The Fightins'
Aug
04
2010
Cole Hamels: Ace Redux
Posted by at 8:48 am ET 72 Comments

Back in February, I wrote an article aptly titled “Cole Hamels: Ace,” which detailed my thoughts on Cole Hamels’ future with the Phillies and how, despite the arrival of Roy Halladay, he could still be considered an Ace of the Phillies rotation.

Since the season started, I’ve been keeping an eye on Cole’s progress as a pitcher when compared to both 2008 and 2009, when he was at opposite ends of the success spectrum.

And following his start against the Washington Nationals on Sunday and the fact that some fans just have yet to give Cole the benefit of the doubt, I thought I’d return to that article and see just how much of an Ace he has been in 2010.

At first glance, Hamels is nowhere near the pitcher he was in 2009. Then, we’d hold our collective breaths during his starts, like we were watching a train wreck that had not yet occurred but were still reasonably sure that it would.

In 2010, it’s completely different, at least for me. Watching his starts are no longer exercises in futility. They aren’t approached with the same level of confidence as say, a Roy Halladay start, but it’s darn, darn close.

Let’s take a look at Cole through 21* starts in 2010, 2009, and 2008.

*Not counting the rain shortened start in Atlanta, where he allowed three earned runs in 0.2 innings. Why? Because he was pulled after the delay, so we’ll never know how we may have fared had he been allowed to continue or if the downpour that occurred before the game was delayed had anything to do with his pitching performance.

2008: 13-8, 3.11 ERA in 150.2 innings. 133 K, 116 H, 36 BB, 20 HR
2009: 7-6, 4.68 ERA in 123 innings. 107 K, 139 H, 23 BB, 18 HR
2010: 7-6, 3.38 ERA in 138.1 innings. 137 K, 129 H, 44 BB, 20 HR

Remembering that the win-loss record for starting pitchers is largely irrelevant, we get a very good idea of how Hamels has fared this season compared to the previous two: Not nearly as bad as 2009, but not quite as great as he was in 2008. But all in all, better than good.

His strikeouts would indicate that he is more dominant, certainly a by-product of a great change-up, made even greater thanks to a harder fastball (He hits 94-95 MPH regularly this season), coupled with a curve that he seems to be getting a handle on and shiny new cut-fastball that, even though it’s a fringe-pitch at best, has proven to be effective.

Other than an increased walk-rate (3.0/9 – Highest since rookie season) and a career high homer rate (1.4/9), both which have been decreasing, he’s been every bit the Ace that the Phillies hoped would line up behind Halladay.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at his last 16* starts since he allowed four runs in six innings in San Francisco. At the time, he had a 5.28 ERA.

*Again, excepting the start against the Braves.

May 4 – St. Louis: 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
May 9 – Atlanta: 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
May 16 – Milwaukee: 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
May 21 – Boston: 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
May 27 – New York Mets : 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
June 7 – San Diego: 8 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
June 13 – Boston: 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
June 19 – Minnesota: 7 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
June 26 – Toronto: 4 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
July 1 – Pittsburgh: 7 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
July 6 – Atlanta: 7 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
July 11 – Cincinnati: 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
July 17 – Chicago Cubs: 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
July 22 – St. Louis: 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
July 27 – Arizona: 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K
August 1 – Washington: 7 IP, 4 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

There are a couple of clunkers in there, but all in all, it’s a fine stretch of pitching by a guy who was written off by many before 2010 even started. Just take a look. In those 16 starts, Hamels has an ERA of 2.84 in 107.2 IP. He’s allowed more than three runs only twice. He’s pitched at least six innings in all but three. He’s gone at least seven innings 11 times.

Compare that to Roy Halladay, who boasts an ERA of 2.34 in 131 innings has pitched over his last 16 starts. Sure, Hamels isn’t in Roy territory yet, but by the looks of it, he could be purchasing a house there very, very soon.

So Hamels isn’t Halladay, but then again, very few are. However, he has been better than most fans would have predicted or could have hoped. (And honestly, some still think that he’s worthless.)

