A cold night awaits the Blue Jays this evening as they roll into to Minnesota to take on the Twins at 8:10 EST. First-year Twins pitcher Phil Hughes takes on Brandon Morrow in what is expected to be a frigid evening at Target Field. Hughes, a former Yankee, inked a three-year $24 million contract this offseason with Minnesota which seems like a fair deal for both parties. So far this season Hughes has been consistently inconsistent in his first two starts, pitching 10 innings and allowing eight earned runs. As a fly ball pitcher, his success essentially rests in how many balls soar into the Target Field seats and how many fly into his outfielders' mitts.
This is how the Twins are setting up these days, with Joe Mauer now permanently at first base:
Just so you're aware, this isn't the same old New York Yankees Phil Hughes folks:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Phil Hughes says he's scrapping his slider this year. Will use a cutter and curveball instead.</p>— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) <a href="https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger/statuses/439079628448468992">February 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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That's right, his horrid slider that he threw the most behind his fastball in 2013 has been scrapped and his repertoire is now completely different. Like the tweet says, Hughes has become a predominantly fastball, cutter pitcher only bringing down the velocity when throwing his curveball. This is good news for Jose Bautista and his fellow Blue Jays power hitters who can focus on the fastball and be aggressive with Hughes' more predictable pitch selection:
This middle infield situation is going to be a rough ride until Jose Reyes returns.
- Melky Cabrera LF
- Colby Rasmus CF
- Jose Bautista RF
- Edwin Encarnacion 1B
- Adam Lind DH
- Dioner Navarro C
- Brett Lawrie 3B
- Jonathan Diaz SS
- Ryan Goins 2B