Over the winter and during spring training, many columns were filed criticizing Phillies GM Ruben Amaro for not trading ace Cole Hamels. Amaro was being too unrealistic, they said. The risk of Hamels getting injured was too high to not sell now, they wrote.
Amaro, often criticized beyond what is necessary, probably made the right call. The latest batch of news points to a widening market for Hamels. The Cardinals watched ace Adam Wainwright succumb to a season-ending injury on Saturday night. The Red Sox starting rotation collectively has a 5.75 ERA after Wade Miley’s disastrous outing on Sunday afternoon. Dodger pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are both injured, and they started Scott Baker on Sunday against the Padres. While Baker pitched well, he’s no Hamels.
Teams rarely make it through an entire season — or even through July — with their starting rotation intact. Some pitchers will suffer injuries, others will unexpectedly perform poorly. When the thought of competing for a post-season berth or actually competing in the post-season without a reliable starting pitcher or two sets in, teams become a little more willing to pay premium for quality starting pitching.
Hamels is currently 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA and a 23/12 K/BB ratio in 24 innings for the Phillies this season.