But there is one thing that we won’t read about in the box score, though: Composure. It’s something that he had in spades in 2008, most notably during the playoffs, but the very same thing he lacked in 2009. None of us will know if Cole was actually rattled on the mound, but his body language often suggested that he was. Two years ago, he was a lion. Last season, a lamb.

But in 2010, the pitcher that led the Phillies to the 2008 World Series has returned. It’s obvious.

Really, how many times have we found ourselves thinking “if this was 2009, Hamels doesn’t get out of this inning” after he gives up a bloop single or a two-out walk this season? The harmless base runners or seeing eye singles that plagued him in 2009 would somehow find their way round the base paths. In 2010? Not so much.

Case in point: When the Phillies visited Boston in June, they were in danger of being swept out following two abysmal starts from Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton. In the final game of the series, Hamels took the hill to be the stopper, and breezed through their lineup, with the lone exception being poorly placed cutter to Adrian Beltre in the second inning.

It wouldn’t be until the sixth that on that one of those innings made an appearance.

With the Phils leading 4-1, Dustin Pedroia hit a harmless popup down the right field line that Jayson Werth failed to corral, allowing Pedroia to get to second base on what would be ruled a double. Following that, Hamels faced off against Victor Martinez in a 15-pitch at-bat that saw V-Mart foul off 11 pitches before finally earning the walk. Hamels escaped the inning unscathed, setting down Beltre on three pitches, followed by a groundout to David Ortiz, and a harmless popup from Mike Lowell to preserve the three-run lead.

If this was 2009, you can be sure that the following things would have happened: Beltre would have flared an 0-2 changeup (that was four inches off the plate) just out of the reach of Chase Utley, followed by a broken-bat bleeder past the third base bag from David Ortiz, and capped off by a homer from Mike Lowell. And just like that, a 4-1 lead is a 5-4 deficit.

That’s how things went for Cole in 2009. The pitcher on the hill every five nights this season couldn’t be any different from the one that wanted the season to end last October.

Call it composure, call it luck, or call it whatever you want, but Hamels has been every bit the pitcher that he was in 2008.

It’s time to recognize that.

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  • James Fayleez

    OMG – here we go with sabremetrics geeks telling me how Cole is “unlucky.”

    Stop with the “Ace” talk. He is a good pitcher. 2008 he overacheived and I’m glad he did.
    Just give me the customary 7 and 3 runs or less and he is a-ok in my book, even with a faggy voice.

  • Pat

    “the pitcher that led the Phillies to the 2008 World Series has returned”

    He never left and his 2008 was an illusion /sabr’d

  • Pat

    I don’t think anywhere in there Dash said that he was unlucky.

    now I will say that he is unlucky, because it’s a fact. Not really debatable. But I wouldn’t expect someone who judges pitching quality on a “faggy voice” to understand that. Holy god people are ignorant.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jondgc Jon

    Great article, Dash. Cole will still have his detractors, but hopefully you got through to a few of them with this.

  • James Fayleez

    Is Cole the only pitcher who gets “unlucky?”

    For so long we had a crappy team with crap pitchers (yes, you John Lieber, Jose Dejesus, etc.), that when a half-decent one comes along, some people get all crazy and annoint him the second coming of Sandy Koufax.

    Hamels is a nice pitcher. He got it done in 2008. I can never take that away from him. And he is pitching well this season. That is great for our team.

    But he is no ace.

    Pick a Roy on this team and that’s an ace.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Much like PennDOT when Taguchi left town on the turnpike,

    I told ya so

  • James Fayleez

    Not counting the rain shortened start in Atlanta, where he allowed three earned runs in 0.2 innings. Why? Because he was pulled after the delay, so we’ll never know how we may have fared had he been allowed to continue or if the downpour that occurred before the game was delayed had anything to do with his pitching performance.

    With Hamels, the people who champion him as Koufax always have the “not counting…” or “if you forget about…” reasoning to go with their argument.

    The bottom line is you have to take into account every start. I’m pretty sure that’s how they track EVERY pitcher in the league.

    He is striking out people left and right which is great, but he’s throwing too many pitches too early and by Dash’s stats, has given up as many HR’s already as he did in all of 2008. That part isn’t good.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jondgc Jon

    Are you even reading? The stats are from the first 21 starts of the season in each of the last three seasons.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Keep trying James ol buddy

  • http://bonerowner.com crazy4swayze
  • James Fayleez

    @Jon – are you saying he’s done giving up HR’s this year?

