Player Review/Preview: Cole Hamels
Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Key 2013 Stats: 8-14 W-L, 3.60 ERA, 202 K, 50 BB
What Happened in 2013
Hamels experienced a good deal of misfortune in 2013. Coming off a career best 17 win season, Hamels was named the Phillies’ Opening Day starter. He pitched poorly in that game (Which is unsurprising, since Hamels almost always struggles in first start of the season), and suffered a loss. The team also suffered losses in his next four starts before he broke into the win column against the Mets in late April.
That win proved to be a rare occurence. Throughout the first half of the season, Hamels had a great deal of difficulty ending up on the right side of decisions. His record bottomed out at 2-11 on June 21st. Many of the losses could be attributed to bad luck and the pathetically small amount of support provided by his offense, defense, and bullpen. On the other hand, Hamels wasn’t completely blameless, as he didn’t perform at the very high standard he had set for himself.
Hamels did finish the season strong. After suffering his 11th loss, he went 6-3 the remainder of the year. And while his 4-3 second half record might not reflect it, Hamels pitched about as well as anybody in the National League after the All-Star break.
What to Expect in 2014
Hamels’ strong peripheral numbers and second half results make it seem like the first half of the season was mostly due to bad luck, rather than being indicative of any actual decline. This is very important, as the 2014 Phillies will have a lot of question marks. If they’re going to work their way back into contention, then Hamels needs to be one of the things that they can absolutely count on.