Year In Review: Cole Hamels – Phillies Nation
2009 Year in Review

Year In Review: Cole Hamels

In January of 2009, the Phillies avoided arbitration with Cole Hamels by signing him to a three-year, $20.5 million deal.  For a pitcher who won the 2008 World Series MVP, the move was a cheap steal for the Phillies.  After going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the playoffs, the young left-hander had high expectations for 2009.

Cole didn’t respond the way everybody would’ve liked.

On the first day of spring training, Charlie Manuel penciled Hamels in as the Opening Day starter.  However, Hamels suffered from elbow pain and wouldn’t make his first start until April 10.  It wasn’t pretty; Hamels allowed seven earned runs in 3.2 innings.  It was just the beginning of a long season for Hamels.

Glancing at his stats, Hamels had an average year for a major league pitcher.  What made Hamels’ season disappointing was the fact that everybody knew that he was capable of being a big game pitcher.  Hamels’ frustration in himself was noticeable, especially in the National League Championship Series when he tossed his arms in the air after a teammate’s error.

It was very easy to point out Hamels’ problem: location.  When Hamels missed his spots, he paid heavily.  But at least he made batters work their way on.  Hamels gave up 9.6 hits per nine innings.  Hamels only walked two batters per nine innings, a career best.  51.4% of his pitches were in the strike zone, which ranked fifth best in the National League.  He also had the fifth best walk/strikeout ratio (3.91) in the National League.

Hamels was unable to get into a groove during the posteason.  He went 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA, and allowed seven home runs.

In early 2009, Hamels admitted to Phillies Nation that he does not have a good curveball.  It showed in 2009, but if it can be improved, he’ll be that much better of a pitcher.  The 26-year old is still capable of being an ace.  With less offseason distractions, Hamels can prepare himself for the 2010 season, and can hopefully return to his old, dominant form.

2009 stats: 32 G, 10-11, 193.2 IP, 4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 168 SO, .273 BAA

Grade: 5.5/10 — Hamels had a disappointing year, but his subpar season was about average for a major league pitcher.



  1. NateB

    December 26, 2009 at 10:57 am

    2009 was just a bump in the road for Hamels. Even a young Steve Carlton had 20 losses and a 3.90 ERA the year after his Cy Young year of 1972. A 4.32 ERA (pitching mostly in CBP) is not terrible, just the stats of an average MLB pitcher. He will bounce back this year and be the “lefty ace” of the staff.

  2. Michael

    December 26, 2009 at 11:29 am

    well deserved score. I simply cannot wait to see more of his commercials…

  3. Greg V.

    December 26, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I agree on the post. Hamels wasn’t horrible this year but you could tell at the end his head wasn’t in the game at all. Sometimes you just need a clean slate. I have a feeling King Cole will come back in a big way next season. Halladay and Hamels is a phenominal 1-2 punch!

  4. Don M

    December 26, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    better than average ERA, better than average WHIP, and won 10 games with very little run support in almost every start..

    managed to give us almost 200 innings the year after throwing 40% more inning than his previous career high.

    He’ll be back to great in 2010

  5. Nick

    December 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I would give him about a 3 honestly.

    I don’t care what the rest of the league was supposed to be doing, Hamels was expected to be a solid ace with sub-3.70 ERA (I’m being generous) and all he did was disappoint every other start.

    His performances in the playoffs were terrible (NLDS game 2, my first playoff game ever… gr) and his remarks were embarrassing.

    Maybe if he spent his offseason training instead of making commercials and starring on late night shows, I would have been on Broad Street November 3rd celebrating with 2 million others for the 2nd year in a row.

    I expect him to have a bounce back year since all of the Hollywood crap has ended, but a 5.5 to me is too generous for him in 2009.

  6. phil

    December 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    stfu nick. if it wasnt for hamels you would not have gotten to celebrate the first time

  7. Penny Nichols

    December 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Cole needs to come back strong in 2010 because he can do better and he should be among the elite pitchers in baseball. Last year was an off year and he needs a better showing. The Phils need a better showing. I hope he comes to spring training fit and stronger with a good third pitch like a slider or split-finger — or both. GO PHILS !!!!

