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Saturday, April 24, 2010


I was kind of hoping that GM-Carson's rant would make the front page.

"I don't see him as a top of the rotation pitcher that others see him as."

Top of the rotation starter? I didn't see him as that even when he was good. Right now, I'd be happy if he were a solid No. 3. Over his last 11 starts, starting on 9-23 of last year, he hasn't even been a passable No. 5.

With our Ace Figgy on the mound tonight, everything will be fine.

Agreed that he's not a top of the rotation guy, but why on earth doesn't he throw his best pitch more often? Granted that his location stinks right now, but the pitch selection puzzles the hell out of me. He threw a chest high 3-2 fastball that Reynolds jumped on in a situation that cried for a changeup. Maybe we should just start calling him 'Boom-Boom'.


I still have faith that Cole will bounce back and be a solid #2 this year. April and May have traditionally been his worst months. Last night he had one terrible inning because he could not locate his pitches, and the D-backs made him pay for it.

On another note, I know this shouldn't bother me, but it drives me insane that MG says 'seem' when he means 'seam'. Baseballs have seams. 4-seam fastball. This is twice that it has made its way in to the header. I'm sorry, maybe I'm the only one.

I am consistently amazed by the criticism that hamels gets after every start.

Usually when 26 year old pitchers add pitches to their repertoire they do it in AA-ball.

Does his location occasionally breakdown? Yes. Does his pitch selection occasionally breakdown? Yes.

Can we please give him -- oh I don't know -- 10 starts with his new pitch before we burn the guy at the stake?

I'm just not that concerned with last night's loss. The team played a night game Thursday in Atlanta, then had to fly to Phoenix the next day. In the warm Arizona air, some of the DBacks balls got in the air and carried. Some of the Phils' line drives were right at people. It happens.

It's a shame the team didn't win Cole's start because now they have to play behind Figueroa and Kendrick in the remainder of the series. But I smelled a loss going into the game and we shouldn't let it bother us after it came to fruition.

I have a hard time trashing Hamels on last night. His stuff was great it just seemed he made a few too many mistakes. I'm willing to give him some rope as he gets comfortable with these new pitches of his.

bap: if you didnt think Hamels was a 'top of the rotation pitcher' after 2008 than I hate to hear what you think of Roy Halladay or Tim Lincecum.

Last night came down to poor pitch selection and some bad locations on his fastball.

Overall, that is a silver lining for me. When he sticks with his changeup as an outpitch (like in Florida), he can still dominate. He got a couple outs early in this one with his cutter/curve and then fell in love with them.

I'm sure Dubee mentioned this to him afterwards.

phaithful: So 2008 Cole Hamels, in your view, was better than Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay?

PhillyJoe: Show me a 26-year old pitcher who is still working on his pitches at AA, & I'll show you a pitcher who very likely has no major league future.

no, but if 08 hamels doesnt qualify as a top of the roation pitcher, im assuming halladay and lincecum are barely all stars.

If, by top of the rotation starter, you mean an "ace," no he was not -- though he did pitch like one in the post-season.

re: Braun vs Howard's RBI production from a thread or two ago

Here is their ratio of actual RBI over expected RBI:

Braun 07: 1.568
Braun 08: 1.339
Braun 09: 1.291

Howard 07: 1.560
Howard 08: 1.697
Howard 09: 1.542

a high ISO is usually a good predictor for a high ratio, and Howard is always among the league leaders in that category.

From WSBGMs:
""Unlucky" was Cole Hamels label last year with support from a funky little stat (BAPIP). His BAPIP was uncharacteristically high last season which lead to an elevated ERA. Well, the only thing elevated last night were those 4 4-baggers, and that my friends has nothing to do with luck. Reading through some comment sections of other sites had people blaming Rich Dubee and Brian Schneider for Hamels disaster. Really? Cole Hamels was mediocre last year, and at times terrible, but his excuse was he was unlucky. Now that he's had 4 starts this season with similarly poor results (1 good and 3 bad) the apologist are coming out again and making excuses for him. Just stop! Luck evens out over the course of a season. The pitcher needs to mix his pitches and locate them, that's what makes for an effectively consistent pitcher. Cole Hamels is not that. He's shown brilliance in the past, but rarely since 2008. Can he return to dominant form? Yes, we'd all like to think so. However, major adjustments in his approach need to be made before that brilliance/dominance returns, because until then we'll continue to see varied results ranging from awful to good."

