Cole Hamels’ Hamels’ contract expires after 2011, with an added year of arbitration eligibility for 2012. I suspect that some people are going to get antsy about that soon, wondering if grabbing Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt is going to cost the Phillies the chance to lock up the one pitcher of that crowd who might still be pitching at a high level seven or eight years from now. But Hamels and his agent John Boggs aren’t worried about it:
“My philosophy has always been the best position to take is one of concentrating on completing the existing contract with the club,” Boggs said. “Concentrate on the job at hand. If the Phillies determine they would like to talk to us about something, sure, we’d be all ears.”
I’d be surprised if something doesn’t get done with Hamels next winter. The Phillies aren’t idiots. I’m guessing that people will still wring their hands about it though. Personally, I’m kind of glad that they haven’t given him a contract extension yet. Not because I want to see him leave Philly — I’d never wish that a team’s star bolt — but because I don’t think we’re all prepared for another week’s worth of stories about the awesomeness of Philly’s rotation at the moment.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.