Pittsburgh Pirates Arbitration Breakdown: Jared Hughes


In the coming weeks here at Rum Bunter we will be taking a look at each arbitration eligible player for the Pittsburgh Pirates. We continue today with Jared Hughes.

As Major League Baseball’s offseason begins, so does the decision making inside each of the 30 front offices. A big part of this decision making revolves around players that are arbitration eligible. Due to that, here at Rum Bunter we will take a look at each arbitration eligible Pirate in the coming days.

Today we take a look at a pitcher that had a rough year in 2016. That pitcher is Jared Hughes. Prior to 2016 he was an integral part of the Pirates’ bullpen. However, in 2016 the wheels came off.

Entering the 2016 season Jared Hughes had pitched in 250 career Major League innings. In these 250 innings pitched he averaged 5.58 K/9, 2.88 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9, and he generated a 61.7 percent ground ball rate. Due to these results he posted a 2.77 ERA, 3.95 FIP, and a 3.93 xFIP in these 250 innings pitched.

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During his first four Major League season Jared Hughes became one of Clint Hurdle‘s go to men out of the Pirates’ bullpen. However, this changed in 2016. Because in 2016 Jared Hughes was flat out terrible for the Pirates.

In 2016 Jared Hughes pitched 59 1/3 innings. Hughes also started the season on the disabled list due to a hip issue. Due to this, 59 1/3 innings was the fewest amount of innings he had pitched in a season since 2013 when he spent time at Triple-A.

In the 59 1/3 innings Jared Hughes pitched the results were not good. He averaged a career high 3.34 BB/9, a career high 0.91 HR/9, and he had the second lowest ground ball rate of his career (57.9 percent). Hughes also posted a career high WHIP (1.48), FIP (4.68), and xFIP (4.77). Furthermore, his -0.4 WAR was a career low.

Jared Hughes’ control was a complete mess in 2016, and this goes a lot deeper than just his career high walk rate. Hughes also threw far too many hittable strikes this past season. That contributed to his career high home run rate.

Furthermore, Hughes allowed a career high hard contact rate of 30.7 percent in 2016. This is an alarmingly high rate and again demonstrates his lack of control.

What Hughes had done best throughout his career was inheriting a mess, putting the fire out, and not allowing inherited runners to score. In 2016 though he was not good at this. After allowing just 20 percent of inherited runners to score in his first five Major League seasons, 37 percent scored in 2016.

This should come as no surprise though. That is because what made Hughes so good at putting out fires was generating ground balls with his turbo sinker. Well, in 2016 his sinker was not very good.

In 2016 Jared Hughes allowed a .299 batting average, .455 slugging percentage, .357 wOBA, and a 129 wRC+ off of his sinker. All of these numbers were, by far, career highs. Additionally, all of these numbers are flat out horrible.

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Jared Hughes earned 2.175 million dollars in 2016. 2017 will be his sixth year of arbitration. He will be set to make around three million dollars in 2017.

I do not believe Jared Hughes will be worth three million dollars in 2017. Hell, according to his WAR he was only worth approximately 600,000 dollars in 2016. Without his turbo sinker, which he appears to have lost, Hughes provides the Pirates no value and should not be on the roster.

In my opinion the Pirates should non-tender Jared Hughes this offseason. Not only is he not worth the money he will be set to make, the Pirates also have other bullpen options capable of replacing him. Hughes gave the Pirates five good years, but it is time for his days in Pittsburgh to end.

Previous arbitration breakdowns