Jonesman, no, you're not the only one. "4-seem" feels like sandpaper across my eyes.

yeah, what was everyone else in the entire world except BAP thinking? 24yr old left hander leading the league in WHIP, a 3.7 K/BB, a 143 ERA+ in 227IP all before winning the World Series MVP - how could that be a top of the rotation pitcher?

a #3 at best!

phaithful: That was also the year he had a .262 BABIP. You can't have it both ways. If last year's middling ERA was brought about by bad luck due to a freakishly high BABIP (which I largely agree was the case), then his great numbers in 2008 were also substantially luck-enhanced due to a freakisly low BABIP. He was a good pitcher in 2008, not a great one.

Cole Hamels has some funky numbers in the early going. His BB% and WHIP (1.297) are solid and his K9 is an impressive 9.5. With one exception, his batted ball data looks excellent (esp his LD rate and his BABIP is tame). One in every four fly balls has been a HR. There is only one pitcher in baseball who is paying for his mistakes more than Hamels. Although he's not the guy I have in mind, Hamels' and Chris Carpenter's no. are pretty similar in the early going. Both So nearly 10 per 9 and both giving up HR on over 20% of their flies.

Hamels / Lincecum Wednesday afternoon in SF by the way.

Not having watched the game too closely last night, I was struck by the low number of walks in the box. Phils didn't work a walk until the 9th. Vic, Utley, and Howard saw very few pitches and almost all of those pitches were strikes. Leveled by that non-AB AB in the 6th, Howard saw just 12 pitches in 4 PA and 10 of those were strikes.

After a year of anecdotal and statistical evidence regarding Hamels' performance, I think it's safe to say we've come pretty close to figuring out nothing. He is prone to big innings, but is showing some of his best stuff at the same time. He's added more pitches to keep hitters off balance, but that seems to have caused him to serve more homers up. Maybe he needed to regain his focus after a year that saw him fall prey to bad luck and big innings, and not over complicate his style.

Anyway, digest this:

Hamels has his highest K/9 of his careers so far, which is well above his career average (9.5 over 8.4). He also is only allowing 2.2 BB/9, just under his career average of 2.3/9. Meanwhile, like last season, he is allowing 9.5H/9, above his career average of 8.3, and well above his 2008 performance of 7.6/9. Lastly, his HR/9 has gone from 1.2 last year/9, and 1.1 career/9, to 2.3/9 already this season, while is BABIP has fell from .325 to .304, which is slightly above league average. 20.6% of his FB's are going for homers, which is well above his career average of 9.6%.

So, here is my conclusion, albeit from a small sample. Hamels has typically fantastic control this year, while missing more bats than ever. However, he is making an unusual amount of bad pitches at the same time. What is consistently inconsistent about him is that for as many great pitches as he makes, he makes enough terrible one's to make it seem like he is really struggling. Therefore, I think he needs to stop trying to throw pitches hes' not comfortable with and stick to locating what works for him.

So compared to Lincecum's earliest years, Hamels had the benefit of a World Series MVP. It's been downhill ever since.

I was at the game last night and heading out in a few for tonight's game. Hamels cruised through the first three innings. I couldn't see the locations of his pitches, but (a) I think the ejection of Hinch on the bad ball transfer really fired up the D-backs and (b) obviously Cole wasn't sharp in the 4th. I'll tell you this though, in the 9th where we were kinda threatening, the D-backs fans were booing mightily when Qualls was brought into get the last out.

This game had all the results of a team that had taken a 5 hour cross country playing in PDST. The whole team was lethargic. I hope they are a bit more energized today.

I think Hamels will be fine. 29 other teams would be thrilled to give him the ball 5 days a week, but not in the 72 hour cycle that some here fall into -- what happened yesterday, what's happening today, and what are we going to do tomorrow.

sneed - fangraphs has Hamels' HR/FB at 25.9%. I see that has a lower figure.

re "missing more bats than ever"

so far, the percentage of pitches with which batters have been able to make contact is right around career norms (within 1%). What's different: the percent of pitches in the zone with which contact is made is up to 92% in the early going (career norms are around 80%) while contact with pitches outside of the zone is down to 50% (career norms around 60%). Are batters heightening their aggression in the early going and looking for strikes?

