Posts Tagged ‘Cole Hamels’

AFISW Discussion Post: MLB Coveted Lefties

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

by Gus Griffin






As the baseball trade deadline approaches, which top of rotation Left-Hander would you rather have; David Price or Cole Hamels?


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

2013 MLB Top 10 Starting Pitchers

Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Ryan Kantor





Zack Grienke, was originally at #8, between teammates Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.  The issue arose when he was recently shut down with elbow inflammation and although he seems to be fine, there’s just no sense in taking a risk.  There is so little deviation among pitchers in the 8-13 range.  If you’re taking a pitcher in this area, you just need a reliable ace, so Grienke drops out of the top 10 to 13th-ish.

10. CC Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees
Sabathia is as steady as they come.  He’s come back strong this Spring after an offseason elbow scope and although the Yankees offense won’t be as potent this year, he’ll still earn his share of wins.  He consistently posts 200 strikeouts, a low ERA, a solid WHIP, and 200 innings.  His injury doesn’t seem to be a concern and he’ll again lead a veteran Yankee rotation.  He’s now at the tail-end of his prime, but we can still expect very strong numbers.  Going in the 5th round of 12-team leagues, he’s a fair value too.

9. Jered Weaver, SP, Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver is already 30 years old.  That seemed to come so quickly… maybe I’m getting old.  He’s no longer just Jeff Weaver’s younger brother, he is a legit ace.  In his favor this year is Josh Hamilton’s arrival.  The Angels are one of the most hyped teams in baseball after Josh Hamilton’s offseason arrival.  Chasing wins is a tricky business, but Jered Weaver has a better chance to win 20 games than any other pitcher in the AL.  The only downside is the dip in velocity and strikeout rate over the past three seasons.  Despite tallying just 142 Ks in 2012, he allowed a minuscule 2.81 ERA. I’d expect both numbers to increase slightly and another very good season from the Angels’ ace.

8. Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Cliff Lee only won six games in 2012 and plays this season at age 34/35, so how can I put him in the top 10?  The low win total was flukey, not due to poor pitching.  He had 21 quality starts, the 12th most in baseball, and deserved to win many more games.  The Phillies don’t have a particularly bad offense and if healthy could provide plenty of run support this season.  He has adjusted to life in the National League beautifully after spending most of his career with Cleveland, Seattle, and Texas (save a short stint with Philadelphia before joining them for a second go-round) and can be counted on to post a low ERA and WHIP in the 3.00 1.10 area along with 200 Ks.

7. Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
If Hamels is worth $144 million to the Phillies, he is worth a top 36 pick to me.  He is right in his prime at age 29, he strikes out 200 (214 last season) a year.  He’ll play in the National League and do it with a quality offense.  He has overcome the health issues that were troublesome early in his career and has become a reliable, dominant workhorse. He provides essentially the same numbers as the very top pitchers at a more reasonable cost.  I love Cole Hamels this season.

6. Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants
I’m not quite sure how two-time World Series Champion, Matt Cain, has become underrated, but he usually isn’t spoken of in the same breath as the pitchers I have ranked ahead of him.  Cain, 28-years-old, doesn’t post quite the strikeout totals of those being drafted ahead of him (193 last year, but expect around 175), but is every bit as dominant. He has posted three straight seasons with a WHIP under 1.10 and at his age, in AT&T Park, with a very good team around him, he’s a safe bet to have a big season.

5. David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
One could make a fair argument that David Price is the best pitcher in baseball.  He won the AL Cy Young last season, besting Justin Verlander.  The Vanderbilt product won 20 games in 2012 and 19 in 2010.  2011 was a bit of down year though, as he posted a 3.49 ERA with only 12 wins.  That may be depressing his draft stock which can play to your favor. I’d be happy to take David Price in the third round instead of any other pitcher in the first or even the second round!  He plays in a severe pitchers park, but will face some of the best lineups in baseball in the rough and tumble AL East.  He’s talented enough to shut them down.  David Price is 27-years-old and is one of baseball’s emerging superstars.  Expect a sub-three ERA, 200 Ks, and a solid win total.

David Price

You won’t see me  draft anybody beyond this point for my fantasy team.  Getting these top four pitchers is just too costly, and in a standard 5 x 5 it just doesn’t make sense to pay the price they demand. While they are superstars in the same respect as Albert Pujols and Matt Kemp, quality pitching can be easily found in the 5-10 rounds with guys like Darvish, Sabathia, and Latos.

4. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners

Seattle added a lot of offense (Morales, Morse, Bay), so the biggest knock on drafting King Felix, a lack of run support and “thusly” wins, goes out the window.  Although there was some injury talk when he was signing his extension, the Mariners pledged $175 million dollars so I feel fairly confident that he is not a serious injury risk.  If there is such a thing as a 220 strikeout lock, Felix is it.  There’s a case to be made for putting King Felix in the top three, but the tough lineups in the AL West put the kibosh on that.

3. Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals
No more babying.  It is time to see one of the best pitching prospects in ages let loose.  He led all qualifying starting pitchers with 11.13 K/9.  He could deliver a Verlander-MVP type of season, he just doesn’t have a long track record which makes drafting him where he is being taken a bit foolish.  This guy is certainly one that I look forward to watching this season.

2. Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers
Some might argue that he is the best pitcher in baseball, but entering his age 30 season with over 700 innings pitched over his past three seasons, I’m no longer crowning him the top starter in baseball and wouldn’t consider burning a first round draft pick on him (which is what it’ll take).  Nonetheless, Verlander is one of the few modern day pitchers to win the MVP and dominates the American league like no other.  He may be the most talented pitcher in baseball and still has a few more years left of his prime.

1. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
While many are ranking Justin Verlander as their top starting pitcher (and he is phenomenal), Clayton Kershaw gets the nod for me.  Both play in pitchers’ parks, but a deciding factor is that Kershaw pitches in the National League, while Verlander has the more challenging task of facing the DH.  Clayton Kershaw has posted four consecutive sub-three ERA seasons (back-to-back ERA leader).

I believe we’ll look back and be amazed at just how great a pitcher we had.  I hope to watch him pitch a bit more this season (tough on the opposite coast), as he is an extremely special talent.  Oh, and Kershaw is 24, yes only 24-years-old. The best is yet to come.

Clayton Kershaw


Ryan Kantor of “Reading Between the Seams”, for War Room Sports

Ryan Kantor is an author at Reading Between the Seams. He is a life-long Yankees fan and a proud Clemson alumnus, residing in North Carolina, where he works in marketing research. For more stories like this, you can visit his personal blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Kantor.

Philadelphia Phillies 2012 Season Preview

Friday, April 6th, 2012

By Brandon Pemberton

Follow me on twitter @BrandonOnSports and @SportsTrapRadio

Listen to Sports Trap Radio Saturdays from 10am-2pm on, hosted by Brandon Pemberton and Chris Marshall (@215_Sports_Guy)

Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins need to carry the Phillies offensively while Ryan Howard is out of the lineup.


Ever since the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, expectations have been high here in Philly.  This has clearly been one of the best eras of baseball in town since the late 70’s-early 80’s Schmidt and Bowa led squads, and fans now have a “championship or bust” mentality.  How this team plays offensively without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley for a good part of the season will be huge.  Barring injury, the pitching staff should be fine and I’m looking forward to the addition of Jonathan Papelbon as the new closer as well.

The Miami Marlins have added some pieces to go along with their young talent and should be better this season.  The Nationals are a year older and will have a starting rotation of Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Zimmerman at the top and could be potentially a threat.  The Braves fizzled out and lost a 9.5 game wild card lead in September, but also remember, they lost quality starting pitching late in the season as well and the bullpen was overworked something vicious.

So I will breakdown this year’s team by the infield, outfield, and pitching staff, and then give my prediction on regular season wins and how far they get in the playoffs.

Pitching Staff

Starters: This staff is headlined by three aces and Cy Young award candidates: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee.  All three had great regular seasons in 2011 and I expect the same this season.  Vance Worley was a pleasant surprise in his rookie year, with an 11-3 record, 3.01 ERA, and 119 K’s in 131.2 innings, and hitters only had a .232 average against him.  Right now, Joe Blanton is penciled in as the fifth starter and the Phillies just need him to be solid, nothing spectacular, make thirty starts give them six plus innings per outing, and don’t give up too many big innings.

Bullpen: Jonathan Papelbon was signed during the offseason to replace Ryan Madson as the Phillies’ closer and the move really looks great now after the news came out that Madson will miss the entire 2012 season with Tommy John’s surgery.  Last season, Antonio Bastardo was great as the only lefty in the bullpen and the Phils will need the same from him this year.  Michael Stutes, a rookie last season, pitched well in the 7th and 8th innings of games and will be the setup man for Papelbon.  This year, lefty Joe Savery will be the 2nd southpaw and that should give Bastardo the needed rest as he wore down at the end of the season.  Kyle Kendrick was given a 2-year contract and will be the Phillies’ long reliever and emergency start if one of the regulars happen to get hurt.

