Red Sox Player Profile: Collin McHugh

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The Syndicate's Red Sox Writers and Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later Hosts will be profiling a different Sox player each day to get you ready for the 2020 season.  Today's featured player:

Collin McHugh

Photo courtesy of bostonglobe.com
Collin McHugh signed with the Red Sox last week and will be a welcome addition to the Red Sox pitching staff.  Well, in whatever capacity that might be once he joins the Red Sox.  McHugh is currently rehabbing from a flexor injury, the same injury Chris Sale is dealing with at the beginning of spring training.

During his time with Houston, McHugh was 58-35 with a 3.63 ERA.  He saw time as a starter and a reliever for the Astros.  Since 2014, he is undefeated in September and October, going 17-0. 

Info

  • Position(s): Pitcher 
  • 2020 opening day age: 32
  • Bats / Throws: Right / Right
  • Height 6-foot-2 / weight: 190 pounds
  • Nickname: None / Player Weekend Jersey: Mu Q
  • How acquired: Free Agent
  • Contract status: Signed through 2020, 1 year/$600k
  • 2019 Stats: 4-5 | 4.70 ERA | 35 G | 8 GS | 74.2 IP | 82 SO | 0.4 WAR |

2019 Season:  McHugh, the 32-year old swingman had an injury ending 2019 for the Astros.  He ended last season with a 4.70 ERA and an 82/30 K/BB ratio in 74.2 innings spread out between eight starts and 27 relief appearances.  Once the Astros moved him to the bullpen, he flourished in his role prior to landing on the IL. 

Gear up for the 2020 MLB Season with new gear from NikeMcHugh, who was 3-4 with a 6.37 ERA in eight starts through May prior to the demotion to the bullpen.  McHugh’s demotion comes in response to a four-start slump in which his ERA shot from a season-best 1.96 on April 16 to 6.37.

2019 Key Stat:  McHugh allowed only one run through 14.2 innings last August before going on the IL.  Before that, he had held opponents to a .208 average, striking out 40 while walking 16 to post a 2.67 ERA in 27 relief appearances.  He had also started in eight games.  As a starter, McHugh struck out 42 batters last season, when he went to the bullpen he struck out 40 batters. 

BSS Red Sox Podcast TBNL 2020 OUTLOOK

McHugh comes to Boston after agreeing to a one-year deal that has a base salary of $600k but has $3.625MM available via incentives.  The addition of McHugh comes on the heels of the Red Sox uncertainty surrounding Chris Sale.  The addition of McHugh allows the Red Sox some much needed depth in the rotation or even the bullpen with the righty. 

McHugh missed time last season with an injury similar to Sale’s, and its unknown whether he’ll jump into the rotation or the bullpen for the Red Sox.  It is expected that McHugh will start the season on the IL for the Red Sox while he begins a throwing program to get up to speed. 

McHugh had a Tenex procedure done in December to clean up some damage to his flexor tendon.  While Red Sox fans want to see McHugh on the mound right away, the focus on the long term of the season is more important. 

If the Red Sox are going to utilize an opener this season as has been reported, McHugh would be better served as the pitcher who replaces the opener.  The Red Sox could look to limit the innings for McHugh so he can be fresh and healthy all season long.  McHugh was dominant for the Astros out of the bullpen, but he is open to whatever role the Red Sox need him in. 

The Red Sox have a low risk, high reward player in McHugh.  If he is healthy and he can regain his form when he was dominant in Houston, he will be an absolute steal for the Red Sox.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Player Profile: Collin McHugh
Red Sox Player Profile: Collin McHugh
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