Analysis

Not-so-Shocking: Hamels Named Opening Day Starter

hamelsYou saw it coming, but the Phillies made it official anyway: Cole Hamels will be the Phillies Opening Day starter April 1 in Atlanta.

The order has been aligned since the beginning of Spring Training, so it’s no surprise, as Hamels will be followed by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Kyle Kendrick is penciled in as the fourth starter and would pitch the home opener against the Royals, John Lannan No. 5.

It really doesn’t mean much. With the big contract in tow and with a struggling/aging Roy Halladay, it’s now Hamels’ rotation to lead; so in that regard it’s somewhat symbolic. The torch being passed.

If the Phillies are to go places this season, much weight rests on the shoulder and arm of their $144 million pitcher.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Ken Bland

    March 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    From the way I’m reading this article, Cliff was announced as the Game 2 starter? This I didn’t realize. Now that part would be a little surprising At least using what I expected as a standard. I was under the impression they only announced Cole would get the Opener, no?

    • Pat Gallen

      March 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Yes lefties split, that was a typo by me.

      • Ken Bland

        March 15, 2013 at 11:27 am

        Thanks for the clarification, Pat.

        And at tthe risk of taking the subject to erxtremes, from the locations of the announcement, the only annuncement that was made was that Cole would go on Opening Day.

        I know it’s a terrific liklihood that the other 4 line up as has been expected in R-L-R-L (we all know the names), but best I can tell, that hasn’t been announced.

        Obviously, we all hope Doc gets things straightened out quickly, and goes in Game 2 at the Braves, but if he remains active, and for whatever reason isn’t close to what we know Doc as, I wouldn’t call it impossible that Cliff gets the second game. So to me, based on lack of an official announcement, there remains an air of mystery, minimal as it is on the lineup of the other 4, although it seems pretty obvious.

  2. Bill

    March 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Cole has deserved this since he won the 2008 MVP award. He should have been the opening day starter in 2009. Of course Doc deserved it in the years since, but it is high time that Cole got this honor! Good for him. I am looking for him to have his best season yet. Could 2013 be the year that he wins 20 games?

    http://www.mtrphilly.com

    • Chuck A.

      March 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

      He was supposed to be the ’09 starter on Opening Day but got pushed back due to some sort of minor elbow thing as I remember. Agreed that he certainly deserves this. He IS the ace of this staff now.

  3. Jaron B

    March 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Cliff is the third starter – lefties will be split again. I approve of Hamels getting the nod.

  4. Whatever

    March 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Cliff Lee is really good enough to be an opening day starter and not a run-of-the-mill third game starter!

  5. glutenous

    March 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Cy hamels…could this be the year?

    • Ken Bland

      March 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

      That’s probably a rhetorical question, and perhaps similarly so to the one you asked after Doc was DL’d last year as to have we seen the last of him as a top flight pitcher (not necessarily the exact wording you used).

      But, since you can’t slap me for taking the question as one to be answered, I’m gonna make a comment on the question, which was Cy Hamels…could this be the year?

      I’ll basically skip the reasons why it COULD happen since most everyone that reads this board knows what a terrific pitcher Cole is, and even if held in a slightly lesser regard, all would agree he’s got that level of potential. So in that regard, he fits the could question handsomely.

      But I’ll give you reasons NOT to count on it.

      First, it’s great to be a legitimate CY candidate. You have to have an excellent season to be in the discussion, but narrowing within that top 5 is really subject to filtering. You take a Strasburg, or Kershaw, and include the possibility of a guy getting on a roll (Steve Stone, Smoltz, RA…all very good pitchers who had roll to new level years), and it’s tough to be optimistic, even about beating the top guys like CK or Stras, or even on the Phils within considering the capablities of Cliff and hopefully Doc.

      But the bigger reason I’d say stay wary of such expectation or hope is that while all clubs face SOME defensive shortcoming(s), and no pitcher totally escapes it, but with the Phils defense, which might prove adequate at best in the series of many things that need to go right to have a championship year, the defense is PROBABLY going to make it tough. An error here, a fundamental shortcoming there, he’ll probably have to throw some extra pitches per game as a result, and that increases the chance of a lesser outing. And maybe the extra pitches wind up preventing him from throwing say 20 innings he might have, and looking inferior in that important category. Let’s just say I don’t expect him to win what I call The Heavyweight Championship of The League.

      Hope it happens, though..

      • Lefty

        March 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        From the face of it on paper, I agree that this doesn’t look like an overall stellar defensive team. But they are pretty strong up the middle if they stay healthy. Ben Revere, backed up by Mayberry/Inciarte, then you have Rollins/Galvis, Utley/Galvis and then Kratz/Chooch.

        But the infield and outfield corners are enough of a concern to make life tough for Hamels and all the pitchers. If you take away Luzinski in 72, even Carlton had a decent defense behind him, despite the fact that collectively they couldn’t hit enough to win 60 games.

      • Ken Bland

        March 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        True about Bull, Lefty. It’s not impossible, just kind of a don’t rush to fevor him red flag, though other contenders face at least sporadic defensive shortcomings.

        Two of my favorite overcame it stories (and I’m trusting memory on some details) are when Jim Merritt won 21 for the Reds in about ’71 with George Foster to overcome in LF. Merrit had a then sky high ERAof 4.08, so he had plenty to overcome as that wasn’t quite yet the Big Red Machine iffense. Back in the mid 90’s, Roger Pavlich had to overcome Juan Gon in the outfield, and did so to the tune of an 11 win first half that led to him making the AL all-star team. WITH A 5 PLUS ERA> It was the biggest farce in all-star history. I’m really not sure if Juan was still in the OF then,as DH, but I believe he was still manning RF.

        By the way, mother nature father time line was stolen material. Part of Doug Henderson’s sign off at WDAS-FM backinthe 70s encouragubf the listenership to make use of what mother nature gave ’em before Father Time stole it away. As you can tell by my outstanding plageristic abilities, I only steal good stuff.

      • Lefty

        March 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

        It’s only stolen if you take credit for it. Otherwise it’s just “sharing”. Thanks for sharing.

  6. DavefromPhilly

    March 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    ESPN should post a story about this, like they did with the Nats and Strasburg being their opening day starter.

  7. MikeyPaDc

    March 15, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Typo? Where? The article clearly reads Cole. Doc. Clifton.

    😉

    Happy Friday PN!!

  8. Don M

    March 15, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I’m glad that Hamels got named Opening Day starter … though I feel like fans often put too much stock into # assigned to a pitcher. After the first two weeks or so, when teams starting having off days, travel days, etc.. it’s not like Hamels will be facing nothing but other #1 starters … or Lee will always be matched up against the opponents #3, etc.

    You have to look at the staff as a whole -and if Halladay can return to form.. the Phillies have #1 pitchers taking the hill 60% of the time this year … any team would love that luxury

  9. Jack

    March 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    He better be with all that money we just spent on him

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