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Hamels is becoming a seasoned veteran sooner than later!
Pundits are speculating on starting rotations as every day draws closer to Spring Training. The Phillies combo of Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay is going to be scrutinized and looked at by the best baseball writers out there and they will be rated against other team’s best starting pitchers. How they pitch this year, may lead the Phillies into the playoffs again, and yet another appearance in the World Series.
Cole Hamels struggles of last year were well documented. He is going to get a fresh start in 2010 and the stigma of being 2008’s World Series MVP is behind him. Players will still try extra hard to hit him, and he’ll have to try harder to get them out this year. Will fantasy baseball fans draft him high this year? Before we get too far with questions about Cole, let’s look at a couple of facts.
1. This will be Cole Hamels 5th season as a Phillie, he has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.
2. He is still very much a young pitcher, he’s 27 years old
3. His awards earned so far: 2008 NLCS Most Valuable Player and 2008 World Series MVP.
Hamels has to find his confidence level and as was mentioned at the end of the season, another style of pitch to throw in addition to the pitches he already throws. I think he bounces back and has a win total approaching 15 games or more.
Halladay is another story. He’s a guy that could take the Phillies to new heights if he is healthy all year. There’s no reason not to believe he’s going to win 18-20 games this year. The Phillies should be firing on all cylinders again this year with the awesome offense that they can produce. Halladay has never been in a World Series, just like Cliff Lee wasn’t ever in one either, but we see the kind of perfomance that he turned in, out there on the mound for the Phillies. Lee may be one of the best pitchers the Phillies ever ended up trading for minor leaguers as well. But that's another blog post.
There needs to be a name for this duo of Hamels and Halladay, like ‘The Founding Fathers” or something like that, with the recent occasion of Cole becoming a dad, and the tie into Philadelphia history. We’ll see how well this duo performs when the season starts, but until then, it’s going to be interesting to hear all the talk about which team has the best 1-2 starters in the game.