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.
Hughes tossed a scoreless ninth inning in his two-inning outing, issuing one walk and striking out three Sunday as he slammed the door for the save against St. Louis.
Hughes hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 relief appearances, and although he rarely sees an opportunity to pick up a save, he's converted on four of five chances in 2018. He sports a 1.02 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP with a 27:9 K:BB over 35.1 innings this season, and he should continue to see high-leverage situations as one of Cincinnati's top arms out of the bullpen. He got the save Sunday as the Reds wanted to give Raisel Iglesias an extra day of rest after a recent heavy workload.
Hughes recorded four outs in Sunday's loss to the Padres without allowing a baserunner, striking out two. He's now gone 15.1 innings in a row without allowing a run.
With Raisel Iglesias back from the DL, the opportunities for Hughes to pick up saves will be pretty sparse, but he's clearly next in line should Iglesias suffer another injury. With the outing Hughes lowered his ERA to 1.11 and WHIP to 0.96, with a 24:8 K:BB ratio over 32.1 innings.
Hughes gave up two hits and a walk in a scoreless ninth inning to record his third save of the season in a 6-5 win over the Rockies.
Scooter Gennett bailed him out with a great defensive play, snatching David Dahl's screaming liner out of the air and doubling Carlos Gonzalez off second base to end the game, otherwise Hughes would have been saddled with his first blown save since Raisel Iglesias (biceps) landed on the disabled list. Hughes still sports a 1.19 ERA and 22:7 K:BB in 30.1 innings on the season, but with Iglesias not expected to miss much more time, the 32-year-old should soon return to a setup role he might be better equipped to handle.
Hughes recorded the final two outs of Thursday's win over the Pirates for his second save of the season.
David Hernandez was the first arm out of the bullpen to relieve starter Luis Castillo, followed by Amir Garrett and then Hughes. Hughes got the final two outs on four pitches, picking up the first save for the Reds since Raisel Iglesias landed on the DL with an injury to his left (non-throwing) biceps. Iglesias will be eligible to return next week, but it appears Hughes will some have fantasy utility in the short term as the interim closer for Cincinnati.
Hughes could factor into the ninth-inning mix with Raisel Iglesias (biceps) landing on the disabled list Wednesday, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic Cincinnati reports.
Hughes was one of five options named by interim manager Jim Riggleman, along with David Hernandez, Wandy Peralta, Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen. While Hughes is the only other pitcher besides Iglesias to have recorded a save for the Reds so far this year, he's a groundball specialist who lacks the swing-and-miss stuff that most teams covet in the ninth inning. It's also important to keep in mind that Iglesias' injury is to his non-throwing arm, so even if Hughes ends up being the primary replacement, he will likely have only a short window to rack up saves.
Hughes threw 1.2 perfect innings against the Dodgers on Saturday to earn his first save of the season.
With Raisel Iglesias unavailable after pitching each of the previous three days, Hughes got the call to nail down the win for Cincinnati. Hughes converted the opportunity for just his fifth career save. The groundball specialist will continue to work primarily in the middle innings.
Hughes picked up a hold Monday against the Cubs, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
Hughes's command wasn't great -- he walked a batter in the course of throwing eight balls and nine strikes. He's going to be one of manager Bryan Price's trusted guys late in games and could pick up quite a few holds, along with an odd save or two whenever Raisel Iglesias is unavailable. Iglesias has pitched the last two days, so if a save situation arises, it might be Hughes or Wandy Peralta that gets the call Tuesday.
Hughes has a 1.50 ERA in six spring training outings so far.
With Michael Lorenzen a good bet to land on the DL to begin the season, Hughes could be in a good position to pick up some holds early on. He and David Hernandez are the two right-handers most likely to work as Raisel Iglesias' primary setup man.
Hughes signed a two-year contract with the Reds on Tuesday which includes a club option for 2020. According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the deal is worth $4.5 million over two years with a $3 million option.
After spending 2017 with the Brewers and 2016 with the Pirates, Hughes will head to his third NL Central team in as many years. He put together another respectable campaign out of the bullpen last season, compiling a 3.02 ERA across 67 appearances (59.2 innings). Look for the groundball specialist to settle into the back end of Cincinnati's bullpen, serving as one of the primary setup men for Raisel Iglesias.
The Brewers declined to tender Hughes a contract for 2018.
The groundball specialist had a decent season in 2017, finishing with an ERA just above 3.00 in 67 appearances, but the Brewers simply weren't willing to pay what he'd cost in arbitration. Hughes should have little problem landing a big-league deal in free agency.
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