Former starting pitcher, Phil Hughes, who is perhaps best known as an ex-Yankee, was also long-coveted by the Twins. And he finally joined the Minnesota team as a free agent in 2013, then put together a record-setting season in 2014 on a club that lost 92 games.
Hughes would win 16 games that season with a 3.52 ERA and pitch 200-plus innings for the first time in his career. He also pitched with pinpoint control, allowing only 16 walks — or 0.7 walks per nine innings — while also striking out 186 batters. That resulted in a new MLB record for strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He made 20 quality starts in 2014 and was at his best early and late in the season. After a couple of rough starts in April, which pushed his ERA to 7.20, Hughes settled in and turned things around to stand 8-3 with a 3.40 ERA by June 15. July wasn’t as easy, but he finished strong in August and was 15-9 on Sept. 1.
Despite a stellar 2014, Hughes battled injuries during his time with the Twins and finally was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2018 but later released. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since. One wonders if Hughes’ career might have been extended if he hadn’t spent nine seasons in the minors, waiting for his chance with the New York Yankees. He pitched well enough — 34-8 with a 2.37 ERA over those nine seasons — but no doubt he was competing for a spot on a team loaded with talent. He finally got his chance and won 18 games in 2010.
But Hughes is much more than a former baseball pitcher. He’s also a hockey fan, humorist, cultural observer, baseball card fanatic and proud papa, and all of that is on display on a must-see twitter feed.
A few tweets:
I know there’s people a lot worse off but tonight I’m thinking about all the young MLB’ers looking to knock the door down. Some were having great springs. Now who knows?
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) March 21, 2020
Really guys? I’m 33 pic.twitter.com/kWxm8oCbgS
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) March 18, 2020
I’ve been social distancing for 33 years
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) March 15, 2020
Many people read this the wrong way so let me rephrase: Massive corporations that can afford to pay their hourly workers should continue to do so. Thank you for your time https://t.co/TLd3gQAUzn
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) March 13, 2020
What will we ever do now that reporters can’t stand around watching tv in MLB clubhouses? Kidding. Lots of the best nuggets come from locker room access but probably best to err on the side of caution
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) March 10, 2020
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) March 9, 2020
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) January 29, 2020