After the recent promotions of Jason Cromer, Calvin Medlock, Rashad Eldridge & Brandon Chaves, the Durham Bulls added another stick to their lineup. First baseman Rhyne Hughes makes way from the Montgomery Biscuits and is scheduled to arrive today in Providence. Matt Fields of the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs is the guy called up to replace Hughes in Montgomery. After leading the Southern League in HR's & RBI's, as well as leading Double-A competition in HR's and top 3 in Double-A for RBI's, the 25 year-old Hughes hopes to help out the offensive struggle at Durham. The pitching for Durham has been excellent so when the offense puts it together, the Bulls will be a force in the Indy League. Coming from a press release from www.durhambulls.com..."It's something he hasn't done. I think that's been the one thing he hasn't been able to do at the corner position is hit for power - he's always been able to hit for average," Gardner said. "He's sacrificed a little average for that, and obviously his strikeouts are up which is something we're trying to get down."
The strikeout number for Hughes is at 68 this season, but Gardner said the first baseman has the potential in his swing to cut down that number if he mentally adjusts his hitting approach with the count at two strikes. Hughes' batting average is .253 this season, down from his career best year in 2007 in which he hit .323 splitting time between Montgomery and Class A Vero Beach. His OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), however, is at .857 this season, up from last season's .804 OPS.
"When he gets a mistake at this level, he doesn't miss it," Gardner said. "I think that's where a lot of his power is coming from."