|Phil Hughes can relax now that Santana headed to Mets|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 31 January 2008 11:10|
With Johan Santana headed to the New York Mets, Hughes will remain with the Yankees.
``That's kind of been my goal the whole time, and to finally know that it's somewhat intact, it's a good feeling,'' the 21-year-old right-hander said Thursday at the Yankees' minor league complex.
``It's good to finally have that reassurance of being somewhat stable for the time being. It kind of dragged out longer than everybody wanted it too, but it's finally nice to be able to concentrate on things we need to do.''
The Yankees had discussed sending Hughes as part of a package to the Twins for Santana, then broke off talks for the two-time Cy Young Award winner in early December. While general manager Brian Cashman was against giving up his top prospects, senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner kept mulling over the idea.
Hughes has been working out at the complex the past six weeks and is throwing off a mound.
``He's been very diligent in his work this offseason, more so than he has in the past,'' Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland said. ``But he's human as well. He hears the rumors. But like I tell him, all he can control is how he prepares and gets himself ready to pitch.''
Hughes made his major league debut on April 26 last year and five days later pitched 6 1-3 hitless innings at Texas before hurting a hamstring. After losing additional time to an ankle injury, Hughes finished with a 5-3 record and a 4.46 ERA. He was 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his final four starts and also threw 3 2-3 scoreless innings of relief for a playoff win over Cleveland.
``He's starting to figure out some things as far as work ethic goes and what it takes to get ready for spring training,'' Eiland said. ``This is his third major league camp. Now he's going in as a member of the pitching staff rather than just a top prospect trying to get a couple looks and being sent out. He's getting himself ready to pitch in a major league season.''
Andrew Brackman, the Yankees first round pick in the 2007 amateur draft, is throwing at 90 feet. The 6-foot-10, 240 pound right-hander from North Carolina State had elbow ligament replacement surgery last Aug. 24.
``It's feeling awesome,'' Brackman said.
Brackman, who will not pitch in games this season, is scheduled to increase his throwing distance in about two weeks.
Notes: SS Derek Jeter, C Jorge Posada, and RHPs Joba Chamberlain and Jeff Karstens are among those taking part in early workouts at the Yankees' complex.