Via Andrew Marchand at ESPNNY:
"Phil Hughes didn't show up to spring training grossly overweight last February, but he'd packed on enough pounds to end up in what the New York Yankees call "fat camp." It is for players who need to up their conditioning a bit to ready themselves for the season.
With 2012 spring training now less than 100 days away, Hughes is reverting to the workout program that preceded his All-Star 2010 season, which makes Yankees GM Brian Cashman think an uptick in Hughes' performance will follow.
"I think in 2012, you are going to see that again. He is determined. He is going to Athletes' Performance out there in California, which is something he did two years ago to be in optimal shape."
Ohhhhhhh. So THAT's why Phil Hughes was a piece of crap in 2011. He was an out of shape fat fatty fat fat magoo because he didn't go to the training facility that he did before the 2010 season. Maybe this would have been some good information to know back in the spring when everybody was wringing their hands and shaking their heads about where Hughes' velocity and command had gone and he was getting MRI'd and tested up the wazoo to find out what was wrong with him.
Obviously we can't establish complete causality between Hughes being out of shape and his poor 2011 performance, but that would certainly make sense, especially when combined with the major innings increase he took in in 2010. More work on the shoulder than he's ever experienced + coming into 2011 camp out of shape could very well = crappy Phil Hughes. It's a bit of surprise that the Yankees didn't mention this stuff earlier in the year. Did they not want to shame Hughes publicly for being overweight and out of shape? Did they honestly think that it had nothing to do with his performance? Did he not even disclose to them that he hadn't attended Athletes' Performance before this past season?
Whatever the reasons are, shame on Hughes for taking his offseason workouts so lightly and coming into 2011 out of shape. As Marchand mentions in his story, Hughes was expected to step up and take the reins as the #2 starter behind CC this past year and instead he wound up getting kicked to the back of the rotation and then the bullpen again come playoff time. If Hughes would have taken things more seriously and been in better shape perhaps he could have turned in a better performance in 2011, perhaps he could have convinced the front office and Joe that he is capable of being a #2 starter, and perhaps the Yankees' offseason plans would be different right now.
But enough on the past. What matters now is that Hughes is reportedly going back to that training facility to get in better shape for 2012. And a Hughes in better shape makes it more likely that will see a better Hughes on the mound in 2012. Let's do it to it, Lars. Fucking PerkiSystem, baby!!
P.S.- I can just picture this Yankee Spring Training fat camp. All of the out shape guys doing wind sprints and weigh-ins with Mike Harkey there going "Attention, players. Lunch has been canceled today due to lack of hustle. Deal with it."
NYY News: Who is going to blink first?
3 hours ago