    I’m excited that you’re breaking that news here on thefightins.com.
    When is Ryan Howard coming back?

  • http://www.twitter.com/jondgc Jon

    “He is striking out people left and right which is great, but he’s throwing too many pitches too early and by Dash’s stats, has given up as many HR’s already as he did in all of 2008. That part isn’t good.”

    Maybe I misread your comment, but it seemed to me you’re saying that he only gave up 20 homers in all of 2008?

  • Shlo

    James,

    The stats from other years aren’t the full seasons, they’re through the same number of starts.

    It makes sense in this kind of comparison to not count something like that Atlanta rainout. Last night Halladay (one of your beloved Roys) gave up a HR in the 2nd inning. He pitched amazingly well the rest of the night. Had that game been interrupted after/during the 2nd and Roy not been able to come back it would have hurt his stats a lot more than the actual result. The larger sample sizes are what separate the SP stats from the RP stats. Chances are pretty good that he wouldn’t have been pulled if it weren’t for the rain delay – and we’ll never know if he would have followed it with 5 or 6 scoreless innings. It wouldn’t be the first time a pitcher gave up some runs early only to settle down and end up with a reasonable line at the end of the day. And if you watched that game you would also realize that Dash’s statement about the rain hurting his performance is not that far off. It wasn’t just a little sprinkle, it was pouring down in sheets. It really should have been called long before he gave up those runs. The fact is, there was nothing normal about that start. It was an anomaly, and while anomalies count in total stats it makes sense to pull them out when you’re analyzing performance.

    I’ve gotta say, I’ve been slow to accept that Cole is pitching well again. I really do still worry every time he takes the mound, almost as much as when Blanton or Moyer takes the mound. The way our offense played for a while I was honestly even worried sometimes when Halladay would give up a run or two – just b/c I didn’t think our guys would score enough to make it. Then there’s also our ‘pen to screw things up.

    I guess what I’m saying is that while Cole may not be Halladay, he’s certainly pitching well lately. Take his performance to a lot of other teams and he really would be the ace – just as Oswalt was the ace in Houston without winning a ton of games the past couple of years. Yeah, that’s right, I put Cole on par with Oswalt. Go ahead, compare their stats over the past 3 years. Similar number of starts, similar ERAs each year. If you give either/both of them reasonable run support they’d have the record to go along with “ace.” Look at those last 16 starts from Cole again, and ask yourself how many of those he should have won/lost. If you can’t win behind a pitcher with an ERA in the low-mid 3s you just can’t win.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AdamEaton21 Adam Eaton

    Here’s the thing… statistically, yes, he is every bit the pitcher he was in 2008. But let’s dig deeper. Homosexually speaking… would you say more, or less?

    And yes I am jelous that his wife was in playboy.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Throwing more pitches early? Is the part where I point out that he’s throwing the same number of pitches per start as he did in 2008?

    Wait . . . . talking about things that have not changed since 2008 . . . what is this creeping sense of familiarity

  • Pat

    COLE IS A 3.5 ERA PITCHER NOW SHUT THE FUCK UP AND ACCEPT THAT

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    *flashes back to Fightins 2009 threads*

    I’ve seen things man. I’ve seen some THINGS

  • James Fayleez

    @Shlo

    OMFG – you are giving me weather reports to support your argument. Please stop.

    Here are facts. I do not love Roy Halladay or Oswalt more than I love Cole. I love them all equally. or do not care about them all equally. whichever way you want to look at it.

    My point was this: In my opinion, people who defend Cole sound silly when they cite luck, weather conditions, day’s rest, etc. to excuse why he pitches poorly.

    I don’t hate him. I just believe that 2008 was an overachieving year for him. He is a solid number 2 pitcher, but not an ace.

  • Crocks

    If Cole was the best pitcher on our team, he would be OUR ace. If he pitched for a lot of other teams he might be THEIR ace. People ought to stop asking if he’s AN ace because that’s just creates arguments over their own definitions of what an ace is.

