Hughes was released by the Astros on Thursday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Hughes inked a minor-league deal with the Astros during the offseason that included an opt-out if he wasn't added to the 40-man roster by March 18, and he chose to exercise that option Thursday. The 34-year-old posted a 6.35 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP over 5.2 innings during spring training. Hughes has been relatively effective as a middle reliever in past seasons, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him join another club at some point in 2020 despite his struggles this spring.
Hughes signed with the Astros as a non-roster invitee Monday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
The 34-year-old has nine years of big-league experience under his belt and owns a 2.88 career ERA. Last season, in 71.1 innings with the Reds and Phillies, he posted a 4.04 ERA, relying on his 59.2 percent groundball rate to cover for his low 18.7 percent strikeout rate.
Hughes will become a free agent after the Phillies declined their club option Monday.
Hughes was competent enough in 2019, posting a 4.04 ERA in 71.1 innings with the Reds and Phillies. The Phillies didn't feel as though that was enough to bring the 34-year-old back on a $3 million deal, so he'll be looking for a new home this offseason.
Hughes (5-5) earned the win against the Braves on Thursday after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings that included two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Hughes didn't exactly do anything spectacular for the win aside from relieving starter Drew Smyly in the fifth inning while keeping the Braves from scoring. The 34-year-old was claimed off waivers by the Phillies in August and owns a 4.33 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 63 appearances.
Hughes was claimed off waivers by the Phillies on Thursday.
This move comes after Hughes pitched three scoreless innings during Wednesday's 17-7 loss to the Nationals. The veteran right-hander owns a 4.10 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 34:19 K:BB through 48.1 innings this season and should settle into a middle-relief role for his new team.
Hughes will begin serving his three-game suspension Thursday.
Hughes was suspended three games at the beginning of August for his role in Cincinnati's benches-clearing incident with the Pirates, though he was able to continue pitching while appealing the suspension. He'll be eligible to return for Sunday's series finale against the Cubs after sitting out the first three games of the series.
Hughes was given a three-game suspension for his role in Tuesday's benches-clearing incident with the Pirates, Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports.
Hughes was ejected from Tuesday's game after hitting Starling Marte in the ninth inning, which led to Amir Garrett coming into the game and subsequently starting a brawl later in the frame. He'll appeal the suspension, making him eligible to pitch in the meantime.
Hughes was ejected in the ninth inning of Tuesday's loss to the Pirates for hitting Starling Marte with a pitch after both benches had already been warned.
We won't speculate whether the pitch, which hit Marte on the leg, was purposeful. But Hughes's ejection led to Amir Garrett coming into the game, and subsequently starting a wild brawl later in the inning.
Hughes gave up six runs in the ninth inning against the Rockies on Friday, allowing six hits and a walk.
Hughes's ERA skyrocketed from 2.89 to 4.09 with the bad outing. He was used to pick up a save earlier in the week, but anyone who picked him up to speculate against Raisel Iglesias got punished hard Friday.
Hughes walked one and struck out one to record the one-out save in a 6-5 win over the Brewers on Monday.
After a rough eighth inning for Raisel Iglesias, Wandy Peralta was used to retire the first two batters in the ninth inning before Hughes came in to record the last out of the game. The 34-year-old is a trade candidate, but it is highly unlikely that he will be in a situation to earn consistent save opportunities. Hughes has a 2.93 ERA through 40 innings this season.
Hughes was the winning pitcher in Saturday night's slugfest win over the Rockies, retiring the only batter he faced.
Hughes has found himself in a lesser role this season after recording seven saves and 17 holds last year - he has zero saves and three holds so far this season. That owes mostly due to the emergence of Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson, but also because Hughes started the season poorly. His ratios have since recovered (3.16 ERA, 0.95 WHIP), but the role hasn't yet reverted back.
Hughes threw two scoreless innings Tuesday night against the Cubs, allowing one hit while striking out one.
Hughes helped the Reds save the bullpen after Tanner Roark went only five innings. After a bumpy start to the season, Hughes now has a 3.79 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.
Hughes got a hold in Tuesday's win over the Braves despite giving up a run on a double and a walk while recording two outs.
Hughes did record a huge strikeout and then got some help from Amir Garrett to finish out the eighth inning. Hughes now has three holds on the season, while posting a 6.52 ERA and 1.66 WHIP.
Hughes got the win Saturday after recording the final two outs in the seventh inning against the Cardinals.
After allowing a run on Opening Day, Hughes has allowed one more run in his subsequent six outings. For now he appears to be behind David Hernandez in the pecking order to be the primary set-up man in front of Raisel Iglesias.
Hughes was unable to hold a sixth-inning lead against the Pirates on Opening Day, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in 0.2 innings and getting charged with a blown save.
It was interesting to see Hughes come into the game in the sixth inning, but it was a high-leverage situation, and manager David Bell followed through on his promise to try to use his best relievers in the most critical moments. The run that was charged to Hughes was aided by a hesitation by Reds left fielder Jesse Winker, who then threw behind the runner.
Hughes is working this spring to improve his offspeed pitches against left-handed hitters, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
The funny thing is that Hughes did well against lefties last year, holding them to a .206 batting average in 118 plate appearances. "There's always room for improvement," said Hughes. "Sitting down early in the offseason, I identified some things that I could definitely do. One of them is working on an offspeed pitch to lefties, more of a changeup or maybe a split-finger. I've been working on both of those pitches."
Hughes ended an 11-game scoreless streak Monday by allowing two runs against the Brewers, retiring just two batters.
Even with the outing, Hughes has had a great year with the Reds. He has a 1.57 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and has allowed just two homers all year over 63 innings.
Hughes pitched 1.2 perfect innings Saturday against the Phillies and notched the save, although he didn't record any strikeouts.
Hughes, who only needed 10 pitches to get five outs, came into the eighth inning with the Reds up 4-2, and then his offense tacked on a couple more runs in the bottom of the eighth before he went out and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. This was a unique situation, as closer Raisel Iglesias logged 1.1 innings Friday, so the Reds were more than happy to let Hughes finish things off in this contest, especially given his pitch count. He now has a career-high seven saves, but look for him to work as a setup man going forward.
Hughes picked up the save Wednesday, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts, a hit and a walk against the White Sox.
Regular closer Raisel Iglesias had pitched each of the previous three days, forcing Cincinnati to turn elsewhere to close out the win. Iglesias remains the clear-cut option when available, but Hughes had fared well in his stead when called upon. The 33-year-old has six saves to go along with a 1.37 ERA.
Hughes struck out two batters in 1.1 perfect innings to slam the door on the Cubs in a 6-2 win Thursday.
Hughes has five saves and seven holds on the season with a terrific 1.36 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. Reds closer Raisel Iglesias picked up a save in his last two appearances, and he will have the ninth inning so long as he's in Cincinnati.
|9/29/2019 vs Miami|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|