Sophist - Really low amount of walks because both pitchers received a pretty generous strike zone.

Both pitchers benefited from it but Benson in particular seemed to get a few calls up in the zone early that really helped him a lot.

I'll just say I'm glad GM is not our real GM despite what his website wishes. This team would be in the toilet in no time.

Making any kind of real pronouncements about Hamels is just a bit premature.

He didn't pitch well though after the 4th last night. It is one thing to make a mistake pitch to a guy like Reynolds or LaRoche. Both guys have adequate power. It happens.

What was the frustrating part last night was that he just lost concentration and gave up a 2-run bomb to an 8-hole hitter (Snyder) who has a ton of holes in his swing & hadn't been swinging at bat a plate.

The icing on the cake though last night was the Johnson off-field shot in the 5th. Cholly was pretty disgusted when they flashed to a shot of him in the dugout. He did manage to go 6 last night but it made to tough for the Phils to comeback and more importantly Cholly warm up the bullpen in the 5th inning. Cholly needed Hamels to give him some innings last night because of Figueroa starting tonight & barely managed to give him 6.

MPN, I had the same impression you did. The whole team was flat, it wasn't just Hamels.

The Dbacks PA were much longer in the first three innings. They saw 44 pitches in 10 PA. 7 PA of 4 or more pitches. In the 4th and 5th, they saw 37 pitches in 13 PA with only 2 PA of 4 or more pitches.

If I had time, it would be interesting to compare the sequences between Hamels and the batters early and later in the game. From glancing at the PFx from the 4th and 5th, Hamels had some pretty clear location issues if nothing else. Although Reynolds HR was a middle, shoulder high cutter that was preceded by an identically located FB that Reynolds fouled off.

Location, location, location. It's just about everything. Cole's problem is that fastball location deserts him - and he's not yet able to command the cutter. I still think he'll fix that and many words shall be ingested.

bap: i am not one of the Hamels' excuse makers, so I am not disagreeing with the people who are upset with his performance over the past season and the beginning of this one. I do not share most of their panic and/or 'hate' for him, but I do see their arguments. However, attacking his 08 as not ace-worthy is pretty wrong in my eyes and the numbers prove that pretty easily.

And although it may not be the smartest thing to do, I will always give Hamels the benefit of the doubt because he made the WFC possible, something that a lot of people seem to have forgotten about already. This whole 'what have you done for me lately' attitude is foolish in the game of baseball and it seems tho it is spreading more and more because of increased financials, media exposure, and the bandwagon fans of today's game.

I believe more and more that the Nats could make a mess of the NL East in September. As in maybe the wildcard could fall to another division.

Had to listen on radio last nite. Couldn't stand JJ, switched to Ariz. on XM. Terrible homers. One guy said he talked to Dubee before the game about Cole's cutter. He said it was a new toy, and any kid with a new toy will play with it constantly until it breaks. Sounds like Dubee has no control over him, or hopes a game like last nite will make him change his pitch selection.

And the Braves, motivated to do well in Bobby Cox's swan song, drop into last place with another punchless performance.

On the travel situation, I remember some teams would send the starter ahead to get a good nite's sleep. It really pays off if you run into a rain delay or extra innings. He isn't learning anything standing in the dugout watching a team he won't be facing the next day.

The Snyder HR was a joke, but I think Johnson should get credit for his AB last night. He had two solid AB that lead to those HR.

Meyer: The Nationals are still quite bad, despite their 9-8 record. They've got a -16 run differential, 4th worst in the NL. While they might have some improvements coming from Strasburg and Wang, do not be surprised when they're in last place again by August.

Would be nice to see the offense break out again. In the last week, they've scored 1, 0, 3, 2, 8 and 4 runs. With Figueroa on the mound, we're probably going to need to be closer to the high end of that spectrum in order to win.

Also, and this goes to the quote at the top of the post, people should stop viewing Hamels through the prism of the Lee trade. Cliff Lee being here would not take Hamels out of the rotation--you would still be getting the exact same performance out of him, whether you place a #2 or a #3 starter tag next to it. The performance is the same.

The 5th starter is who you should be comparing Cliff Lee to. If Lee was here, he would knock out Moyer from the rotation (when Blanton and Happ are back healthy). So you should compare Moyer's performance to Lee's performance to see the cost of the Lee deal--at the major-league level for this year (because obviously the trade has to be considered longterm by how the prospects do). The marginal difference for the Phillies this year (ignoring prospects, money and the future) of the Lee trade is Lee-Moyer. Hamels has nothing to do with it.