  • Crocks

    …when an ace is really defined as the best pitcher on a given team

  • James Fayleez

    @Crocks – AGREED

    Kudos to Dash for AGAIN bringing up a topic so polarizing. The responses on this should go on forever…

  • Cole Handsome

    The difference between this year and last year was determined in the offseason. After 2008, Hamels didn’t throw in the offseason because of the amount of innings he threw that year. He got hurt in Spring training and never had good velocity on his fastball. After 2009, he threw a lot more in the offseason. I think that’s why his velocity is up so much this year (at this point, he can consistently hit 94-96–at no point prior could he do that). Combined with his cutter, he may be a better pitcher now than he was in 2008 or 2007.

  • http://www.TheFightins.com Dash Treyhorn

    @James Fayleez Being a sports writer means that you occasionally broach subjects that are a bit divisive among the fans. If I, or anyone else, only wrote things that were completely unifying, that wouldn’t be much fun. Part of the appeal of writing about sports is that there is literally and endless supply of opinions that can be explored. For better or for worse.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jondgc Jon

    Early in the season I feel like Cole’s cutter was tacked-on, and he didn’t exactly know when to use it. I’m pretty sure half of his homers this year are on the cutter. But recently, he’s really settled in with it, and he has a better understanding of how to use it and in what counts. It has definitely helped him become more effective this year.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    His fastball was the same velocity from 2007-2009 — average 90.3 mph. You’re right though, it’s a tick faster this year, averaging 92 mph. His changeup is also about 2 mph faster than the last few years.

    Oddly enough, he’s pitching fantastically right now even having significantly reduced his use of his best pitch, the changeup — 22.3% this year compared to 30.3% in 2009, 31.5% in 2008, mostly at the expense of his cutter which he throws 13.2% of the time. I definitely think his cutter is getting better — his whiff rate on that pitch since July is about 7% higher than it was before that. Still odd that he would move away from the changeup.

  • James Fayleez

    “Being a sports writer…”

    LOL

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    I could’ve been an ace, but the BABIP against me was like .780 – I think I was just unlucky though.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Depends JDash, what was your LD%?

  • http://bonerowner.com crazy4swayze

    dr dre wrote a nice piece about this very topic years ago. in summary, his point was that you used to be his homey/ace, but now he wants to slap the taste out your mouth, make you bow down to the row.

  • Tyson

    I didn’t see any reference to the vital DPUHA statistic.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AdamEaton21 Adam Eaton

    @J-dash If we had a thread responders rotation here at theFightins.com you’d EASILY be the ace. No doubt…

  • Greenman!

    whats with all these cock heads bashing on Hamels? He’s an awesome #2 to Halladay. Its probably the same camp that whines about Cliff Lee and thinks Oswalt is terrible.

  • wheels’ hairpiece

    As long as Cole is relegated to carrying a poodle in a purse he will continue to draw the ire of Phillies fans, unless of course he can deliver another WSC. Then it might take an entire off-season to reignite said ire…

    off topic. in reference to ADAM DUNN BEING WAIVED BY THE NATS, how does the waiver wire work, and what would the Phillies have to give up to get him?

  • http://pabaseball.blogspot.com GM-Carson

    Over on my site I’ve mocked Hamels for the first few months of the season- same lame vagina jokes. Not because I hate him or want him gone. I felt he was underperforming since 2008 and expect better. I like Cole, hell I named my 2nd born after him (middle name). I’m glad he’s pitching well again, as he should be. Is he an ace? No, not yet. I consider aces few and far between. Someone who can routinely keep his ERA in the low 3′s. He’s on his way, and I sure as hell hope he gets there.

  • Angelo Cataldi

    Cole Hamels isn’t an ace, we should have traded huim and kept Lee!

  • James Fayleez

    Hi, I’m a troll.

  • Milt Thompson

    Until Cole hits a solo HR, he’s not an ace. Joe Blanton? Ace.

  • PhillyCuban

    @James Fayleez
    That time of month for ya huh?

