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Sunday, June 27, 2010



Hoping for a strong outing by Moyer!

Games like yesterday's happen. The Jays have a lot of dangerous home run hitters and CBP is a perfect place for them to drive the ball. Cole didn;t pitch that well, but he has been more good than bad this season.

Games like last Saturday's (blown 5 run lead in the 9th) bother me WAY more than yesterday's loss

Talent-wise, I think the top four teams in the division are pretty evenly matched.

1B: Howard > Glaus, Davis, Sanchez, but Glaus is having a strong year and Sanchez is hitting .307

2B: Utley > Prado, Uggla, Castillo/Cora, but Chase is having an off year so far, while Prado (.332) and Uggla (14 HR, 41 RBI) are not

SS: Ramirez > Rollins, Reyes, Escobar, and Reyes is good. Jimmy gets an incomplete so far, but Ramirez is having another competitive year (.295, 11 HR, 44 RBI)

3B: Wright > Polanco, Chipper, Cantu -- very close race among these four. Out of nowehere, 3b has become an incredibly talented position (in addition to these four, Reynolds, Freese, Sandoval, Rolen, McGeheee, Zimmerman). Polly has best average in this class, but least RBIs and HRs.

C: McCann > Ruiz, Barajas, Paulino -- we appreciate Ruiz's talents, but his stats don't stack up. he's dead last in HR and RBIs in this quartet, and Paulino is batting .313. He IS first in OBP (.398), but not significantly so (McCann .375; Paulino .351). And batting in front of a pitcher distorts that stat.

LF: Awful field. All four -- Bay, Ibanez, Hinske, Coghlan -- are tied virtually with either 4 or 5 HRs and between 26 and 32 RBIs. Sad state of affairs for glory position. Give it to Hinske with .308 avg. Raul is dead last in avg.

CF: Beltran (injured) > Pagan, Victorino, Cabrera, Ross, Maybin. Vic has clear edge in RBIs and HRs, but when Beltran comes back, he is more formidable.

RF: Werth > Heyward, Francouer, Stanton/Ross, but Werth had a terrible stretch this year and has been a liability in RF.

As for pitching, edge goes to Phils for starters (but with Blanton and an inconsistent Kendrick, Moyer, and Hamels, it's not a rock-solid victory). And bullpen is a toss-up, but I think the Mutts win that one. And bench? The Phils don't have a lot fo glory there.

Anyway, I don't think the Phils have an amazingly clear-cut advantage among their NL East brethren, though I do think they will pull it out.

VOR - Its too early to say anything because you are likely to see the Braves/Mets/Phils make a few moves at the trading deadline.

Wright though is heads & tails better than Polanco or Cantu.

I know that I am going to get lambasted by this but if you just looked at Hamels' overall numbers:

6-6, 4.08 ERA (xFIP 3.89), 1.37 WHIP, .264 BAA, .304 BABIP, 3.2 BB/9, 8.8 K/9, 1.8 HR/9

If you just at the overall results, they are underwhelming especially in a year where pitcher's have generally dominated in the 1st half. They are decent overall numbers & Hamels has pitched better this year in the early going than last year.

Yeah, he is a bit 'unlucky' on the amount of HRs he is giving and he has received pretty scant run support this year.

Overall though, he is just a guy who has failed to develop a decent 3rd pitch yet and generally struggles on a night where he doesn't had the ability to locate his fastball on the corners.

When he does have good command on his fastball, he throws a ton of 4-seemers & dominates. If not, he has to mix in more cutters and curveballs which are generally a problem because he still can't throw either one of these pitches for a strike with enough consistency & make too many 'mistakes' with them where he leaves them over the plate.

Curious to see if he can get the BB/9 down a bit and somehow get his HR/9 a bit. He is on pace to give 40+ HRs this year which is staggering. Doubt that last but he likely will give up in the 33-35 HR range which makes it tough for him to really shrink his ERA.

Two things that have fascinated me the most though about Hamels' career so far are his wild day/night splits and his home/road splits.

Day - 44 GS, 13-15, 4.66 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 2.90 K/BB
Night - 87 GS, 41-25, 3.30 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 3.91 K/BB

Home - 63 GS, 30-19, 3.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 4.02 K/BB
Road - 68 GS, 24-21, 4.05 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.18 K/BB

I don't have a break on smaller splits of say (day & road) but it amazes me that the Phils & Hamels continued to be favored when he starts during the day. He just isn't even an average pitcher during a day start and there is ample evidence that has produced generally similiar splits every year since '07 when he became a starter.

You would think the Phils would realize this by now but there have been 4-5 times over the past couple of years where they have pushed him into a day start vs. a night start. Baffles my mind because you would think the Phils would know that 'Day-Hamels' is clearly inferior to 'Night-Hamels.'

MG: I never used to buy the day/night splits, but it's a decent size sample now, and it's a pretty wide split. You do have to wonder why the Phillies don't acknowledge it. While they can't control a lot of his starts, it does seem like they often shift the rotation around with the result of Hamels getting a day start (see this weekend). I don't get it, but it does seem to be real.

Maybe it has something to do with Hamels being a flyball pitcher, and the hotter the weather (during the day), the more those go out for home runs?

Jack - His HR/9 is 1.2 during the day and at night it is 1.3. No statistical difference and frankly the only area where Hamels doesn't have a notable dropoff. Actually a tad bit better. Its weird.

I know from running numbers with Truth Injection for that article this winter that Hamels did get less swing & misses on his changeup but overall they were about the same. It would require more digging to see things like BAA by pitch, etc. It is just weird.

It is pretty self-defeating though how the Phils kept moving Hamels to day starts. They did it already once this year. Makes no sense.

The Phillies don't acknowledge it because Cole is only 26 and still developing. Why feed his doubts when it comes to day games by being afraid to let him pitch? It would become a self fulfilling prophecy which would handicap a player they clearly see as a future ace.

Lincoln - It is his 5th year in MLB and 4th full-time year. It is getting to the point where he is 'still developing' or 'just a young player.'

It is about what is best for the team. You generally should try to put players in a position where they will succeed. Moving the rotation around so that Hamels will start a day game vs. night game isn't one.

Still developing/young player is just a semantics game IMO. Age 28+ is the prime for pitchers. Just to put it in perspective Halladay had his nadir at 27, and both Cliff Lee and Steve Carlton crashed and burned at age 28. Granted, they all had break out years when younger, but so did Cole.

Cole isn't fully matured as a pitcher yet. He'll be peaking right about the time Halladay starts to decline. It will be a seamless transfer of the 1-2 slots.

What's interesting is that Hamels was actually doing ok this year in day starts until yesterday. He was 3-1 with an ERA just under 4. It's not great but it wasn't as pronounced a split as it has been in recent years.

I think he's fine and still there is much improvement in him overall from last year to this one. He isn't where he was in the 2008 playoffs but he is closer to that than he was in the 2009 season, or the 2008 season for that matter.

Well maybe it was the full-moon-Saturday-day-game problem for Cole.

3B: Wright > Polanco, Chipper, Cantu -- very close race among these four. Out of nowehere, 3b has become an incredibly talented position (in addition to these four, Reynolds, Freese, Sandoval, Rolen, McGeheee, Zimmerman). Polly has best average in this class, but least RBIs and HRs.

It's not close. Wright's OPS is .928, none of the others are over .782. Wright leads the NL in RBI and is the best defensive player of the 4.

Zimmerman and Wright, now that's close.

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