From Phillies.com: Phillies left-handed pitching prospect Cole Hamels will have his contract purchased on Friday and will make his major league debut that night in Cincinnati, Vice President and General Manager Pat Gillick announced today.
To make room for Hamels in the Phillies' starting rotation, RHP Ryan Madson will return to the bullpen, where he went 15-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 130 appearances from 2003-05. The Phillies will make a roster move prior to Friday's game to make room for Hamels on the 25-man roster.
In six starts, Ryan Madson failed to sell himself as a starting pitcher, and the reason why is he doesn't have the right stuff to keep hitters guessing. Madson couldn't establish his curveball, and without it, it wasn't going to work relying on just a fastball and changeup.
Madson's command also failed him. He allowed too many walks and hitters were having no trouble putting the ball in play when he threw strikes. Madson will return to the place he'd had the most success after going 3-1 with a 6.82 ERA and 2.12 WHIP in the rotation.
What does this mean? In terms of bullpen, the Phils should be stronger. Madson can be used in long relief or late innings. Fastball, plus-changeup is fine for bullpen, as he's proven before.
Something must give to make room. Geoff Geary has options remaining, but has pitched well. Julio Santana would need to be assigned or waived to make room. The Phils could also consider a trade.
Of course, the headliner here is Cole Hamels. The Phillies wasted no time bringing the sizzling left-hander to his final destination, deciding it was better to use his blazing stuff to help the organization where it needs help most.
A word on Gillick: The excitement I'm feeling, and the team must be feeling, is by design. Since his arrival, Gillick has injected an edgy undercurrent and ushered past loyalties out the door. No veteran is too established (he tried all winter to trade Bobby Abreu), no player is too well-liked (Tomas Perez and Todd Pratt got pink slips), and no plan is set in stone (Madson). He's not afraid to cut losses (Ricardo Rodriguez waived, leaving nothing to show for Vicente Padilla), and he is not afraid to take risks (Hamels). In short, the Phillies finally have a GM with guts.
This offseason, most fans believed the Phillies were weaker than the 88-win team that came within one game of forcing a playoff game with Houston.
Today, I have to believe they are stronger.