    @wheels hairpiece
    we could put a claim on him, but other teams with worse records would have a higher priority if they put in a claim. The league matters too but idk which way it leans to. The Nats I think could pull him back if they want even if a claim is put in. Otherwise, they can trade Dunn to whoever won the claim for prospects. If they trade for someone on the 40 man roster then that player would have to go through waivers too.

    I wish there was a distinct definition for an ace because it would eliminate some dumb arguments. The name should mean the best or #1 pitcher on the team, hence the term. Some teams obviously dont have an ace with a rotation full of #3-4 starters (Pirates, Nats), and others might have 2-3 #2 starters (I would say Braves, except Hudsons an ace). Some pitchers might be between those categories, which I think Cole fits in. He is better than a #2 pitcher, but not quite as good as a true ace like Halladay or Lincecum. I would generally round up though, so if hes a #1.5 Id call that an ace.

  • Philly fan in DC

    @Wheels’ hairpiece – basically, the worst team in the NL will first have their chance to claim him, and so on until the best team in the NL (currently the Pads) either claim him or pass on him. If he passes through all the teams, then the Natinals can trade him. So bascially, if 8 or 9 teams pass on Dunn, the Phillies could take on his contract. If he’s in the last year of his deal, that would be a nice pickup…can’t remember if he is or not.

  • PhillyCuban

    its his last year…nats supposedly want to trade him then resign him still

  • wheels’ hairpiece

    Thanks, was just wondering. We’re probably not even entertaining the idea since he’s not a SP

  • phillyboy

    great !!

  • Tyson

    What about the Maddux/Smoltz/Glavine trio from the 90′s? Arguably the best top of the rotation in league history. Who of that group was considered the Ace? Clearly Maddux.

    The Halladay/Hamels/Oswalt trio could easily be the best in the league today. Who from that group is clearly the Ace?

    Halladay is obviously the man, and you’d be hard pressed to argue against it.

    Cole and Oswalt are phenomenal pitchers and can easily be considered 1B and 1C after Halladay, but when the term “Ace” comes up, it’s usually allocated to any given team’s true #1 pitcher… the guy you have absolute confidence in throwing out there in any situation.

    I see Dash’s point though… Cole CAN get back to his former self, or even better, and compete with Halladay for co-Ace consideration. He’s still young, and will continue to develop. Cole’s not at the Halladay level yet, even though he could be “close” within the next couple of years.

    Why don’t we all just hope he continues contributing this year like he did in 2008.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Rizzo was making huge demands for Dunn before the trade deadline. I doubt that has changed now, waivers is probably just to gauge interest and he’ll probably pull him back.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    I think the big problem is that “ace” is a loaded term that everyone has different definitions for. Cole would be a #1 starter on a ton of teams.

  • Crocks

    Cole Hamels is the “preeminent” #2 pitcher in the game!!!

  • James Fayleez

    That’s awesome. Because everyone is so blinded by love for Cole Hamels, and I’m speaking my opinion, I get someone to put my name up and say I’m a troll.

    That’s almost as childish as me saying he has a faggy voice.

    Please get over it people. He is a GOOD pitcher. He’s not great. Great #2 to Roy Halladay (as someone pointed out).

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    What’s your criteria for a great pitcher? Something objective would be nice, so I can figure out what other ones aren’t great by your standards.

  • James Fayleez

    Why do you need to figure out the quality of other pitchers?
    Who cares about other pitchers?

    We’re talking about Cole Hamels, right?

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Yes but you see when you use words like “ace” and “great” and “good” in the context of baseball they can have very different meanings for different people with different mushy gray stuff in their skull cases so I would like to at least know what they mean to you; since you’re acting like “He is a GOOD pitcher. He’s not great.” is an objective statement of fact I would like to be able to at least evaluate it rationally.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Like I could say, “no James Fayleez, Cole Hamels is an uber-excellent pitcher” and you wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to process that because I’ve offered nothing that has mutually recognizable criteria

  • Crocks

    Does this mean James Fayleez is the preeminent mushy skulled Cole Hamels hater?

  • James Fayleez

    “He is a GOOD pitcher. He’s not great.”

    This is my opinion. Where did I ever say it was a fact? The only fact I presented was that I don’t have a favorite pitcher in the Phillies rotation.

