January 11, 2021

Phil Hughes, we hardly knew ye

Pitcher Phil Hughes, who won a World Series with the New York Yankees and pitched with distinction for the Twins, has stepped away from the game after announcing his retirement this month.

And if you had your doubts about his retirement, just check his twitter feed, including photo that appears to show him shirtless, wearing a Panama hat. It seems the retirement is well underway.

Hughes spent 12 seasons in major league baseball, his first seven with the Yanks, followed by five more with the Twins and 16 games with the San Diego Padres. He won a World Series with the Bombers in 2009, then won 18 games in 2010, although he had a slightly elevated ERA of 4.19.

Statistically, his best season as a pitcher came in 2014 with the Twins. He went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA, the second best mark of his career, and he set a single-season major league record with the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11.63. In simpler terms, he walked only 16 batters in 209-plus innings with 186 strikeouts. If only the Twins had had a few Phil Hughes that season because the team was lousy, losing 92 games.

Still, when they handed the ball to Hughes, the Twins looked pretty good.

Some pitching lines from that season:

-May 21: Twins 2, Padres 0

Hughes scattered seven hits over seven innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.

-June 11: Twins 7, Blue Jays 2

Hughes again scattered seven hits over seven innings with no runs, no walks and nine strikeouts.

-July 8: Twins 2, Mariners 0

Hughes pitched shutout baseball for seven-plus innings, allowing eights hits while striking out eight.

Injuries eventually shortened the 34-year-old’s career. Lest we forget, he also made one All-Star appearance with the Yankees in 2010.

Wanna catch up with the former Twins pitcher? He has an active and funny twitter feed.

Extra innings…

-It’s been a slow offseason for the Twins so far, but they did sign former Angels reliever Hansel Robles to a one-year deal worth $2 million. Robles had a down year in 2020, so the Twins will be trying to recapture his 2019 form. He was 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA and had 23 saves with 75 strikeouts in 72-plus innings pitched.


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.