  8. Pingback: Year In Review: Cole Hamels | Phillies Nation - World Breaking News

  9. The Dipsy

    December 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Friends – From what I keep hearing, there are two schools of thought as to why Cole dropped off a little this year. One is that he didn’t train that much last off season and the other is that the league has caught up to him and he needs to add a third pitch. Well, as for myself, I think its the latter. When I think of great two pitch starting pitchers I can think of Koufax, Ryan, and Doc Gooden. As for great two pitch starting pitchers who’s second pitch was NOT a devestating curve, I can’t think of one. There must be a reason for that.

    Hamel’s curve is just awful. Its of the lollipop variety that loops and comes in slowly, about the same speed as his change, and it gets killed. I suggest he scrap it. I’d love to see a cutter, a fastball that can tail a bit. As it is now, I think hitters in the playoffs just sat on his fastball, which is decent but not a plus pitch. J.A. Happ can throw that fastball that rises up and in to righties. Its basically a riser. Maybe he can help Cole out with that. Probably not.

    Cole lost his location at times last year. I think this is beacuse when the hitters laid of his change and he tried to throw the fastball for striked behind in the count. Thats a bad recipe for him. I think a decent third pitch will help him immensely. Like I said, cutter…baby slider?

    The Dipsy

  10. John Cappello

    December 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Cole’s dip in 2009 demonstrates the fine line between success and failure in the major leagues, and that lack of preparation can doom even the most talented. Can’t blame him too much for getting a bit sidetracked in the focus department after sweeping those playoff MVPs, winning the championship, and hitting the post-title “world” tour, all at 25 years old. He sounded genuinely embarrassed from it all so I expect him to well-prepared come April, which will help tilt the fate of the baseball gods more in his favor.

  11. Matt Kwasiborski

    December 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Cole’s issue was both mental and physical. He learned at the pro level you have to train harder than ever instead of relying on pure talent as he clearly has. He admitted so and now knows you have to work hard with your talent to dominate. He also let things slip up mentally too. If something went wrong he lost all focus and then the game. He was blowing through the Yanks in Game 3 like the Cole of old then walked Big Tex with a 2 out 3-2 pitch that for all intensive purposes was a strike. Instead he lost focus and gave into A-Rod who hit that crazy HR. Same thing happened against the Rox in Game 2 of the NLDS. He gave up a bloop hit to the pitcher and lost all focus.

    He needs to rest and get into a workout regmine. He will bounce back strong- he is a fighter contrary that he gives up. He speaks his mind too much but he DOES want to be here and will rock the world next season.

    Yes, he probably needs to develop another pitch but that changeup is silly. Greg Maddux lived off his change up, fast ball and splitter or slider. But what set apart Maddux was that he studied each hitter and knew how to pitch everyone in both leagues. That is the work ethic Hamels should develop if he wants to be a HOFer.

  12. James Kay

    December 26, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Hammels has degenerated to a predictable very slightly above average pitcher. He lacks the killer instinct of a dominant pitcher who turns it up after finding himself in trouble, and his lollipop curve is a pitch even I could hit for double in the gap. After Cliff Lee joined the Phillies, Hammels began to show some of his psychological instability with his many inane attitude comments. I think the National League hitters have figured out how to consistently beat Hammels. Do you recall the monster homer Manny Ramirez hit off him in the NLCS? Too bad Amaro could not work some magic by keeping Cliff Lee for another year while unloading Hammels. However, Cole’s commericals are fantastic. He really has a great persona and physical appearance for acting.

  13. joedad

    December 26, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Cliff Lee with be the 2009 version of Cole Hamels. Cole Hamels will be the 2009 version of Cliff Lee.

  14. WFC010

    December 26, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Cole Hamels is simply too good of a pitcher to not come back from this. Like many fans, I was upset at Cole for blowing it in the World Series, but I can bet YOU ALL that nobody was more upset by it than Cole himself. And what does somebody do when they are upset with themselves? They try to look at where they went wrong, and devote the time to fixing it. For Cole, I think developing a good third pitch would work wonders. Also he needs to regain his focus, and not lose his cool when something goes wrong.

  15. PhilsWin

    December 27, 2009 at 1:06 am

    IT’S HAMELS! ONE FREAK’N M! I swear some of these people commenting both started following the Phils after 2008 AND cannot read either.

