We weren’t sure when exactly right hander Phil Hughes would return to the mound for the Twins after breaking his knee earlier this month, but now we know: Next year, but not because of his knee. Hughes is actually going to have season-ending surgery on his shoulder next week.
The operation is supposed to alleviate something called thoracic outlet syndrome, and actually involves removing part of one of Hughes’ rib (!). “It’s an injury that I think explains maybe a little bit of his issue,” Terry Ryan told the Pioneer Press.
Hughes’ issue, of course, is that he had been pitching like poop. In 12 appearances (including 11 starts) this season, Hughes posted a 5.95 ERA, which is by far the highest for any season in his career in which he pitched at least 50 innings. Noticeably, too, his velocity dropped around 2 mph between 2014 and 2015-16.
If this procedure can fix Hughes, who just turned 30 years old over the weekend, it’ll be good news for Twins fans, who have to live with him for the next three seasons. Unless, you know, he is traded, or breaks more parts of his body, which is entirely possible.