On the heels of a truly lousy outing yesterday (yes, it was damp and cool, but no 'scuses here), the excellent scouting minds at saberscouting.com deconstructed Hughes' mechanics, trying to find the source of decreased velocity. Supposedly it's down a few MPH. Is it due to a change in mechanics or is he compensating as a result of his torn hammy last year? Here's some of their analysis, which is pretty darn good:
In ‘06, Hughes throwing right over that front leg. It was firming up beautifully and his rear leg was lifting straight up. I’ve been trying to think of the best way to describe this, but the only thing that keeps coming into my mind is that it looks like his right shoulder is pulling or leading the rest of his body here in ‘08. In ‘06 it was leg drive making his follow through work. Also take note that his head seems to get turned or snapped at the end of his arm action in ‘08. This was not the case in ‘06. His head in ‘06 was still upright and turned toward the plate. In ‘08, his head is being pulled down by his aggressive front shoulder pulling downward. His conclusion speaks to his possibly favoring that front leg, the one which he hurt last year, which is what I alluded to earlier:
The change I did touch on however, I do think could be a direct cause of his lessened velocity since over the past year. Is it because of the hamstring injury? I can’t say for sure either way, but considering much of my focus in this article has been on that front leg in question, it is certainly possible.Let's hope Hughes gains some comfort in that front leg, if indeed it is the issue.