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Cole Hamels: The Phillies Favorite Hurler Is Doing Just Fine

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 28:  Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on April 28, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Bryan CurleyCorrespondent IMay 4, 2010

It seems like Cole Hamels is in for another long season. Maybe he should be working on his mechanics instead of starring in Comcast Xfinity commercials.

Well, things aren’t always as they appear.

After five starts, Hamels has an ugly 5.28 ERA and an even uglier 1.47 WHIP. He’s tied for the Major League lead in home runs allowed (7) and his walk rate is up to 2.93 BB/9 from his usual 2.00 to 2.10 rate. Despite those numbers, Hamels really hasn’t been too bad.

Through 30.2 innings, Hamels has endured a gaudy 20.6 percent HR/FB rate. While Citizens Bank Park is known as a hitter’s haven, Hamels has never had a HR/FB rate over 12.8 percent and he’s likely to be a few percentage points below that.

His terrible HR/FB rate is masking the fact that Hamels is actually allowing the same number of fly balls this season (38.6%). Even more encouraging, his GB% is up to 46.6 percent and his LD% is down six points to 14.8 percent.

Despite the lower LD% and higher GB%, Hamels’ BABIP is a sky-high .357. Even when Hamels was allowing more line drives his BABIP had never topped .325.

Clearly, Lady Luck has not resided in Philly.

Digging even deeper, Hamels has also induced swings at pitches outside the strike zone more this season than he ever has in his career (31.6%) and opposing batters are making less contact than at any point in the last three seasons (54.7%).

Because all of that data is hard to look at in paragraph form, take a look at this chart:

Hamels will turn his season around once things even out because five starts isn’t even close to a great sample size. Don’t be discouraged and most of all, don’t worry about Cole Hamels.

And don't forget to check back to Baseball Professor for more daily baseball analysis.

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