Odds and Ends: Hamels, Drabek, Ramirez

– A few days ago, I wrote a post about Cole Hamels and his newfound confidence. He’s not doing interviews, he’s focusing strictly on the task at hand, and the results have been, so far, positive.  Yesterday, against the Blue Jays, Hamels seemed locked in from the get-go, sitting down the first nine batters in order, before some difficulties arose in the fourth inning.

Clearly, he was on a pitch count, or I would have liked to see him work his way out of that jam.  The lefty tossed 47 pitches over 3 2/3 innings, an excellent number that proves he was locked in.  His comeback may now be over-dramatized, but its very much an important element to the 2010 season.  I myself will stay level-headed until we see him throwing at least 80 pitches, but for what he has done so far, the results look mighty encouraging.

-On the other side yesterday was former farmhand Kyle Drabek.  And, by those in the know, the kid has it.  According to Dave Murphy of the Daily News, Drabek was consistently hitting 93-94 on the gun, which is a promising sign for Toronto this early in camp.

Not sure about the rest of you, but I’ll be keeping an eye on Drabek this season to see how he progresses.  Not that I blame the Phillies for trading him, however, we all heard about how “untouchable” he was, so I’m eager to see what he’s made of.  Murphy says his curve was “devastating” and he’s been throwing a cutter lately to add to that nice fastball.  Looks like Kyle Drabek has a bright future ahead.

-One of the three prospects in the Cliff Shall-Remain-Nameless deal was JC Ramirez, and after a rough opening outing last week, he put it all together for three strong innings yesterday to finish off Toronto. The big righty (6’3″, 225) was solid for three frames, allowing just two baserunners while striking out three.

Granted, it was the minor-leaguers he was doing it against, but baby-steps is how to look at it.  This kid has some potential and he seems to be the least talked about of the three (Aumont and Gillies are getting plenty of press).  Perhaps that’s advantageous for JC.  He doesn’t have to deal with the same set of pressures that Aumont and Gillies are experiencing, which allows him the freedom to evolve rather quietly.  Or, as quietly as one can after being a part in the Cliff What’s-his-name trade.

So, even though we lost out on Drabek and others (including Michael Taylor, who will be a stud this year, I just know it), it’s intriguing to watch the maturation of this group that will be forever linked with our old friend Cliff.

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