Cole Hamels is dealing with a dead arm

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After giving up three runs on six hits and four walks over five innings in a loss to the Nationals last night, Cole Hamels told John R. Finger of CSNPhilly.com that he is going through a dead-arm phase.

“It’s just one of those times in the year where you’re traveling and pitching a lot of innings, things kind of amount and you just have to get through it,” Hamels explained. “If you’re able to battle through it and things go well, you don’t notice it and you keep on moving.”

Hamels, who tossed his second complete game of the season in his previous outing last Saturday against the Giants, was pulled after throwing just 88 pitches. The southpaw averaged just 88.55 mph on his fastball last night and topped out at 91.6 mph, according to Brooks Baseball. He is averaging 91.1 mph on his fastball this season.

While Hamels downplayed the situation following the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that he had trouble getting loose because of stiffness in his left shoulder. While the results have been there, this doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident for Hamels, as Zolecki notes that the velocity on his fastball has dropped in each of his last five starts.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.