If you know the name, then you know the story. He's the Phillies' savior. The pitching phenom that all phans have been patiently waiting for. Chronic back problems and other slight injuries have hindered his progress in the minors since being drafted in '02. He has thankfully not run into any injury problems this year. He was promoted to Triple A recently and, in 3 games, put up a 0.39 ERA, gave up 10 hits in 23 innings, with 36 K's and 1 BB (!!!!!!).
The concerns are two-fold and obvious...1) his health and 2) how he would bounce back from a bad start. GM Pat Gillick commented that he was specifically waiting for Hamels to have a bad start in Triple A just to see how he would recover. But with three starts like he's had, combined with the Phils' current less-than-stellar starting five, he's being brought up now and starts against Cincy this Friday.
I really hope that Madson manages to keep his pride in check and do as well out of the bullpen as he did last year. I also hope it takes the pressure off of Gavin Floyd, who I think has been pressing hard the past few weeks, thinking that his job was in jeopardy.
I'd love to finally see a first round Phillies pitcher do really well in the majors. Brett Myers could turn out to be great, Randy Wolf has been a slight disappointment (injury bug, mostly) and the jury is still out on Floyd. But Brad Brink, Tyler Green, and Carlton Loewer haven't lit the world on fire, along with a few others I've forgotten.
Hamels' injury history, along with his off the field actions (he broke his hand in a bar fight) leave me a bit worried, but optimistic. The guy looks legit, but AAA is a long way from the majors, and on top of that, he's only had a few minor league starts in his career.
Well, looks like I'll be MLB.tv'ing it with a 6-pack on Friday.
5 IP, 1 H (!), 0 R, 5 BB, 7 K (!) Pitches-strikes: 92-51
Disregarding the pitch count and BB's (obviously), this was stellar.
Originally posted by Roy.I really hope that Madson manages to keep his pride in check and do as well out of the bullpen as he did last year.
Bitter, bitter irony rears its ugly, bitter head as Madson gives up 2 long balls in the 6th to give Cole a no decision...then ends up getting the win after the Phils re-take the lead in the bottom of the 6th. Bitter.
Not a overpowering debut, but I thought he was impressive. I thought he had one bad inning, walking the bases loaded. I think he's got some great stuff, especially that changeup, but he might need to learn (and the catcher might, too) when to throw certain pitches. Major leaguers aren't going to swing at the same balls that AAA guys do.
A promising start, and I think he's going to be pretty good. The Reds are leading the league in OBP and slugging and I think a few more offensive numbers, and he did a great job of shutting their very potent offense down for five innings. Clean up the ratio and it could be an interesting every fifth day.