On Monday, the Phillies moved top pitching prospect Cole Hamels from Single A Clearwater — where he had earned a 1.77 ERA in four starts this spring — to Triple A Scranton, skipping Double A Reading entirely. Mike Arbuckle, the Phillies assistant general manager of scouting and player development, wanted to accelerate Cole’s development due to all the injuries he’s had over the past two seasons and thought the vetted hitters of Triple A ball would offer a better challenge to Cole than those in Single or Double A.
He may have been right, but the "more experienced hitters" did not turn out to be much more of a challenge for Cole yesterday.
In his first start as a Red Baron, Cole Hamels struck out a team record* 14 hitters in seven scoreless innings.
It was his fifth start of the year and considering that he only had 10 starts in the previous two seasons combined, it’s easy to get optimistic about both his progress and potential.
"If his ability is what we think it is, the opportunity will be here, sooner rather than later," said Arbuckle after the game, referring to the possibility of Hamels making the jump to the bigs.
We hate fighting optimism, and with three of the Phillies starters currently sporting ERAs of more than 7, frankly, we can’t afford to. Instead, we'll keep a hopeful eye on Cole. And see if he can't be what the doctor ordered.
Hamels: I’m too pretty for Scranton; I should be in Philly [Inky]
* For a lefty.
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