MG, Gameday sees Hamels' 4 HR pitches differently than your quotation above.

Reynolds: FB middle and belt high.
LaRoche: 82 changeup in the middle of the plate, just below the belt.
Snyder: middle 89 cutter, just above the knees
Johnson: 91 FB belt high but almost off the outside of the plate.

Jack - That'll be true until the playoffs (if the Phils find themselves there).

Forgot to post this yesterday. On this date in 1913 (April 23), Christy Mathewson beat the phils 3-1 on 67 pitches.

Hamels was offered up as a justification for dumping Lee. Lee would have been the other guy needed to win WS games. Rube and his minions claimed it was OK to dump Lee because the 2009 Hamels was an aberration.

"First and most obvious, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is demonstrating tremendous - and likely season-determining - faith in Hamels' ability to move beyond his perplexing and disappointing season and pick up where he left off after the 2008 World Series."

For the love of God, enough about Cliff Lee. He's gone and he's not coming back. GET OVER IT.

Iceman - 'Fraid you're going to be disappointed. There have been in excess of 100,000 BL posts about Bobby Abreu in the years after he was gone and not coming back, and a WS didn't turn on that transaction.

Sophist - That is a pretty big difference. Maybe I do stand corrected. I thought the pitch to Snyder was 4-seem fastball because it didn't break much at all.

Guess I shouldn't be up trying to determine that kind of stuff at 2 PM on the rebroadcast.

Iceman: I generally like your posts as they tend to be sensible on a blog where knee-jerk, short-attention-span idiocy rules (i.e. Moyer is washed up, KK can't possibly pitch in the big leagues, Hamels is a girly man who can't win the big game, when J.C. Romero comes back the bullpen will be perfectly fine, etc. etc. ad nauseum), but your "get over it" statement smells a little like: "When management makes a mistake, don't you dare criticize it."

It's too early to tell whether the Lee trade was a mistake, but I see no harm in speculating about it and I'd expect that to continue throughout the season.

I don't see how either of curt's posts responds to Jack's. If Jack is right, they just show that the press and some of the public justification for the move misunderstand its impact on the rotation.

Was there any question that the Lee deal was going to have a negative impact on the rotation? Doesn't mean it would stop the Phils from getting to the WS, but imagine a rotation with Halladay and Lee. (I know, I know, the FO wasn't going to allow that to happen)

Curt: I don't really think it matters what Phil Sheridan has to say, and/or what the motivations were for the deal.

During the season, the difference to the Phillies because of the Lee deal is the difference between Lee's performance and Moyer's performance (presuming Moyer is the 5th starter). That's it (presuming, of course, with 99.9% certainty that none of Aumont, Gillies or Ramirez contribute to the Phils this season).

Sophist is correct that the calculus changes in the playoffs, but that's a while away, and of course dependent on what happens during the season.

Sophist. Let me confuse you further. Rube dumped Lee 4 weeks after losing the WS, a WS where we won 2 games, both pitched by Cliff Lee. Rube undoubtedly turned to his minions and said 'it's OK to dump Lee, guys, because there is a marginal difference whether Lee or Moyer is pitching for us next year.' Everyone nodded, and Rube so informed his adoring public. Remember?

JW you should be ashamed of yourself for stealing that leaked LCD Soundsystem album. I'm refusing to listen to it until I buy it the day it comes out. It will be my opening day part 2.

"I'll just say I'm glad GM is not our real GM despite what his website wishes. This team would be in the toilet in no time."

Yeah, it would be a damn shame if this wanna be GM had never given 2 years to Moyer, ever signed Eaton, Nunez, or Baez in the first place, ever given so much money and years to Ibanez, traded Lee away or Jaramillo. Yeah, good this I'm not the GM, heaven forbid I make those mistakes.

Shut up TTI!

Jack - You started this by saying "people should stop viewing Hamels through the prism of the Lee trade." That isn't going to happen for the simple reason that management offered Hamels up as Lee's "replacement." Let's hope their faith is rewarded.

phaithful: Saying that Hamels wasn't an ace pitcher even at his best hardly qualifies as "attacking" him.

