Some quick thoughts on this very pessimistic Monday in April. I figured I would try to be a positive as possible after the Phillies' 2-4 start.
Reasons to Relax (That are also the reason to panic):
Cole Hamels will not be this bad. While some fans think that two poor starts are an indication that he is the worst pitcher there ever was, Cole Hamels will be Cole Hamels. I cannot believe that after a dominant Spring Training he will not give the Phillies some wins. It just so happens that two of them happened now as he struggled with location. He will be better.
Ezequiel Carrera will not be on the team for more than a few weeks. For better or for worse, Delmon Young will return and play the outfield regularly. I would hope that he gives you more than a guy who was cut from the Seattle Mariners. His misplay in right field on Sunday was the winning run, it would turn out to be. He went hitless in his debut and made what looked like a decent play after initially misplaying it.
Chad Durbin has been throwing batting practice so far - there's no denying that. But looking to 2012 Durbin was a very effective reliever for the Atlanta Braves. His start with the Braves in 2012 was not too much different. After a 9.00 ERA in April he ended the season with a 3.10 ERA, including a 2.28 mark after the All-Star break. Once he settles in, he will be okay...he will not remain this bad. Plus, stronger starts from Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay we are not talking about Chad Durbin as much.
The guy is a good catcher. The pitchers like him. He has never been too much of a hitter, though, which is why he never left AAA minus a quick September call-up with the Pirates before joining the Phillies organization, this third. Kratz has the making of a solid backup catcher. The problem is, for the the next 19 games, he has to be the primary starter. The good news is, it is only 19 games and he will return to once-a-week action.
Kyle Kendrick pitched well for the Phillies, leaving after 5 2/3 with two runners on and having given up two runs. I can assure you that if Kendrick pitched that way all 33 of his starts throughout the year he would win 15 games easily. This was one the bullpen let get away from the Phillies. I do not blame Kendrick and there is no reason to think that without a bullpen implosion he can help the team. Remember fans, he is a number-four starter, not a lock-down ace.
Don't forget fans, the Braves and the Royals are two teams that are projected by many to win 90 games. Yes, even the Royals. Respected baseball analyst Jon Paul Morosi likens the 2013 Royals to the 2008 Rays and the 2012 Orioles. Losing a series to each will not kill the Phillies, but they will have to make quick work for the Mets and Marlins in division games when given the opportunity. Enjoy the nice weather at the games this week, having a beer and some Federal Donuts and chicken. It is not time to worry yet.