After last night's loss, the Phillies send the struggling yet well rested Cole Hamels to the mound to face Pittsburgh's top prospect Gerrit Cole.
We all know of Hamels' woes right now. I am not a W/L guy and don't even feel it's something that should show up in a pitcher's record but when your record is 2-12, something isn't right. First it was run support, then it was a few bad outings, then the past few have him starting out great and then probably falling victim to probably thinking about it too much. He has three more starts, counting today before the All Star Break. It'll be nice to see him finish the first half on a high note. As I said, I'm not really concerned with him winning games but if he put together some nice outings, it's something to build on.
Cole began the season as Pittsburgh's top prospect and a top ten prospect in all of baseball. He certainly has the stuff and throws high 90's gas which is never a bad thing. A few starts into his major league career, he's shown some great promise. Not as exciting to watch as Matt Harvey or Jose Fernandez but still someone who could reach elite status in time and join the new class of superstar power arms.
Ryan Howard, who sat most of yesterday, is set to rejoin the line up today. Michael Young gets a breather in favor of Kevin Frandsen, who has swung a nice stick in a part time role. Young almost seems like a certainty to be dealt at the deadline. Who knows, Frandsen may have a few suitors as well. He's certainly a great extra piece to have for a contender.
It's high time for the Bucs right now. Surrounding a nice core of players like McCutchen, Marte, and Alvarez are a lot of players who had been cast away from other organizations. They're being utilized correctly and given chances to succeed on a team that isn't showing signs of slowing down (yet).
Enjoy the game. Happy 4th folks!
D. Young 9