Collin McHugh: You Win Some, You Lose Some

An article by posted on September 4, 2014 0 Comments

collin mchugh

Right-hander Collin McHugh didn’t exactly get his major league career off to a good start when he lost his first eight decisions in two brief stints with the Mets in 2012 and 2013. Despite posting a 2.91 minor league ERA in 2012, and a 2.87 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2013, the Mets had seen enough after just five major league starts and decided to trade him to Colorado that June for utility outfielder Eric Young Jr., who had been placed on waivers by the last place Rockies.

After a brief 3-month stint in Colorado, McHugh was placed on waivers and claimed by the Houston Astros where the Illinois native began to flourish.

With nine major league starts under his belt, the 26-year old McHugh entered the 2014 season with a clean slate and a fresh new outlook.

After 22 starts this season, McHugh has a 2.89 ERA and is now among the top pitchers in the American League. With an ERA that ranks seventh and a 1.09 WHIP that ranks eighth, McHugh is also boasting a strikeout rate of 9.4. His 3.13 FIP suggests that this season is completely legit.

As Mark Simon of ESPN pointed out this morning, McHugh is closing the year out very strong, going 4-0 with a 1.79 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his last seven starts.

Recently ousted manager Bo Porter cited that McHugh’s key to success this season is how efficient he’s become and his aggressiveness on the mound.

“The biggest thing he did was attacking the strike zone. He doesn’t waste a lot of pitches. He went right after those guys and forced them to put the ball in play.”

If not for some pesky, no-name, Cuban guy, whose power wouldn’t translate to the majors, and who was considered a defensive disaster as a first baseman, you could argue that McHugh would be a contender for the American League Rookie of the Year this season.

Unfortunately for McHugh, he’ll have to settle for second or third place behind Jose Abreu for top rookie honors, but this kid has nothing to be ashamed about.

It’s been an incredible breakthrough season for the former Mets pitching prospect, and it certainly looks like the Astros have hit the jackpot with him.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.