Welcome to PhilsWeek! – a fun* look back at the week that was and all the exciting happenings surrounding everyone’s favorite major league baseball team: The Philadelphia Phillies!
*Note: Amount of fun experienced may vary.
Super Big Phillies Issue of the Week: Cole Hamels Has a Setback – Are the Phillies Doomed?
Until last week, Cole Hamels was adamant that despite experiencing some inflammation in his shoulder, everything was fine with his arm. He was only a week or so behind schedule and expected to make his first start sometime in April.
That rosy outlook changed this week, as Hamels suffered what he termed as a “setback.” He says that he isn’t feeling any pain, but his arm just felt “fatigued.” He thinks he might have pushed himself a bit too hard in his attempt to get back onto schedule, and he just needs to slow things down a bit.
Remember how Roy Halladay was feeling arm “fatigue” last season? That fatigue eventually forced him to retire. While I don’t think that Hamels is going to be hanging up his spikes anytime soon, it’s understandable that the word might set off a few red flags with Phillies fans. (Does anyone else find it strange that in two weeks, I’ve compared two different pitchers to Roy Halladay, and both were negative comparisons?)
At the very least, this is likely to keep Hamels from appearing in a major league game until May at the earliest. But I’m sure this won’t be a huge problem for the Phillies. With all of the quality pitchers on hand, they can surely endure the loss of one of their aces.
Just kidding! This team is insanely dependent on Hamels and Cliff Lee! Even worse, injuries to Adam Morgan, Ethan Martin, and Jonathan Pettibone have decimated their pitching depth. We’re at the point where guys like David Buchanan and Jeff Manship are now actual possibilities to start the season in the Phillies rotation.
Maybe one of those guys will end up being the big surprise of the season, and the Phillies will be okay after all. Or – and this is the far more likely scenario – they pitch much like you’d expect non-roster invitees to pitch, and the Phillies struggle to get good outings from their starting pitchers.
Pennant Year Song of the Week
Winning the National League pennant isn’t something the Phillies do all that often; it’s only happened seven times in team history. Each week, I’ll take a song from one of those years that somehow ties into the events of the past week.
Can Anyone Explain – The Ames Brothers, 1950
It seems that the Phillies have suffered more than their share of pitcher injuries. Is there a reason for all the injuries? Is it mere coincidence, or is something else causing it?
Right Player, Wrong Uniform
There are some players who played their entire careers with a single team, and it’s impossible to imagine them in a different uniform: Mike Schmidt with the Phillies, Cal Ripken with the Orioles, and Derek Jeter with the Yankees are prime examples. On the other hand, there are some players who you might associate with a certain team…but they also had a forgettable stint (or two) with another team. You might not remember their time with those other teams, but the internet never forgets!
Greg Vaughn – Colorado Rockies, 2003
Greg Vaughn was a feared slugger in the 1990s. He hit 355 home runs over his 15 year career and made four All-Star teams. So it was a bit sad to see him spend his final season playing out the string for the Rockies in 2003. Even the thin Colorado air couldn’t allow a past his prime Vaughn to hit more than three home runs.
The Week Ahead
The Phillies face another week of exhibition action. Hopefully, one of the candidates for the fifth rotation spot will assert himself. It would also be a positive sign if the Phillies began to hit a little better. They currently have the lowest batting average in the majors. I realize that these statistics are meaningless, but you’d like to see some indication that their offense will be able to score runs when the games count.
Inane Rap Lyric of the Week
“I keep it O.G. watching episodes of O.C.” - Living Legends, Brand New
Back in the day, police studies showed a notable drop in crime rates during the hour when the O.C. was on the air. Apparently, all the hardcore “gangstas” would retreat inside to catch the latest escapades of the Cohen family. (Note: This is not actually true.)
See you next week for another installment of PhilsWeek! Be sure to follow me (@MikeLacy_215) and That Ball’s Outta Here (@FS_TBOH) on the Twitter!
Tags: Philadelphia Phillies