  16. JJFritz

    December 27, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Well, well, well… It seems like there are lovers and haters here. Love Cole when he’s dominating, hate him when he has a mishap. As a Phillies phan since God knows when, I guess we really are the toughest fans ever. Sorry for the cracks on all the wanna-be Yankee fans for calling them all ‘Front-runners’… It seems like that’s all we seem to be right now. So Cole struggled… So what?! He isn’t God, you know. He isn’t perfect! Even Pedro Martinez struggled over the years. But he had a good year for us last year, and some people even talk about him as the last piece to the rotation puzzle for this year. Do you really think he can continue to perform the way he did last year? As good as he was for the 2nd half of the year, would he be able to do it for the whole year? Probably not. He struggled at the end of the year and in the post-season. But, is anyone blaming the season on him? Saying that if he would have pitched better, then our dreams of repeating would have been fulfilled? No, of course not. You can’t expect a former Cy Young winner, young or old, to duplicate what he did in his best year every year after the fact. We will never see the Pedro of old, but everyone is still willing to accept him for who he is. Yes, he is good. No doubt about it. But, he will never be the Pedro of old. Yes, Cole is young and has already won a World Series. But, he’s not the Cy Young caliber pitcher that dominates everyone like Pedro, Clemens, Halladay, or even Lee did in their primes. They too were young at once. It took them years and years of refining and mistakes and recalculating their own efforts to bring them to the quality pitchers that they are today. If we look back at those pitchers, I guarantee you that there are years when they struggled just as Cole has. In those years of struggling, did anyone want to turn their backs on them? Or did they have faith that they could turn themselves around and rebound? I’m sure there were mixed feelings as well. If anything, it was a mistake to throw him to the wolves and expect a repeat of ’08. We need to let Cole work things out with himself and his coaching staff. That is their job after all. He will bounce back. He’s still young and has plenty of time to reach his full potential. I do agree — another pitch to go with the fastball and curve will make those 10 times as effective. So, I implore you true Phillies Phans — please ease up. Give him time to recoup from a rough year and get himself back on track. After all, he started the year off hurt last year, then had to take the full weight of the load because Myers was hurt. It was too much for someone who wasn’t 100 per cent. Give him time. I think we will see what he is capable of doing, and you guys who are ready to throw him under the bus right now will be praising him and thanking God almighty that he’s able to do what he is.

  17. Brian Sr. of CO

    December 27, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Ive seen 5.5 out of 10, and 3 out of 10. I think it really should have been down the middle. Closer to 4.5 out of 10. Remember people, we are rating the 2009 season, NOT the 2008. Sure we all know in 2008 ESPECIALLY including the playoffs, he would have been between 8 and 9, but call it like it is. The problem I see is honestly is comments like “if it wasnt for hamels you would not have gotten to celebrate the first time”. Sure he was AWESOME is 08, but we are talking about 09. I dont quite agree that 4.32 is ABOVE average. I can see 4.32 being average maybe, but how can 4.32 be ABOVE average, and only a few points higher of 4.94 is BELOW average or horrible? Like it or not, Hamels was not good as an ace in 09, again before people take it personally (not sure how some people are flipping out so bad about this), sure he was awesome in 08, but we are talking about 09. Regardless of how good Hamels was in the postseason of 08, should we really compare him to Steve Carlton? IF he can clear his mind, and work out during the offseason, HOPEFULLY he can be a solid #2, but seeing how his wife just had a baby, it is even that much more difficult with a new baby at home to do that. Believe me, I have a 2 month old at home, and it is difficult. Dont confuse people who are honestly calling it like it is and say he was NOT good in 09 as “throwing him under the bus” and not willing to give him another chance. Just because some of us are willing to say he was NOT good in 09 (truth) doesnt mean we dont think he has the skill to do it again. He has the skill, he needs to work on his mental toughness. I think thats his biggest problem, and some of his numbers really point to that.He will have a really good game going, give up a double maybe, then all of a sudden WHAT OUT. 1 double, he gets flustered, it leads to single, walks and homers. IF he buckly down again and not let those things affect him so much, he would be MUCH better. I am saying he was NOT good in 09, basing that on the fact that he was supposed to be out ACE. His numbers overall were comparable to our #4 starter, not much better then the original #5. I for one give him a clean slate in 2010 when we start off again, just as I was able to do in 09, which I think most still cannot do. Give him a CLEAN slate TOTAL. See how he does in 2010 to base your rating of his 2010 season on his 2010 season NOT on his 08 season. To many people are overly kind at times because of how great he was in 08. IF Hamels was not supposed to be our Ace, I could see 5.5-6.5, but since he was supposed to be our ace, and supposed to be the consistent best chance of winning pitcher, I would put him at 4.5. Maybe it was injury, maybe it was his workout regimen, regardless of whatever it was, call it like it is. Brad Lidge is a GREAT example. Should we give Lidge a 5 or 6 because he was AWESOME and probably about a 9.5 or 10 in 08, or should we call it like it is and say with injuries and maybe other things he deserves about a 3.5ish? Not of course not, base the rating on thast season, not others.

