Cole Hamels wasn’t too pleased at being pulled after 86 pitches

14 Comments

Cole Hamels made his 2014 debut last night in Los Angeles and he pitched well, allowing two runs over six innings and tossing 86 pitches. Then Ryne Sandberg pulled him from the game. The problem: the Phillies’ bullpen sucks and last night they sucked again, allowing three runs.

Another problem: after the game Hamels waxed something less-than-enthusiastic about Sandberg’s decision to yank him. Here’s Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly.com:

Hamels appeared mystified and possibly a little miffed at the early hook. He admitted to being surprised that he didn’t go out for the seventh inning.

“I had plenty left in the tank,” Hamels said. “But I don’t make the decisions. I just have to go out there and pitch and try to be competitive and keep the team in the ballgame.

“They make the decision. They have a scheme, a plan of what they want to do and all I can do is go out there one pitch at a time and see how far I can go, how far they’ll let me.”

Hamels was not aware of any restrictions on his workload.

Hamels added that he had pitched 100-105 pitches in rehab starts, so why 86 now? Especially given a tight game and that bullpen. And Sandberg’s comments don’t seem all that compelling. He said Hamels “did his job” and that it was “his first time out” despite earlier saying that Hamels is under no restrictions.

Anyone else get this? Because I sure don’t.

Reds having Michael Lorenzen prepare as a two-way player

Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Leave a comment

For decades, a legitimate “two-way player” — a player who functions as both a pitcher and as a position player — was nothing but a fantasy. The skill sets required for both are too distinct and require too much prep work, it was thought. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani shattered that illusion in 2018, posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances as a hitter while posting a 3.31 ERA in 51 2/3 innings as a pitcher.

Since then, several more players have been considered in two-way roles. The Rangers signed Matt Davidson earlier this month and could potentially use him as a corner infielder as well as a reliever. Also earlier this month, James Loney signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, who plan to use him as both a first baseman and as a pitcher.

You can add Michael Lorenzen of the Reds to that list. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds will have Lorenzen prepare this spring as a two-way player. He could both start and relieve while occasionally playing in the outfield. Lorenzen, in fact, took batting practice with the outfielders on Thursday. Previously, he had taken batting practice as extra work following a workout with fellow pitchers.

Lorenzen said, “It’s fantastic, the effort they’re putting in. A lot of the excuses were, ‘You know, we don’t want to overwork him.’ Well, let’s just sit down and talk about it then. They were willing to sit down and talk about it, which is one of the reasons why I love this staff so much and why I think the front office did a great job [hiring] this staff. They’re willing to find solutions for problems.”

New manager David Bell said, “We’ve put together a plan for the whole spring, knowing we can adjust it at any time. We didn’t want to go into each day not knowing what he’s going to do. We all felt better, he did, too. He was part of putting it together.”

Lorenzen, 27, pitched 81 innings last year with a 3.11 ERA and a 54/34 K/BB ratio. He’s one of baseball’s best-hitting pitchers as well. Last year, he swatted four homers and knocked in 10 runs in 34 trips to the plate. The last pitcher to hit at least four homers in a season was the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, who did it in both 2014 (four) and 2015 (five). Lorenzen also posted a 1.043 OPS. According to Baseball Reference, there have been only 11 pitchers to OPS over 1.000 (min. 30 PA). The only ones to do it in the 2000’s are Lorenzen last year, Micah Owings in 2007 (1.033) and Dontrelle Willis in 2011 (1.032).