If we don't win the WS this year, I am sure the merits of the Lee deal will be debated forever, no matter how Moyer performs. At least until Aumont, et al lead us to another title.

Curt: Of course management offered up Hamels as Lee's replacement! Wouldn't you if the other option was being honest and saying "We're keeping Jamie Moyer in the rotation over Cliff Lee because we can't spend 9 million more dollars?"

Gosh, I think the problem with Hamels is the Abreu trade. Really.

If Booby hadn't been traded Cole would know that there was more than one consistent OBP guy backing him up when the Phils were hitting.

I mean, isn't that really the problem? He just doesn't think he's going to get any run support, and therefore thinks he has to be perfect every time out.

The pressure must be enormous. Moreso even than carrying the weight of that Bichon's poop in the poop bag.

Yep, that's it. The root of Cole Hamels' problems can be traced to the Abreu trade.

Bring on Jesus Sanchez.

Curt: Neither of those things you said are true. Ruben never sold us that Lee was only marginally better than Moyer, nor did he say Hamels would replace him. He sold us that Roy was A) the best pitcher in baseball, B) willing to sign on for 4 years, and C) the farm system was barren otherwise and needed to be restocked with close to major league ready talent.

He did say that they were counting on Cole Hamels to be 2008 Cole and not 2009 Cole, and that pitcher is quite a good one.

awh: Cole's head would have exploded by now from watching Bobby shy away from the wall on every ball to right.

Jack - You really think management lacked faith that Hamels would be a playoff caliber pitcher this year? You're a very cynical man.

"Curt: Neither of those things you said are true. Ruben never sold us that Lee was only marginally better than Moyer, nor did he say Hamels would replace him."

Sneed - As for your first point, no kidding Sherlock. As for your second point, let me quote Sneed to you: "He did say that they were counting on Cole Hamels to be 2008 Cole and not 2009 Cole, and that pitcher is quite a good one."

Curt: I think you've confused the word "marginal". I meant that as in, the "margin of difference" for the Phillies is the performance between Lee and Moyer. I did not mean it in the sense of the word that means "small or unimportant". I would never contend that the difference between Lee and Moyer was "marginal" in that sense.

And I'm sure the Phillies did think Hamels would be a "playoff-caliber pitcher" this year (although I'm not sure exactly what that term you're using means). In fact, the higher their belief in Hamels, the stronger my point is. My point was that they were well aware (or god knows they should be) that trading Lee meant replacing him with Moyer, not Hamels, in the rotation. But in order to minimize PR issues, wouldn't you try and convince people that it's really Hamels (who is likely to pitch far better than Moyer) that is somehow "replacing" Lee?

Curt: Your last post again makes no sense. Counting on Hamels to be better can be considered mutually exclusive from the Lee deal. Even if not, the point is still that they were creating a public justification that they knew (or should've known) had no basis in reality. Hamels being better makes the pitching staff better regardless of whether Lee is there or Moyer. Him being better doesn't "offset" the dropoff from Lee to Moyer because that just means that the pitching staff would've been that much better with Lee there.

Once again, the only real, baseball, factual difference in the Phillies pitching because of the Lee deal is the difference between Lee and Moyer (or whoever the 5th starter is). That was my point from the start.

Curt, what's your point dude? Again, Ruben never said Cole was going to replace Lee, but when the media asked him about our rotation depth, he did say that they were counting on Hamels to bounce back and implied that 2009 was an aberration.

Jack - The deal is simple. We're a playoff team. We (briefly) had a brilliant 1-2 punch in Halladay-Lee. The theory we've been asked to accept is that is was OK to dump Lee because Hamels would return to 2008 form. There was no Lee vs. Moyer calculus. Moyer is essentially irrelevant to the only real question - winning a WS. You said that "people should stop viewing Hamels through the prism of the Lee trade," but that will obviously not happen until and unless Hamels wins a playoff game.

curt - the only person who's shown signs of confusion so far is you. I already said that the playoffs changes Jack's analysis and he agreed.

sophist - here's another mind-bender for you: consider the possibility that Jack's "analysis" makes no sense to anyone other than a bored BLer.

So who's staying in to watch this game tonight (voice)?

Bay Area Fan:

How about everyone's favorite Cliff Lee, who was by all accounts an average pitcher until a trip to the minors at age 28

Or Randy Johnson, who didn't even make it to the majors until 25 and still found time to toss 300 wins.

