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Posts Tagged ‘Cole Hamels’

imagesWith spring training a little over a month away, and pitchers reporting in two weeks, the regular season is just around the corner.  Those rusty shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, hammies, groins and legs will soon enough turn into a trip to the big leagues or another season down on the farm.  Each spring promising youngsters get a shot at making the big league in exhibition games, veterans earn their respect, and players on their last legs attempt to prove that they still have the right “stuff.”

What is often over looked by the gigantic free agent signings are prospects that have been developing and maturing in the minors.  The draft, team development of players, and the Rule 5 draft are ignored because of this “WIN right now at all cost” mentality (Think of the Yankees).  Interestingly, if you look at the Philadelphia Phillies roster five (C. Ruiz, R. Howard, C. Utley, J. Rollins, P. Burrell) of their eight position starters were drafted by Philadelphia, and four (C. Hamels, K. Kendricks, B. Myers, A. Eaton), of their six (they traded for Joe Blanton) starters were also drafted by the Phillies.

Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, and Hamels were the core of that 2008 World Championship team.  That is building from within.  The [Devil] Rays, contrary to popular belief, were not as built from within (though trading their prospect helped them receive key parts [i.e. Delmon Young for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett]).  Only four of their starting eight was drafted by the Rays (E. Longoria, BJ Upton, C. Crawford, J. Gomes), and two of their five main starters (J. Shields and A. Sonnanstine) were drafted by the Rays.  Now this isn’t awful, but just not as many as the Phillies.
*Just for comparison sakes, the Yankees did have 8 players on their everyday roster that they drafted.

Though, the draft is not an exact science (only 16 of the 43 top pick in the draft have been all stars, two have never play a game in the big leagues, and only two have been Rookie of the Year), building a team through the draft is essential to having a winning team.  Trading picks away for the present only creates problems for the future.  Building from within has always proven to lead to great results.

The most interesting thing to notice about the two World Series teams is their mlb_vwt3_swpayroll ($43,820,598 [Rays] to $98,269,881 [Phillies]).  That is more than double.  Granted, the Phillies spent heavy in the off-season and trades, while the Rays decided that they would be a bit more frugal.  The huge signings by the Yankees may look like brilliant ideas today, but does not guarantee a playoff birth, let alone a winning record (the top three payrolls did not even make the playoffs).

Obviously, drafting doesn’t equate a title run, or a title.  Nevertheless, the Rays and Phillies made to WS without a $100 million cap, and the Brewers made the playoffs within that same category.  The free spending owners, and the high rolling sports agents may be rich, but as they say “A ring is more important than all the records in the world!”

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On a day when Barry Bond’s 756th home run finally made it to the Hall of Fame (steroids and all), the next big media obsession, Joba Chamberlain took the mound against the Rangers. Lasting a disappointing 4 innings because he lacked control walking 4 (49 of 91 pitches were for strikes). However, he did only allow 5 hits while striking out 6. He left the game in the fifth in line for the loss, but the Yanks bailed him out of the loss in the bottom of the 6th on Wilson Betemit single. Mariano Rivera went on to lose the game in the top of the 9th in a non-save, but a tie game instead.

Since joining the rotation Joba has walked 17 batters in 29 innings. His control has been an issue all season, even in the minors he showed better control than this (27 walks in 88 innings, the majority of those as a starter). Maybe the media hype, and the fact that he was praised as the savior to the Yankees rotation problem might be getting to his head a bit. He should start showing better control of his pitches in the second half. however, he will only have about 100 more innings due to the total innings limit (his range being limited to less than 150 innings).

Due to extended period of time exposed to the sun (aka sunburn and heat exhaustion), todays post will not dive to deep into baseballs unheralded players.

Chipper Jones- How did I miss this: Chipper likely heading to the DL? That is according to several sites, but then again this should sound normal.  Yet he still went 1/3 last night.

Troy Percival- Was placed on the DL with a strained left hammy. What else did you expect from a 39 year old reliever who was retired?

Brett Myers- Once their ace, once their closer, more than twice wronged by the Phillies management. What an awful way to yank around such quality talent (though you wouldn’t know it by the way he has pitched this season). In a deseprate move to get Brett his command and dominating stuff back the Phillies sent him down to AAA. What a Debbie-Downer for Myers, and a sign that the Phillies have screwed up their once promising ace (and I know Cole Hamels is now considered their ace, but a long time ago in a not so distant past Myers was that ace in a box).

Joe Borowski- Joe blow was at it again, coughing up his fourth blown save of the season. Rafael Betancourt lost his touch this season, and Masa Kobayashi proved in Japan that he could hand the 9th, but the Majors weren’t so peachy for him either. If Borowski can’t get it together and only allow his ERA to rise in non-save situations, then the Indians can just write off the rest of their season.

Aaron Cook- Pitched a 79 pitch complete game shutout master piece against the Padres(5 hits, and 4 strikeouts 0 walks). That’s right he only needed less than 9 pitches per inning of work. Most impressive was that he was pitching at home.

Miguel Cabrera- Left in the 5th during Monday nights game, and pinch-hit in last nights game. What ever happened to the Tigers raking all year long, and having the most dominating top through bottom lineup? When everyone was talking about Miguel producing prodigious numbers, we all forgot that switching leagues can hinder and humble any caliber of hitter. Not saying Cabrera is having an awful year, just an awful year for his standards.

Hanley Ramirez- I know I said I wouldn’t talk about big names all the time, but tonight I think some of them need some noticing more than normal. With a 5 rbi night, and another homer. Ramirez has quietly hit 20 homers, plus 20 steals. He has already reached the 20/20 plateau in a little over half way through the season. A 40/40 season might not be reached because he wont hit 40 homers this season.

Dioner Navarro- Went 2/4 driving 2 runs, both on singles. He continues to be clutch (hitting .317 RISP) for the Rays. Not many catcher are going to provide you with a good average.

Alexei Ramirez- Need a second baseman? Don’t want to trade for Cano’s second half explosion. Grab this fleeing Cuban. Hitting in the sandbox on the South-side of Chicago. He offers dual positions while providing good run, rbi production along with a sustainable .295 average.

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