    You obviously DO have a favorite pitcher in the Phillies rotation and it clouds your judgement when it comes to being objective about his performance in relation to the rest of the pitchers on the staff.

    I get it. You LOVE you some Cole Hamels. He is great and super and peachy-keen.

    Don’t try to diguise your love like you are a detective searching for clues to try to unravel the mystery of who is a good pitcher and who is a great pitcher.

    Ace – Roy Halladay
    Great – Cole Hamels 2008
    Good – Cole Hamels all other years

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    That’s . . . an interesting thing to resort to but I don’t think I could pick a favorite between Halladay and Hamels. And Ownswalt owns as well. I would describe all three of them as varying degrees of super and peachy-keen.

    But you did sort of illustrate my dilemma here with that last bit — what makes Roy Halladay an ace but Cole Hamels’ 2008 not ace? Cole Hamels’ 3.08 ERA in 2008 was better than Halladay’s 2007, 2006, 2004, and 2003 seasons.

    On the flip side, I’m not sure if you were aware, but Cole Hamels was fairly lucky in 2008 — his peripherals make his expected ERA, per SIERA, more like 3.52. Does that bump him down to good?

    What I’m getting at is that the “Ace” and “Good but not great” designations are a very superficial look at a pitcher and don’t really tell very much to someone who is not in your head. Dash at least made his case for why Hamels is an ace, you’ve just been making very short, concrete statements of your opinion without justification. Absent that justification, someone like me might be tempted to say you fell headfirst into the macho horseshit wagon in 2009 and have cultivated an entirely irrational distaste of Hamels due to his high pitched voice and dog backpack, and that the words you are now squirting across my monitor are somewhat comparable to the real liquidy yellow shit that comes out the asshole of that Asian girl in the sink in that one horrible internet meme.

    But I would never jump to that conclusion.

  • James Fayleez

    When you start talking about SIERA and whatever other sabremetric designation you and Urkel came up with, my head starts spinning. I’m not going to debate sabremetrics vs. enjoying the game with you, because we each are clearly on opposite sides of that discussion.

    Here is what makes Halladay an ace this year and Hamels second banana: Because I said so.
    I even have an acronym for it: GETOFFCOLESDICK

    I tried to make my burn on you a bit simpler than the asian yellow water thing you went into that took about 9 lines….

  • Matt Stairs

    Honestly, I feel that Cole is every bit the Ace that Roy Oswalt (but not quite Halladay) has been this year, but some people are going to claim Oswalt is better because of the longer track record and career etc.

    But anyway… in my opinion we have 3 Ace’s in our starting rotation this year, although obviously Halladay would be the #1 Ace if you want to look at it that way.

    But in a strange sense of irony, Halladay is also the only pitcher in our current rotation without any World Series or even Playoff experience( even Kendrick pitched in the NLDS, and he did fairly well if I remember right).

    Oswalt on the other hand is the 2005 NLCS MVP, and Hamels is the 2008 NLCS AND World Series MVP, which has to make everyone feel a little bit better knowing that we have a pitching rotation that has largely been there before, and often succeeded quite well.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    I’m and apologetic but unsurprised that 4 letters make your head spin.

    Anyway we’ve circled back around to your original question which is a bloo bloo bloo why are you calling me a trolllllllll and the answer is that post. Progress!

  • Matt Stairs

    So I heard James Fayleez is a regular caller at WIP, can anyone confirm this?

    No but seriously, I think there are a lot more people who undervalue Cole…than the people who overvalue him, and think he is the second coming Lefty or something else far-fetched like that.

  • James Fayleez

    Who is undervaluing him?

    I said he’s a good number 2 pitcher. If I don’t say he’s an ace, do we lose more games?

    troll
    wip caller
    asian water thing

    Whatever guys. Keep the insults coming. That will change my opinion and Cole will be a bigger ace than Roy Halladay. His SIERRA will be exquisite.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Damn, he sure stuck it to all those people that were saying Hamels was better than Halladay

  • Matt Stairs

    You are blind if you think ANY OF US are claiming Cole is better than Roy Halladay, and somebody would have to be completely insane to try and claim that he was.

