Phillies Win, But Issues Run Deeper
4/20/2013 12:00:00 PM
With so many issues, it's easy to figure out what's killing the Phillies in the early going. Situational hitting is non-existent, power numbers are down, and a general malaise has come over everything draped in red. Not the way they envisioned starting the season.
A solid offensive output against the Cardinals on Friday night will certainly silence the critics for a short period, but the issues are glaring. But there are some below-the-surface problems that may not be so easy to see.
-Mike Adams velocity
This is something I've been yelling about on twitter to anyone that will listen.
Add that to the fact that Adams has now stated publicly that he's not feeling as strong as he hoped. On Comcast Sportsnet's "Philly Sports Talk", Adams said, "Don't get me wrong, I don't feel bad..but I wish I felt better. I wish I felt a little bit better, it might just be coming off surgery...we'll monitor it."
With his fastball velocity dwindling, the man they hoped would cure what ailed them in the eighth inning might be feeling the after effects of off-season surgery.
-Ryan Howard's groin
Charlie Manuel said it was a bit concerning that Howard was dealing with a sore groin, something he also felt a bit during spring training. Is this a lingering issue now coming to the surface? Was Charlie just giving Howard a blow with the lefty Garcia on the hill? Is a weakened leg due to the achillies injury now leading to other ailments?
Howard has been running with a noticable hitch in his giddyup, so it bears watching when it comes to his already-fragile legs.
-Cole Hamels walk total
In 215 1/3 innings last season, Hamels amassed 52 free passes. Through 23 2/3 innings in 2013, Hamels has walked 10 batters. That's a monumental spike, going from 2.2 walks-per-9 last year, to 3.8 currently. It could be that Hamels is in an early season funk, although you'd be hard pressed to complain about his last two starts. In the last 13 innings, Hamels has allowed just four runs while fanning 13.
It's probably nothing, but keep an eye out on Hamels location his next time on the mound.