Promising spring debut for Twins starter Phil Hughes

Injuries have plagued Hughes since his awesome season in 2014.

One starting pitcher fighting for a spot in the rotation whom we haven't talked about much is Phil Hughes, who had a nice start to his spring training workload on Monday. 

The 31-year-old right-hander allowed just one hit over two clean innings of work. More importantly, he had some life on his fastball, sitting around 90-91 mph. 

It doesn't sound like much, but he averaged 89.7 mph on his fastball last season and he hasn't consistently touched 90-91 mph since 2014, when he went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA and an MLB-leading strikeout-to-walk ration of 11.53. 

Injuries have plagued Hughes, limiting him to just 77 starts in four years with the Twins, including just 20 combined the last two seasons. 

Twins general manager Thad Levine recently told MLB Network that Hughes has the potential to be a middle of the rotation innings eater for them. 

With Jake Odorizzi, Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson considered locks for the rotation, Hughes is competing for a starting job with Anibal Sanchez and Adalberto Mejia, according to's Rhett Bollinger. 

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