  18. George

    December 27, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I don’t believe this rating was based at all on 2008. You can’t rate Hamels on what he SHOULD have done, because no one knows that.

    It was explained early on that a “5” rating is average. At 5.5, Hamels comes out barely above average, and that seems about right. A 4.32 ERA is not good, but not horrible, either. The entire Brewers starting staff had higher ERAs, and Derek Lowe posted a 4.67, yet won 15 games. Clff Lee, out recently traded god, had an ERA just a little under 4 for the season, although his Philadelpia numbers were better. And yes, 4.94 is below average, whereas 4.32 isn’t. That’s a difference of more than half a run per game, and that’s a lot.

    I also don’t believe Hamels’ troubles can be attributed entirely to “the league catching up to him.” If that were true, it would have happened sooner; probably in 2008. There’s no doubt that a better third pitch would help, but if he still can’t locate his fastball, it won’t help much.

    2009 was not a good year for Hamels, and the frustrations of it would have been difficult for even a long-time veteran. One can have that “killer instinct” in spades–which a person who came back from a broken pitching arm probably does–but if one’s ammunition constantly misfires, he’s still not going to win, and he’s going to show his anger about it, sometimes inappropriately.

  19. Keystone

    December 27, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Just something interesting to look at for those that have suggested keeping Lee and shipping Hamels…forget about Lee’s first 2 years where he had 2 starts in ’02 and 9 starts in ’03 and compare his first 4 full years to Hamels first 4 full years.
    ’04: 33 starts 0 CG 179.0 inn 5.43 ERA
    ’05: 32 starts 1 CG 202.0 inn 3.79 ERA
    ’06: 33 starts 1 CG 200.2 inn 4.40 ERA
    ’07: 16 starts 1 CG 97.1 inn 6.29 ERA

    ’06: 23 starts 0 CG 132.1 inn 4.08 ERA
    ’07: 28 starts 2 CG 183.1 inn 3.39 ERA
    ’08: 33 starts 2 CG 227.1 inn 3.09 ERA
    ’09: 32 starts 2 CG 193.2 inn 4.32 ERA

    Keep in mind that Cliff Lee’s 4th full season was so bad that he was sent back to the minors.

  20. Shag beta sigma delta

    December 27, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Thank you Keystone for stealing my thunder. I was going to point out that even the second coming of Steve Carlton, Cliff Lee, went downt to the minors cause he was so bad a few years ago. Cole did have signs of dominating some teams this year, but I too think he too easily lost focus. But in 08 he did not have that problem, Yes I know we are talking about 09, but I think it proves that he does have it in him to be mentatlly tough. I think ’10 will be a huge year for Cole.
    I do think a 5.5 is about right for Cole in 09, because he was mostly average, with signs of dominance. And to those who think 9 million for Lee was a steal, Cole is going to show you that 7 million a year for him is going to be grand larsony.

  21. Amanda Orr

    December 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    5 was established as “average.” And that’s basically what Hamels was. I gave him a 5.5 because I gave Chad Durbin, who was also average, a five as well. Hamels was better than Durbin, and Hamels was slightly above average, so that is why I gave him a 5.5.

    I did not factor in 2008 at all. If I did, it would probably be much lower because Hamels was bad for being Hamels.. if that makes sense.

  22. Manny

    December 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    The only thing that worried me about Cliff Lee for 2010 was his innings count in ’09… but now that he’s gone, there’s nothing to worry about I guess. Hamels, with a good offseason, should be back to pitching like an ace… I have tons of faith in this guy.

