Photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
Many Phillies fans had Cole Hamels as a top target for the team this offseason, thankfully he signed with the Braves.
Hamels is not only one of my favorite all time Phillies, he’s one of my all time favorite players, with that said, I was very happy to hear he signed with Atlanta for $18 Million and not Philadelphia. The only part of that last sentence that hurts me is the fact that Cole is now a Brave and a division rival, yet I’m happy for the Phillies lineup because they’ll rake off Cole in the 2020 season.
Hamels is nowhere near the 2008 World Series MVP majority of Phillies fans remember him as. I believe he is still a decent pitcher, but no longer great, and certainly not worth $18 million for the year. At this point in his career Cole Hamels is a borderline third starter but more so a fourth.
Hamels had a great start to the season in 2019 and was probably the Cubs most consistent pitcher. Cole had a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts (10 quality starts) before an oblique injury shut him down at the end of June. I know, this seems like it doesn’t help my case at all, however, his stats post injury were a bit troubling if you ask me.
In his last 10 starts after he returned from the injured list, Hamels posted a 5.79 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, along with a 1-4 record in just two quality starts. According to ESPN Stats & Info, “in 2019, Cole Hamels threw fewer than 150 innings pitched for just the third time in his career (141.2). His 1.39 WHIP was a career-worst, thanks to a career-high 3.6 walks per 9 innings pitched.” That’s nearly 4 walks a game by Hamels last season, and that’s not due to battling back from an injury, Cole had trouble with his command the whole season.
Other than a three game stretch in April, and two games near the end of the year, Cole Hamels walked at least one batter in every game last season. In his two late season starts where he didn’t walk a batter, he only pitched 5 innings (August 3rd), and 4 innings (September 28th).
Pre All-Star break, Hamels pitched 99.2 innings and gave up 33 earned runs, Post All-Star break, Hamels pitched 57.2 less innings (42 IP), and allowed 27 runs to cross the plate. 27 runs in 42 innings? That stat is eye-popping!
As I said, Cole Hamels is one of my favorite players to ever lace em’ up. Honestly, for Cole’s sake, I hope I’m wrong about the way I’m leaning. Cole Hamels has had a very successful career, however, when we tend to look at the signs, that success will be hard to sustain in the 2020 season, especially in the N.L. East.
I applaud Matt Klentak for staying away from that price tag, even if it held sentimental value.