Due to popular opinion, I feel like we must address this issue. For those who have not heard, Cole Hamels, the Phillies 2002 #1 pick, just pitched his first minor league game since injuring his hand in a bar fight over the off season. His ability to pick up where he left off, pitching 5 no hit innings for Clearwater, really impressed the scouts and raised the question of when will he be brought up. Yes, he’s only in single A but, prior to the injury he was on track to be in Scranton by year’s end at least — he still could be. That is, depending on how the Phillies move him through the system.
Recently the Phillies have botched a few callups. I call it the Marlon Byrd trap but Gavin Floyd has also experienced it. You have someone who’s a hair away from being an every day starter in the majors and he shows some small sign of weakness he’s sent back down to AAA, usually towards the beginning of the season no less. But what winds up happening is that his confidence is completely shot, he totally sucks in AAA; now the Phils are hesitant to call him back up. In Gavin Floyd’s case, they should just left him on the roster and had him pitch in the bullpen for a little. I mean whats the difference if Geoff Geary or Aaron Fultz is back in AAA and Floyd is in the bullpen? He should be able to handle a few innings in relief and wait for his opportunity to start. Instead he is wallowing in Scranton.
So, I’m not saying bring Cole Hamels up this weekend to replace Randy Wolf’s left arm in the rotation. Rather, the Phils must be more deliberate when ushering up prospects. Wait until they are absolutely ready to call them up and once they’re there give them a sufficient opportunity win a spot. Even Ryan Howard should be given a chance, even if he’s more valuable on another team.