    The only thing I was trying to say is that if 2010 Roy Oswalt(not Halladay) is considered an Ace, than so is 2010 Cole Hamels. The numbers and results are similiar enough that this is a fair enough assessment in my opinion.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Well Matt Stairs have you considered that he is Good But Not Great ™???? No I will not elaborate on that at all. Get off of Cole’s dick.

  • Mike P

    Here’s an interesting question: How many starting pitchers in Phillies history have pitched as well as or better than Cole Hamels?

    I’m in a bit of a rush and unable to get too deep into the stats, so this is all off the top of my head:

    Grover Cleveland Alexander
    Robin Roberts
    Jim Bunning
    Steve Carlton
    Curt Schilling

    Curt Simmons
    Chris Short
    Rick Wise

    I’d qualify the first five pitchers as “top tier,” and the last three guys as second tier. For my money, Hamels is probably near the top of the second tier right now, with clear potential to put himself in the category of the first tier pitchers.

    You could add Doc or Lee to this conversation, but I don’t know how comfortable I feel ranking someone with only a half season in red pinstripes under his belt. Of course, there’s a similar problem in sample size discussing Cole at this point, so the exercise is somewhat flawed from the beginning.

    Regardless, my point is that we’re talking about Cole as a top 10 starter in this franchise’s long, and admittedly tortured, history. That alone is reason enough to say that he’s been a little better than “good” or “OK,” and he’s not even 27 years old. He’s been particularly stellar this year, and whether it’s because of luck, fastball speed, or a newfound ability to put people away, I’m all about giving the guy his due. He’s not as good as Doc Halladay or Steve Carlton right now, but so what? That’s no reason to paint him as average, slightly above average, or pussy-esque, no matter how many times he puts a dog in his backpack.

  • James Fayleez

    @ Matt Stairs, I know Phylan is eager for you to be his buddy in this, but are you even arguing the same thing? I’m not arguing if Cole is better than Roy Halladay.

    All I said was enough with the “Ace” talk for Cole.

    I want the Phillies to win another World Series. Do you? Or do you want to suck off Cole Hamels?
    Which is the bigger goal?

    Phylan, you can reply to, but I think I have a good idea what your sloppy, napkin-needed answer is already….

  • Greenman!

    Joe Blanton wears a lot of red pinstripes

  • James Fayleez

    I forgot to ask – how is Cole’s DSUHA?

  • My God

    Is this what all comment threads are like on this site? DNFTT, folks.

  • philajaime

    In baseball, a team’s ace is the best starting pitcher on the team and nearly always the first pitcher in the starting rotation. Barring injury or exceptional circumstances, the ace is usually the pitcher that starts on Opening Day. In addition, aces are usually preferred to start crucial playoff games, sometimes on three days rest.[citation needed]

    The term may be a derivation of the nickname of Asa Brainard, (real first name: “Asahel”), a 19th century star pitcher, who was sometimes referred to as “Ace”.

    Cole is ace material, no question. Most MLB teams would stick him right up at number one in the rotation. But he isn’t the Phillies’ ace. Nor is Oswalt. There can only be one “best pitcher” and it’s Doc, hands down. But that’s just my (and wikipedia’s) definition of a pitching ace.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Hey look, philajaime is doing it right. If that’s your definition of ace, than Cole is not one. He’s still a great pitcher, and by great pitcher I mean pitcher who has peripherals that indicate an ERA at least in the mid 3s, with one dominant pitch and a solid repertoire, who is still only 26 and still improving.

  • Matt Stairs

    There are a number of different definitions of what an Ace is, and some people believe that having 3 great pitchers equals 3 Aces, while some others would argue that only the #1 pitcher on the team is the Ace.

    If you are going by the definition that a team can only have 1 Ace, than it is undoubtedly Roy Halladay.

    Should you support the notion of a team having multiple Aces, then we have 3.

    Hamels,Halladay,and Oswalt have all been #1′s for teams, so they all have been their current or former teams Ace’s before.

  • Dave

    Hey, guys, remember when Lieber or Myers was the Phillies “ace?” Good times.

  • Philly fan in DC

    Screw that – how about when Robert Person was duking it out with Paul Byrd for the title of Phils’ ace?

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