  23. roger matherson

    December 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I am a big time phillies fan. love watching them play the game the right way. we are very lucky to have guys that play with heart and as a team. just look at the mets club. i have read many people killing this club for letting mr. lee be traded for seattle. hearing things like we are cheap, jr. is being stupid, etc. our payroll has gone up by a huge stretch in the past few seasons. most players never wanted to come and play for this club. see what winning does. we just got the best right handed pitcher in the past 10 season on our team for a bargin rate compared to what these guys are getting today. then everyone complains about not keeping lee. who cares. lee is not in now way doc. lee was sent down to the minors and written off. yes he pitched great for us in the post season. he also did get spanked against the brewers, braves, astos, and washington. his fastball does get hit hard. we will see what he does next season. hamels will be back strong this season. he will have a point to prove. yes moyer was a mistake but jr. signed our main guys, brought us an upgrade at third. we should be excited for the future of this team. do you all agree?

  24. JJFritz

    December 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I agree. I will admit that I have had mixed feelings this off-season — as I do every off-season. But, I guess that tyI have to admit that Ruben has, so far, done everything he has set out to do this off-season. All he has to do now is continue what he’s doing and finish what he started. We are already a better team with the additions of Halladay, Polanco and Gload. Once the bullpen and back end of the rotation is done, we will be set for the year. Keep up the good work, Ruben. I do have faith that this year the Phillies will make history by 3-peating as the NL Champs and return once again to the World Series. Kudos.

  25. mikemike

    December 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    NOT a bad year/ average more than one hit per inning pitched. almost 4.5 runs per game. 32 start 14 quality starts . these stats stink for any pitcher so don what where you looking at. sorry 4.32 runs in a non DHleague stinks for a pitcher unless your moyer a bad number 5 pitcher who is 46.and the team is stuck with .

  26. derekcarstairs

    December 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Hamels was not a one-year wonder in 2008. He has always been a dominant pitcher, and he should return to form in 2010. 2009 was an aberration, but, even in 2009, Hamels’ peripherals were not bad.

    The one thing I don’t like about Hamels is that he talks too much and makes foolish comments. I guess it should be expected that young guys will say dumb things, but he needs to learn to zip it up.

    I don’t think Hamels is a bad kid; he just tries to speak honestly, but the words don’t come out right.

  27. mikemike

    December 27, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    how can y say peripherals werent bad 14 quality start out of 32 and more than a hit per inning given up. 4.32 era in a non d.h. league that stinks

  28. gfd

    December 27, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Cole will never get a CY ever! He really isn’t a true # 2, but after Halladay is take your pick! Then pen isn’t reliable and Lidge is streaky.

  29. Don M

    December 28, 2009 at 10:30 am

    juding by most of these comments, you would think Cole Hamels is terrible at baseball ….

    more than a hit per inning… WALKS plus HITS per INNINGS PITCHED = WHIP

    there was exactly 40 pitchers in baseball with a better WHIP

    only 7 of them were better than 1.10
    another 10 that were better than 1.20
    the rest,
    including: Johan Santana, JA Happ, Jon Lester, Cliff Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, Roy Oswalt, John Lackey, etc. . were between 1.20 and 1.30

    so Hamels 1.29 means that we was among the better pitchers in baseball, One hit per inning or not

    Any pitcher with an ERA under 3.00 is amazing
    under a 3.50 ERA is GREAT
    under a 4.00 is Good
    and under a 4.50 is average

    so Hamels posted a 4.32 … which is higher than you want, but doesn’t mean he sucks

    A “bad” year by Hamels after he gave us more than we could ever imagine in 2008 ….. I’ll take it.. Thanks Cole … that parade was awesome!!

  30. WFC010

    December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Am I the only one who noticed that most Cole Hamels bashers are usually the guys who can’t even spell his last name right?

    I see another person spelling it “Hammels” or “Hammells” or whatever, and i’m going to scream!

  31. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    nope sorry WFC010, I am one of the “bashers” but I think I am just calling it like it is, but I also type his name correctly…”Cole Hamels”. However unlike some other “bashers” I dont forget what he did in the ’08 postseason, but that was 08, and I based my “bashing” on 09 alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2016
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top