Turns out all of those preseason prognosticators were right: The Philadelphia Phillies are really one of the worst teams in the National League.
In his heart of hearts, Cole Hamels could have told them that a long time ago. Even though the 30-year-old Phillies left-hander has a no-trade clause that limits the number of teams who could trade for him to 10, he has plenty of incentive to get out of Philadelphia.
While the fans have treated Hamels like the 2008 World Series MVP hero that he was, his teammates have not given him the same kind of support. Hamels should be able to flourish for any team with a relatively decent and consistent starting eight behind him.
Here’s why: Even though Hamels is 9-10 in his last 19 decisions, he has 239.2 innings pitched with a 2.97 ERA, a 1.127 WHIP, 8.64 strikeouts per nine innings and batters are hitting .239 against him. Those are the kind of numbers that should dictate a 13-6 record or better, not a 9-10 one.
Hamels must feel frustrated leaving virtually every game in the seventh inning with a 1-0 deficit. One look at Hamels in the dugout after he’s pulled shows a mixture of anger and disgust which has to be mostly directed at his impotent hitting teammates.
While the list of teams Hamels will accept a trade to is a narrow one now, expect that to expand soon. Last year, four starting pitchers in baseball put up a winning record with a 3.60 or worse ERA. Hamels’ 3.60 got him an 8-14 record.
At some point — and I assume he’s reached it already — Hamels told his agent that he wants to get out and, for that, no one can blame him.