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Thread: Phil Hughes on his decision to sign with the Twins

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Phil Hughes on his decision to sign with the Twins

    The Minnesota Twins will formally introduce Phil Hughes as their newest members at 4 PM on Thursday but NY Daily's Mark Feinsand spoke to Hughes regarding his decision to sign with the Twins. Here are some of the highlights:

    Did Hughes have other offers?

    According to a major-league source, the Mariners made Hughes a two-year offer with a club option for a third year, but Seattle refused to guarantee the third year. The Angels, who play roughly 10 minutes from Hughesí family home, also came after him with what the source described as ďa nice one-year deal.Ē
    Why opt for a three-year deal instead of a one-year value-builder?

    ďIíve played my whole career on a year-to-year basis, so to finally have a little bit of security was really appealing,Ē Hughes said. ďObviously I would have done (a one-year deal) if that was all that was out there, but there was interest from teams about bringing me in long-term. That was something I really wanted, so I decided to go in that direction.Ē

    What went wrong in New York?

    ďI donít know if it was the pressure of the contract or just the pressure of New York,Ē Hughes said, still seemingly searching for answers. ďIíve dealt with that before, but sometimes if you start off poor, it can have a tendency to snowball on you Ė especially in that market. Struggling mechanically, it just seemed like I couldnít get on that track and get myself going again. It was a perfect storm of bad things going on that I couldnít get myself out of."

    How does he feel about moving to Target Field, a pitcher's park?

    ďIím not really sure what kind of impact it will have,Ē Hughes said of his move. ďI know Iíve pitched well in the Central division in the past. Iíve had a few good starts at Target Field; itís obviously a bigger stadium than Yankee Stadium, which canít hurt.

    ďBut Iím not just counting on the stadium helping me out. Iím 27; I feel I can still improve and get better. Thatís more of my focus than just pitching in a bigger ballpark and getting lucky.Ē

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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Is there a live feed for the press conference?

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Yes, it will be on FSN at 4 PM central.

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    Also on the Official Twins page per the @Twins twitter account

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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    I misread my Pacific coast clock and thought it was already underway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    ďI know Iíve pitched well in the Central division in the past. Iíve had a few good starts at Target Field; itís obviously a bigger stadium than Yankee Stadium, which canít hurt.
    This comment about pitching well against the Central got me looking at hist stats, and I was pleasantly surprised. Hughes is widely known to have a 4.54 ERA overall, 4.90 ERA at Yankee Stadia, and 4.10 on the road.

    By my quick (hopefully accurate) figuring, Hughes has a 3.84 ERA against his new AL Central competition (Chi Cle Det & KC). That's a very small sample size, but it's promising (and some of those came in Yankee Stadia so even that could be exaggerated).

    More promising to me is that 44% of his innings have been against AL East teams, and he has a 5.10 ERA against them. Eliminate those, and he has a 4.10 ERA against everyone else.

    If you give him a little benefit for getting out of Yankee Stadia, a little more benefit for pitching in Target Field, a little more benefit for getting many fewer starts against AL East teams, a little more benefit for getting many more starts against AL Central teams, then things start to get interesting. Not all of those effecs may be legitimate, but it's easy to piece together an argument for him sneaking in a sub 4 ERA performance. It certainly is a move that has a lot of nice signs.

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    A bunch of road games at Fenway probably don't help a pitcher's stats much, either...

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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    The short clip I saw so far doesn't look like a man who feels confident - sighing and groping for words. I think the coaching staff has some work cut out for them starting in February.

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    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    The short clip I saw so far doesn't look like a man who feels confident - sighing and groping for words. I think the coaching staff has some work cut out for them starting in February.
    Have you watched him over the years? I haven't so I don't know his usual demeanor. Seemed diffident during the press conference as opposed to the smiling, confident Nolasco but for all I know, that may be typical for him.

    P.S. Let's hope that his taking Scott Ullger's number is good for both of them. Of course, if Ullger wanted to retire, that would be okay, too.
    Last edited by JB_Iowa; 12-05-2013 at 04:18 PM.

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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    Have you watched him over the years? I haven't so I don't know his usual demeanor.
    Fair enough; I debated even throwing that out there, it's not really more than a first impression, and I can't pretend I know what goes on between his ears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    The short clip I saw so far doesn't look like a man who feels confident - sighing and groping for words. I think the coaching staff has some work cut out for them starting in February.
    "shellshock" comes to mind

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    Senior Member Triple-A Paul Pleiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig in MN View Post
    If you give him a little benefit for getting out of Yankee Stadia, a little more benefit for pitching in Target Field, a little more benefit for getting many fewer starts against AL East teams, a little more benefit for getting many more starts against AL Central teams, then things start to get interesting. Not all of those effecs may be legitimate, but it's easy to piece together an argument for him sneaking in a sub 4 ERA performance. It certainly is a move that has a lot of nice signs.
    If Puxantony Phil can get his ERA anywhere near 4, even his away from Yankee stadium 4.10 would be a vast improvement for him and the Twins. The more I look at this signing, the more I like it. "Hughes your Daddy" might not be a front end starter, but I like his chances of putting up much better numbers in 2014.

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    Senior Member Triple-A InfraRen's Avatar
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    I think this could prove to be a value signing. Lots of positives about him. Seems like a smart dude with a strong work ethic. Wonder if it's something about NYY with these 1st round pitchers. Joba didn't pan out. Hughes hasn't. Ian Kennedy figured it out AFTER he left NYY. Let's hope!
    Till I Collapse

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    You'd think this press conference would be about as unnerving as your average clubhouse media pile in New York. Strange.

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    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    He could have simply developed an aversion to talking to the press from his years in New York. Once something like that becomes a bit ingrained, it takes awhile to overcome. Even if he objectively knows the Minnesota press is a different animal, it might be awhile before he is relaxed talking to reporters.

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    Senior Member Triple-A B Richard's Avatar
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    It's always fun to speculate, but I'll reserve judgment for when he takes the field after pitcher and catchers report
    Bring a song and a smile for the banjo,
    Better get while the gettin's good
    Catch a ride to the end of the highway
    Where the neons turn to wood

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    If you have a change, take a listen back to his talk with Mackey and Reusse at 1500. Much more natural.

    Heck. He might had to go to the bathroom during the press conference.

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    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    If you have a change, take a listen back to his talk with Mackey and Reusse at 1500. Much more natural.

    Heck. He might had to go to the bathroom during the press conference.
    He could have simply been distracted and/or mezmerized by the Sid's circa 1975 tape recorder.

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    Gets even better, here is this tweet from Mike Berardino.

    No wonder Hughes looked kinda stressed in that presser... Plus this speaks volumes for the First Scout.

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    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I thought he sounded more confident in his one-on-one interview on FSN than in the presser itself (but the questions were pretty much re-runs).

    And yes, its a shocker that TR never met/talked to him before today.

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