Infield: The Phillies will start the season without their starting right side of the infield as Ryan Howard is still recovering from his ruptured Achilles tendon and Chase Utley is on the shelf to start the season to rehab his bad knees.  Ty Wiggington, John Mayberry Jr., and Jim Thome will all see time at first base and rookie shortstop prospect Freddie Galvis has been moved to second base with the injury to utility infielder Michael Martinez, out until possibly June with a fractured foot.  Pete Orr could also see some time at 2nd base if Gavlis struggles a bit at the plate.

Jimmy Rollins was re-signed during the offseason and his glove and arm are still elite, but the Phillies need him to have a big year at the plate, regardless of his spot in the lineup.  Placido Polanco got off to a hot start last season, but hit well below .200 over the last two months of the season and dealt with back and elbow injuries during the season.

Carlos Ruiz had a hot spring and has been a rock behind the plate for the Phils pitching staff.  He has been a clutch hitter in big spots over the past few years and is a fan favorite here in Philadelphia.  Brian Schneider provides veteran leadership and steady play off of the bench when “Chooch” needs a rest.

Outfield: Shane Victorino is a potential All-Star player for the Phillies and will be the lead-off hitter and catalyst offensively.  He’s also one of the best defensive center fielders in all of baseball.  I would like a better approach at the plate, less strikeouts, and a higher on-base percentage as well.  Hunter Pence is in his first full season as a Phillie and the team needs big-time run production out of him with Howard out of the lineup for a while.  John Mayberry will get his chance to see quality time in the lineup after producing well in spot duty last season.  Juan Pierre adds speed, late game pinch hitting, and running to the Phils and Laynce Nix provides a left-handed bat off of the bench with some pop.

Prediction: The Phillies have an elite pitching staff who will win or keep them close in most games this season.  I’m not worried about pitching with this team as long as they stay healthy.  The question is the Phillies offense and how will they make up for the run production that Ryan Howard has  produced on a yearly basis.  Howard is unfairly scrutinized in Philly, but the numbers don’t lie, he’s been one of the best run producers in baseball over the last five years.  The Phillies will need to play more “small-ball”, cut down on the strikeouts in the lineup, and get timely hits in big spots.  Even with Howard and Utley out for a long period of time and the Marlins and Nationals making moves and having young talent, I still believe the Phils have enough to win the division.  They won’t run away with it like last season.  It will be a closer race than most think.

I really believe this is the year Philadelphia makes it back to the World Series.  I’m not saying they win it, but I predict they play the Detroit Tigers in the fall classic.

94-68, win the N.L. East, and represent the National League in the World Series.

Brandon Pemberton of Brandon on Sports & Sports Trap Radio, for War Room Sports

Out From the Shadows

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

"The Phour Aces", "The Phour Kings", "The Phour (insert noun here)"

If you are a Philadelphia sports enthusiast like myself, then you are on a serious high right now.  First the uniting of the four kings, (Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels), and now this?  The Miracle at the Meadowlands part II?  Only one word can describe it; unbelievable.

ANOTHER Miracle in the Meadowlands!

Can you feel it in the air or am I just riding the hallucination train thinking we might go-all-the-way?  First, a little arena football team called the Philadelphia Soul brought home a championship, much needed in the city of drought.  This little team won and challenged all the major league teams to do the same.  Then the boys in red pinstripes rolled through Milwaukee, LA, to Tampa to bring home a much-needed World Series that sent this City into a euphoric state.  The Flyers, the ultimate Cinderella story, made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year when nobody thought they would even make it out of the first round.

Phillies Win the 2008 World Series!!!

I don’t know about you, but I can smell the polish they use to make that Lombardi trophy shine.  In my life, I have never seen anything like what I saw on Sunday and I have been watching football for a long time.  I could be naïve in thinking that we are going to the Superbowl, but what I saw Sunday gave me something that I haven’t had in a long time; hope.

2009-2010 Eastern Conference Champions!!!

There were so many blunders in Sunday’s game, a fumble here, an interception there.  It seemed like the Giants had Vick’s number and yet he still found a way to make it happen.  I love you Donovan, but you would have never been able to make this happen.

Mike Vick Never Says "Die"

We may finally be getting out from the under big brother’s shadow.  For now, we have the bragging rights over the Big Apple.  The only thing they can say is that the New York Knicks are slightly better than the 76ers and I’m okay with that.  All I know is that on a Sunday afternoon in December, I became glued to the television.  I watched history happen.  I watched Michael Vick turn an impossible to a possible.  I saw the speed of young man lift an entire city from its somber state.  I saw that same man celebrate in a way that I would usually frown upon, but this time he earned it.

Stephanie C. Curry, Guest Blogger for War Room Sports