McHugh, who recorded five strikeouts while allowing just one hit over two scoreless innings in a win over the Orioles on Saturday, now has three straight multi-inning appearances during which he's forged a 13:1 K:BB.
The long-time starter appears to have truly found his niche in manager Kevin Cash's eclectic relief corps, with McHugh's season ERA now sitting at an impressive 2.70 across 23.1 innings. He also boasts a 37.1 percent strikeout rate that qualifies as a career high, and his 5.1 K-BB% is one of the best in MLB. While his usage has netted only one win and three holds thus far, McHugh's ability to miss bats at an elite clip and frequent deployment should lead to more decisions and hold opportunities as the season unfolds.
McHugh, who fired two scoreless innings during which he allowed two hits and a walk while recording five strikeouts in a loss to the Yankees on Wednesday, has an 0.69 ERA and 15.9 K/9 across the 13 innings covering his last nine appearances.
A conventional starter for most of his career, McHugh has mostly shifted to an opener/long-relief role with considerable success during his first season in Tampa Bay. The veteran right-hander has coaxed his ERA from an unsightly 10.13 to 3.44 during his aforementioned stretch of dominance and has displayed considerable versatility in terms of the different roles he's been able to take on effectively.
McHugh gave up two hits across two-thirds of an inning Sunday against the Phillies. He didn't factor into the decision.
McHugh only tossed 14 pitches before being lifted and while he tossed 10 of those deliveries for strikes, he couldn't even complete an inning before making way to Josh Fleming. McHugh has made three starts in 12 appearances this season and owns a 3.86 ERA. He's expected to continue his role as a swingman going forward.
McHugh is scheduled to serve as the Rays' opening pitcher for Sunday's game against the Phillies, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
McHugh has maxed out at three innings and 45 pitches this season, so that should represent the upper bounds of his workload Sunday before he gives way to Josh Fleming, who is expected to serve as a bulk reliever for Tampa Bay. After a rocky April, McHugh has developed into a trusted multi-inning weapon for the Rays over the past month. Through seven outings in May spanning 10.1 frames, McHugh has posted an 0.87 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 18:5 K:BB.
McHugh fired two perfect innings during which he recorded three strikeouts in a win over the Orioles on Tuesday.
McHugh has carved out quite the effective niche as manager Kevin Cash's ace in the hole for multi-inning work, as the veteran right-hander now has a trio of scoreless multi-inning efforts on his ledger in May. The current month is in stark contrast to McHugh's four-appearance April, when he surrendered eight runs (six earned) on 12 hits and a walk over 5.1 innings before suffering a back injury that put him on the shelf.
McHugh did not allow a hit over two scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Yankees on Wednesday. He walked one batter and struck out two.
McHugh was deployed as an opener again Wednesday after appearing out of the bullpen in his first four outings this year. He faced the minimum six hitters after he walked Luke Voit in the second but got Aaron Hicks to ground into an inning-ending 3-5-3 double play. The 34-year-old has had a pair of shaky outings but has otherwise been pretty reliable in multi-inning scenarios. His 6.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP isn't a pretty sight, but McHugh does own a respectable 12:2 K:BB over 9.1 innings.
McHugh will serve as the Rays' opener for Wednesday's game against the Yankees, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports.
McHugh pitched out of the bullpen in his first four outings of 2021, but he'll now serve as an opener for a second straight appearance. The right-hander worked as an opener Thursday and struck out five in two perfect innings. Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough is slated to serve as Wednesday's primary pitcher.
McHugh fanned five of the six batters he faced over two innings in Thursday's victory over the Angels. He didn't factor into the decision.
The righty was sharp Thursday in his first appearance in three weeks, retiring every batter he faced. The 33-year-old threw 17 of his 23 pitches for strikes and now will look to build his stamina back up in order to earn a longer leash from conservative manager Kevin Cash. McHugh will more than likely open for two to three innings in his next appearance.
Manager Kevin Cash said McHugh would serve as the Rays' opening pitcher for Thursday's series finale against the Angels, Steve Carney of Sports Radio 620 WDAE reports.
Before he was activated from the injured list earlier this week after missing time with a lower-back strain, McHugh had been building up for a multi-inning relief role. As such, he should be capable of working at least two frames Thursday before giving way to primary pitcher Josh Fleming, who had served as a traditional starter in three of his prior four appearances.
McHugh (back) was activated from the 10-day injured list Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The 33-year-old spent the past few weeks on the shelf with a lower-back strain but will rejoin the active roster Tuesday. McHugh surrendered six runs through his first 5.1 innings of the season before the injury, and he'll attempt to get on track now that he's healthy.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said McHugh (back) would travel with the team for its seven-game road trip that begins Monday, Jordan Horrobin of MLB.com reports.
Cash wasn't willing to reveal a target date for when McHugh might be activated from the 10-day injured list, but the skipper noted the right-hander is "definitely going in the right direction." Considering McHugh tossed a two-inning simulated game Sunday, the Rays would most likely want to give him at least Monday and Tuesday off for rest before his activation is considered.
McHugh (back) is set to throw again at the alternate training site Thursday and could be activated for the start of the Rays' next road trip Monday, the Associated Press reports.
The veteran appears to be making solid progress throughout his recovery timeline, as he was able to throw off a mound both Friday and Sunday without setbacks. If McHugh continues on the same trajectory, it appears he'll have a chance to return to his long-relief role having spent just a handful of days over the minimum on the injured list.
McHugh (back) threw off a mound Friday and will do so again Sunday, Steve Carney of Sports Radio 620 WDAE reports.
