Bless their hearts, but the NY Post just has to take the low road, the caustic approach with the teams they cover. Rather than focus on what is the real story within this Joel Sherman article, they bury it behind the title and thrust of "YANKS' DECISION LOOKING BAD".
Sure, after Year 1, the decision to keep Hughes and others rather than deal them all AND pay $140 million-ish for Johan doesn't look good. Who would disagree with that? But there is some harrowing scouts-take buried in here worth reading:
But scouts who have watched him in the AFL say Hughes' delivery, command and array of stuff have not been impressive.OK, that's some good insight that we can't see. But to focus on the deal not done is just plain lazy.
He started the Rising Stars game and permitted four runs (one earned) in three innings, allowing two homers and walking two. One scout who has seen multiple starts in the AFL by Hughes offered this report from the Rising Stars game:
"His velocity was fine. He threw some at 93-94 (mph), but mostly he was in the low 90s, but the problem was that they were straight. He gave up two bombs and even the outs were mostly hard hit. He couldn't command his fastball to the corners at all. Only about half his curves were good and only about one in four were in the strike zone. He is working to add that changeup (to use against lefties), threw three and all were up and out of the zone.
"I think the problem is that his elbow is too low so he is not commanding because he is not throwing downhill. His command stinks because his motion stinks. For example, his curve has good rotation and break, but I think because of that delivery it breaks early and so hitters pick it up."
What we also have to consider is the fact that we still have Hughes, et al, and we now have the financial flexability to go after a younger CC Sabathia. Perhaps I am simply being foolish, but I'd rather have a younger horse like Sabathia than a slightly-older greyhound like Johan. We may wind up with neither and that's the risk.
But they have to stop harping on the Johan non-trade. That ship is LOOOOOONG gone.
UPDATE (10/27/08, 12:50pm): Pete Abraham from the LoHud blog has a bit on the Shermanisms above:
But this is definitely true: Of the 120 pitchers in the Arizona Fall League, 108 of them are older than Hughes. That stat courtesy of Brian Cashman, who shuffled papers in his desk until he found it this morning.
Hughes is 22. Give the guy a chance to pitch before you decide whether he can or not.