All I'm saying is that Hamels - at 26 - is still very young. He was rushed to the majors without a full arsenal of pitches and they're trying to correct that on the fly. Last year everyone cried that he needed a new pitch. He added it and I think the fans owe him more than 4 (FOUR!!!!) starts before we start calling for his head.

Also look at the late bloomers on the rest of the roster. Guys like Howard, Werth and Vic. Hamels is very very young.. give him a chance to work it out...

Will he ever win a Cy Young or another WS MVP? Maybe not.. But I'm not ready to write him off yet...

One option would have been to keep Lee and trade Hamels for prospects. In that sense, actually, you could say that they kept Hamels and let Lee go. But more than likely, they wouldn't have gotten as much in return for Hamels as they could get for Lee.

I think that the Lee vs. Moyer comparison idea is pretty silly. No management in baseball would be making that comparison and thinking that they came out ahead by choosing Moyer. The tradeoff was Lee for the prospects.

sneed: Me. It's one of the few games I get on tv.

phlipper: I'm not sure they would have gotten less in prospects for Hamels than Lee. Hamels has 3 years left for less money each year than Lee was making this year.

Also, obviously the prospects and money was the trade. The point is that on the field, this year, the difference the Phillies took on is quite clearly Lee and Moyer. Rotation w/out the Lee trade: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ. Rotation w/ the trade: Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer. Do you all see what happened there? I took out Lee, and put in Moyer. There it is.

The Phillies chose the prospects and money as more valuable than the performance difference this season between Lee and Moyer/5th starter, and then whatever the playoff difference is. That's the trade right there. Time will tell if it was right.

I think Jack's point is pretty simple. You have the choice between two rotations. I used three year averages and doctored Happ a bit.

208 IP, 1.307 WHIP, 102 R
201 IP, 1.160 WHIP, 85 R
184 IP, 1.238 WHIP, 76 R
166 IP, 1.250 WHIP, 84 R
237 IP, 1.137 WHIP, 90 R


208 IP, 1.307 WHIP, 102 R
201 IP, 1.160 WHIP, 85 R
166 IP, 1.250 WHIP, 34 R
237 IP, 1.137 WHIP, 90 R
186 IP, 1.379 WHIP, 98 R

If someone asked you the difference between the two, what would you say? The difference for the purposes of the regular season is the difference between the 97 ERA+ in the latter and the 123 ERA+ in the former, or substitute whatever you think their numbers will probably be this year. The difference is whatever the aggregate run allowed difference is and its impact on their W/L record.

Maybe rotations have synergy, in which case it does matter for a pitcher and a team who else precedes or follows them on the schedule. But the basic idea is the above. The difference between the rotations is 20 runs.

PhillyJoe: I'm not writing him off either and, if I had to make a prediction, I'd still say he'll end up with a pretty good year (i.e., an ERA under 4.00). Nonetheless, since everyone touts him as an ace or a No. 2, I think it's more than fair to criticize the guy. I mean, this isn't a passing slump. He has had a 6.44 ERA over his last 11 starts dating back to last year.

And, yes, you can certainly point to pitchers who were late bloomers. But that wasn't what you said in your original post. Your original post said that most 26-year olds are still fine-tuning their skills in AA. That's certainly not true if you're talking about pitchers with major league futures. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. But, as a general rule, your "A" pitching prospects are in the majors long before the age of 26. If you're a 26-year old pitcher who is still at AA, you can't realistically aspire to be anything more than, say, the next Nelson Figueroa -- and even that would be a real longshot.

RE: LCD Soundsystem - That's more of a call to preorder than what I'm listening to. All I have is "Drunk Girls"

GM: You left out the part that as soon as Howard broke into a 0-9 slump you'd be sending him out the door for cents on the dollar.

I guess you just get into the habit of posting irrational nonsense on your site and don't check the URL when you post here. Stick to bad comedy champ.

Cole is fine. Everybody relax.

Bay Area Phan
I think you have to look at the last 11 starts as different slumps because they seem to have different causes. Last year his location was off and he only had 2-3 reliable pitches.

The criticism was that he needed to add another pitch. He's only thrown that pitch in live games 4 times and THATS the pitch he is getting burned on. So I'm just saying give him some time, I think he can return to his 2008 form and be a solid 1B starter to Doc's 1A

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