Spring Training Begins: Phil Hughes Online Journal

The Yankee's #1 pick in 2004, Phil Hughes is primed to become an elite pitching prospect and make his rise to becoming a big league ace of the future. Phil is keeping a journal throughout the 2005 season to keep the readers of PinstripesPlus.com informed on how he is progressing.

Hello, everyone. I'm back again for my fifth journal of the year. I hope everyone out there is doing well. This week went very well and the first day of spring training finally came on Monday, March 7th. Last week was our final chance to tune up before spring training. But, it is definitely really nice to know that we have a such a head start over some of the other guys. I think getting here early was a really great thing for me and just getting as ready as I possibly could was also good. I don't think there is much change between how I threw this week and last week but that's a good thing. Throughout the time I've been here, I've remained pretty consistent so I am quite happy with that. My arm is still feeling really good and strong and I am just happy that we have taken another step towards the regular reason.

One thing about the official start of spring training, that's when we start getting into the longer days. We work out every day from 9:30 to 2 o'clock. I usually have to wake up around 7:30 and we begin our stretches at around 9:30. The days are definitely longer now but it is just another sign that the regular season is on the way. Also, instead of just five days a week, we now are practicing seven days a week. I just really like the way I am throwing at this point in time. I just want to keep it up and keep it all the way through the season.

Some good news is that Jesse Hoover is back up and tossing. He is scheduled to throw on the side during Friday's practice. For those of you who don't know, he had a little bout with shoulder tendonitis but it was nothing serious so don't worry. Also, it was pretty cool because last week we got our spring training jerseys. That also allowed us to find out what spring training squads we would be playing for. As for me, I'll be on the Charleston squad. So, that was fun to know that a little bit ahead of time. Now, instead of just casual practice, we are in uniform with our jerseys and everything now. I was hoping to get #45 but I ended up with #55, which is fine. Also with me on the Charleston team, there is Christian Garcia. I'm not sure when our first game is yet but I definitely can't wait for that. I also had my meeting with the Charleston pitching coach the other day, Steve Renko. We had a good talk and he just basically went over what our objectives would be for the 2005 season. As far as off the field stuff, my agent was in town the other day. So, we got to hang out for a little bit and that was fun.

Well, we have some more really good questions this week. I'll go over the first three that we received via email. One reader asks me whether it seems a little strange playing on the other side of the rivalry considering I grew up a Red Sox fan. My answer is that even though I grew up a Boston fan, I think I'd choose to play for the Yankees if I had the choice. The next question asks whether is worries me that the Yankee rotation may be very hard to break into when I'm ready. I don't really think that worries me. I just know that if I work hard and perform, I will force them to make a spot for me when the time comes. Ok, one more question here. Here is another Red Sox question. It asks me if I would choose the Yankees or Red Sox if i was a free agent with the same money on the table. That's easy. I would remain a New York Yankee.

Well, that's it for this week. I can't say it enough, I am so thrilled that I have so many great fans behind me and I plan to put together an outstanding season for you in 2005. Thanks again for the questions and please keep them coming. I am more than happy to answer them. Contact the site at PinstripesPlus@aol.com and the questions will be answered in an upcoming journal. Thanks again to all my fans!

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