The 2016 campaign may have been difficult for Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes, but he has quite the unique momento from last year.
For the most part, 2016 would be a season that Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes would want to forget. He struggled at the start of the season, and was eventually demoted to the bullpen. Hughes had posted a 1-7 record with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.508 WHiP before his season ended. First, he was hit in the leg by a line drive, cracking a bone. Then, he underwent surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome, which may have been a partial reason for his struggles.
The procedure to correct thoracic outlet syndrome, as we have come to learn, involves removing a rib to relieve those shoulder issues. Normally, in a procedure where some organ or body part is removed, that offending object becomes medical waste, tossed aside to never be seen again.
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That will not be the fate for Hughes’ rib. Perhaps he felt attached to the bone, but he has kept the bone as a momento. While he is not yet certain of what he will do with it, Hughes has apparently been considering turning the rib into a piece of jewelry.
It would be difficult to imagine that Hughes would turn that rib into a necklace. Depending on how much of the rib he has, it would likely be hard to pitch with that dangling in front of him. We see pitchers fiddling with their necklaces and chains all the time, but trying to keep a rib under wraps? If nothing else, it may distract the batter a bit.
Likewise, if Hughes decides against that idea, it would still be an interesting conversation piece. After all, who else has one of their ribs just hanging around, perhaps on the mantle or on an end table? Need a paperweight? Have a rib!
On the positive side, Hughes is feeling much better this season. He is heading into Spring Training healthy, and if the Twins are going to have a chance this year, they will likely need him to be back to form. Given their lack of pitching depth, Hughes will be a key part of their rotation.
Phil Hughes had a season that no one would want to remember last year for the Minnesota Twins, but at least he got a unique souvenir out of it. How many other people just happen to have one of their ribs hanging around?