McHugh has been on the injured list since Sunday with a lower-back strain, but the fact that he's already advanced to mound work suggests it won't be a long absence. He'll be eligible to return Wednesday, though it's not yet clear if that's his target return date.
McHugh was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a strain in his lower back.
The 33-year-old apparently suffered the injury Saturday while recording only one out and surrendering one run on two hits. McHugh will be eligible to return April 28, though it's unclear if he's expected to be healthy at that point. Chris Mazza was recalled from the taxi squad in a corresponding move.
McHugh (0-1) allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits while striking out one across one inning in Sunday's loss against the Yankees.
McHugh came into the game in the 10th inning and recorded two outs rather quickly, but the wheels came off thereafter. He gave up three straight hits that resulted in four runs before he was able to close things out. He did toss 16 of his 24 pitches for strikes, but that's where the positives end for the veteran right-hander, who has now allowed three earned runs in two of his three relief appearances this season.
McHugh fired three scoreless innings in a loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday, allowing four hits and no walks while recording two strikeouts.
McHugh had a rough landing against the Marlins on Saturday in his first regular-season appearance since August 2019, but that outing may have served to work out a few kinks. The right-hander's long-relief stint Thursday seems like precisely the type of assignment that's tailor made for the versatile McHugh as he continues to reacclimate to big-league bats -- a low-leverage, innings-eating scenario following a rough performance by the starting pitcher. The fact that McHugh got 33 of his 45 pitches into the strike zone Wednesday was also encouraging, considering he managed to do so only 12 times among 26 offerings in his first appearance.
McHugh surrendered three earned runs on three hits and a walk over one inning of relief in a loss to the Marlins on Saturday. He struck out one.
The veteran was tagged by Adam Duvall for a solo home run for one of the three runs notched against him, and he managed to get just 12 of his 25 pitches into the strike zone. The appearance was McHugh's first taste of regular-season action since Aug. 30, 2019, and it followed an uneven spring in which he pitched to a 6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and .333 BAA across six innings. McHugh is likely to work mostly in low-leverage middle-relief scenarios for the time being.
McHugh fired two scoreless innings out of the bullpen in a Grapefruit League loss to the Orioles on Tuesday, allowing a hit and recording three strikeouts.
The veteran was able to put together his first scoreless effort in three trips to the mound this spring, an encouraging development after he'd already shown some improvement following a rocky debut by allowing an earned run over two frames the prior time out. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports manager Kevin Cash noted that pitchers which have the ability to serve as bulk relievers will be particularly valuable as starter's innings are managed more carefully coming off the abbreviated 2020 campaign, adding that he "can't imagine scenarios" where a versatile arm like McHugh isn't on the Opening Day roster.
McHugh was saddled with the loss in Thursday's Grapefruit League defeat at the hands of Atlanta, allowing an earned run on a solo home run while giving up two other hits and a walk over two innings. He also hit a batter and recorded one strikeout.
The veteran continues to round himself back into shape after missing all of 2020, with Thursday's outing going a bit smoother than his Grapefruit League debut Sunday. McHugh notched a scoreless fifth frame upon entering the game before surrendering the home run in the sixth inning, but he was able to inch closer to the Rays' goal of stretching him out to up to four frames by the end of spring training in order to prepare him for what could be multiple roles.
McHugh, making his first game appearance since Aug. 30, 2019 in Sunday's Grapefruit League loss to the Twins, came away encouraged despite a rough one-inning outing, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. "Having a little bit of familiarity, being back on a mound where it feels comfortable to me, it meant a lot today," McHugh said. "I didn't like the results, but man, I love being out there. Physically, I felt great. From a feel standpoint, obviously, it's still getting there."
The right-hander's final line -- three earned runs allowed on three hits and a walk over one inning -- was undeniably abysmal, but McHugh was able to make a long-awaited return to the mound and got some robust work in the form of 25 pitches. The most critical takeaway for McHugh, who opted out of last season as a health precaution and while he finished his recovery from a forearm flexor strain, was that he reported feeling good physically after that workload. Manager Kevin Cash, who liked the way McHugh mixed his pitches, noted he plans to build the veteran up to three or four innings this spring "and see where it goes from there."
|Last 7 Games|
|06/12||vs BAL||W 5-4||1||2.0||1||0||0||5|
|06/09||vs WAS||L 7-9||3.0||1||0||0||3|
|06/02||@ NYY||L 3-4||2.0||2||0||1||5|
|05/30||vs PHI||W 6-2||0.2||2||0||0||0|
|05/27||vs KC||W 7-2||1.0||1||0||1||2|
|05/24||@ TOR||W 14-8||1.2||3||1||0||3|
|05/21||@ TOR||W 9-7||0.2||0||0||2||1|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||AFX-Savannah Sand Gnats||132.0||28||20||0||7||8||1||129||38||139||3.34||1.341|
|2011||AFA-St. Lucie Mets||35.0||9||6||0||1||2||1||39||14||47||6.43||1.743|
|2013||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||46.2||9||9||0||2||2||0||47||14||52||4.67||1.429|
|2013||AAA-Las Vegas 51s||53.1||9||9||0||3||2||0||41||13||57||2.88||1.318|
|2014||AAA-Oklahoma City Redhaw||19.0||5||3||0||0||0||0||13||6||15||3.79||1.105|
|2017||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||15.0||4||4||0||0||0||0||11||4||18||3.60||1.467|
|2019||AAX-Corpus Christi Hooks||3.0||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||1||2||3.00||1.000|
|2019||AAA-Round Rock Express||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||90.00||10.000|