Phil Hughes saved a really weird memento from his disastrous season

Free of an annoying rib, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/7913/" data-ylk="slk:Phil Hughes">Phil Hughes</a> is looking forward to having a better 2017 for the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/min/" data-ylk="slk:Minnesota Twins">Minnesota Twins</a>. (Getty Images)
Free of an annoying rib, Phil Hughes is looking forward to having a better 2017 for the Minnesota Twins. (Getty Images)

When you think about a souvenir or a memento, what is the type of thing that comes to mind? A dried leaf or a flower from a great outdoor experience? A tiny snow globe from a shop on your best vacation ever? A program from a school play or a recital?

How about a rib? An actual human rib? Would that count?

If you’re Phil Hughes, it definitely counts. In an interview he did with the Associated Press, Hughes revealed that a rib is the souvenir he chose to keep to remember his unfortunate 2016 season. Don’t worry, it’s not a random human rib. It’s his own. It was part of his 2016 journey, which involved suboptimal pitching, injuries, and surgery.

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Hughes’ 2016 pitching season was short and memorable — but not in a good way. He started 11 games for the Minnesota Twins, but with a 5.97 ERA and a 1-7 record, it was clear it wasn’t going well. They moved him to the bullpen at the beginning of June, and in his first game coming out of the ‘pen, his knee got whacked with a line drive.

The line drive was just the beginning of the injury chapter of his story. It started as just a contusion, and then they discovered that Hughes had a fracture above his left knee. After he was moved to the 60-day DL, it was announced that Hughes would undergo surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, which happened in July. That’s when he had the rib removed, as it was causing nerve issues in his throwing shoulder.

Hughes is healthy and feeling good now, and ready to start a new (and hopefully better) season for the Twins. As for the rib that was removed during surgery? He told the AP that he has at least one idea for what to do with it.

“I haven’t decided what the next step is. I have a few ideas. Plating it with some sort of precious metal is one way to go,” he said Wednesday as the Twins started spring training workouts. “I’ll figure out something to do with it before it corrodes.”

The next step after getting something gold plated is to wear it as jewelry, so if the people of Minneapolis see a man walking around with a golden rib around his neck, that’s Phil Hughes.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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