We all know that starting pitchers can be extremely important to the success of a Major League Baseball team. I’m not sure we all knew just how important Cole Hamels could be to the Philadelphia Phillies until he was gone. Of course he is technically still there but his dominant pitching is not there and hasn’t been all year long. How different would things be for the Phillies if Hamels had actually been himself this season? Think about it.
His WHIP is a couple of tenths higher than it has been in years and higher than it has been his entire career. His strikeout to walk ratio is down from 4.15 last year to 3.00 this year. He is on pace to give up over a hundred runs for the first time in his career and he is also on pace for more walks for the season than he has ever had. Of course all of that results in his ERA being higher than ever and the simple fact that instead of this 17 game winner a year ago repeating some success similar to that, he has a record of 2 – 11.
It is basically the same thing that would have happened if the Phillies cut Hamels before the season and brought up some mediocre guy to start in his place. Think of how costly that would be and that is what they have. The Phillies are not really that far out of it if you look closely. With the success that Cliff Lee has had, adding the normal Hamels output to that would take this team from distant third to close second place contenders. What a difference it makes for one pitcher to lose his stellar control for the first half of the season.