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Hughes' changeup getting better and better

Not an overly impressive outing tonight by Phil Hughes, who was on a 75-pitch limit and ended up throwing 71. Hughes allowed one run and two hits in three plus innings, walking four with five strikeouts and two wild pitches.

“Too many pitches, I was deep in a lot of counts but I didn’t really feel like I was wild, I was just kind of just missing," Hughes said. "Overall I felt good.”

Hughes said he spent part of his night, as was the case in his other outings this spring, working on his changeup.

"By working on it I mean throwing it like real game situations," Hughes said. "I’m not throwing it in ridiculous counts where I never would in a game situation. I’m throwing it when I feel like the count calls for it. And that’s the same with all my pitches. Right now’s the time where you want to get your sequences down and attack hitters like you would during the year."

He said he feels as confident in his changeup as any of his other pitches, a major step forward from the start of spring training.

"I feel like I can throw it at least down in the zone, maybe not a strike every time but at least consistent around the strike zone with it," he said. "I’ve already seen the benefits my last couple spring outings where my changeup has really become a good pitch for me and something I can use.

Hughes, awarded the fifth starter's job yesterday, said it didn't feel any different taking the mound knowing he wasn't competing anymore.

"No different," he said. "Just went out there trying to do the best job I could. Had the opportunity to work on my changeup and throw that in appropriate counts...The circumstances don’t really affect me at all."

It has not been determined when Hughes' first regular season start will come but he will next take the mound five days from now, next Wednesday against the Twins.

*** The Yankees travel to Lakeland Saturday to play the Tigers. As of now, the pitchers scheduled to go: A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, Chan Ho Park and Dave Robertson. Plenty of big-name position players won't be going, including Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira.

 

New York Sports