight, but why did the Yankees choose to put Chris Stewart in at catcher? Stewart joined the team yesterday, apart from the guys who played this year at AAA he doesn’t know the pitchers. Molina has caught the bulk of Hughes’ innings this season and while the results haven’t been good, at least they have a relationship. Stewart gets put into a tough spot and Hughes has to work with his fourth catcher of the season. Add in the fact that Hughes pitched well last time out and Molina caught him then, and I really don’t get the move. (And someone should tell Stewart to pick a different #. # 38 reminds me of Matt Nokes, which is not what you want in a catcher.)
The Yankees now have a big decision to make about Hughes. He has made six starts, pitched 22 innings and given up 22 earned runs. The Yankees can’t afford to keep sending him out there if he isn’t going to be at least competitive in his starts and you would have to be generous to say he has been that in half his starts this season. He is scheduled to pitch against Seattle Sunday and if he doesn’t do well in that start, the Yankees have to strongly consider sending him to AAA.