Photo Credit: Mel Rowling
This time of the year, fantasy writers usually instruct owners not to panic about star players off to slow starts (sans the overtly obvious declining dudes like Roy Halladay). In this case, however, there is serious reason to panic if you are a Cole Hamels owner. The time has come to sell, so throw on a throwback Willy Loman jersey and start taking that ass door-to-door, because it’s time to fetch a return while the value is still high.
More after the jump:
Hamels is listed as the sixth SP taken overall in MockDraftCentral.com drafts, but I had him as 15th in my “Tiers, Not Fears” pitching masterpiece. The reason I dropped him so low was the fact that he finished last season with shoulder woes and experienced soreness in the same area during his initial offseason workouts. The Phillies and Hamels himself made it seem like it wasn’t a big issue, but your boy Kid Clutch knows better than to fuck with any pitcher experiencing arm trouble (especially if it’s happening before Spring Training even starts).
So far this season, he clearly hasn’t been himself. He’s not missing many bats, he’s having trouble commanding his pitches, and he flat-out doesn’t look “right.” Granted, he’s not the only pitcher struggling early in the season, but I’m not optimistic at all about him turning it around. Remember that early in his career there was a lot of concern about Hamels’ durability. He’s thrown over 200 innings over the last three years, but you could argue that all that wear-and-tear on his skinny frame is catching up to him. I’m convinced this recurring shoulder injury is behind the sluggish performance and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ends up sitting on the DL soon.
If I was a Hamels owner (and thank god I’m not), I would be offering up a slew of deals involving the lefty. You don’t want to “wait this out” and hope that he rounds back into form at some point this season. His value is still pretty damn high and you might as well take 85 cents on the dollar now before you’ll have to accept half-price offers later in the season. If you really want to be a sneaky prick, you can start offering trades as Hamels’ next start gets underway. He draws the Marlins on Saturday, and he should be a lot better in that game against a Marlins offense that is about as intimidating as your local little league squad. A strong start against Miami could force your leaguemates to think “Cole is back!” Good. Let ‘em have him.