Philadelphia Phillies: Ace’s Trade Under Review

In the First Inning of His Final Game for the Phillies, Hamels Fires a No-Hitter. Photo by Caylor Arnold - USA TODAY Sports.

After the First Inning of His Final Game for the Phillies, Hamels Fired a No-Hitter. Photo by Caylor Arnold – USA TODAY Sports.

After some time has passed, prospects acquired in swaps will determine if the Philadelphia Phillies received solid value for their aging stars, but how long is an appropriate time frame for the added talent to succeed?

In Retrospect:  

A decision can come back to haunt you, or you can look back fondly on a particular choice.

After a full campaign with their new organizations, the seven players in the deal headlined by Cole Hamels have recorded their 2016 stats. But when a franchise moves their number-one, they want to receive starters and a catcher. In other words, three rotation arms from the high minors (Double-A and Triple-A) should produce one hurler for an MLB five-man staff, and catching is always at a premium: A young regular is a major piece.

Double D, a poster from another site, had this question. How did Hamels, Jake Diekman and our acquisitions do? Well, Hamels had 32 starts and Diekman had only one blown hold. Judge for yourself.

  • Hamels: 15-5, a 3.32 ERA, a 3.0 fWAR and a 1.31 WHIP.
  • Diekman: a 3.40 ERA, 4 Saves, 26 Holds, a 0.7 fWAR and a 1.17 WHIP.

According to Jerad Eickhoff during a TV interview, he spoke with Aaron Nola who claimed he was completely healthy. Friends? And even though both pitchers will most likely be the new one-two punch fronting the rotation in the immediate future, they probably discussed developing their readiness to be co-leaders of the staff after the departures of Jeremy Hellickson and Clay Buchholz. Remember, these young hurlers were the first two to secure rotation slots in 2015. And you can imagine the call was a bit longer and contained personal matters as well. Some details probably involved living arrangements in Clearwater. Roommates?

The Phils Are Counting on Eickhoff's Consistency to Continue. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing - USA TODAY.

The Phils Are Counting on Eickhoff’s Consistency to Continue. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing – USA TODAY.

While all eyes were on receiver Jorge Alfaro and outfielder Nick Williams, Eickoff immediately surprised fans after his arrival to the majors. Yes, Double D, he has consistently made adjustments and is completely coachable. In fact, he was the only other starter eating innings besides Hellickson in September. But what was the one thing Eickhoff did not need? A second opportunity.

After dominating the International League with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Jake Thompson struggled in his first four outings, like he did with Lehigh Valley last April. But, Double D, he and Alec Asher were inconsistent, and manager Pete Mackanin didn’t hesitate to relieve them before they could become vulnerable. For instance, the frames averaged below indicate the confidence level in the dugout after August.

Average innings per start:

  • Thompson: 5.4 for 10 appearances and 5.8 for his final six outings (all numbers include August).
  • Asher: 5.5 for 5 starts.
  • Eickhoff: 6.3 for 5 appearances excluding his rain-shortened outing.
  • Hellickson: 6.3 for 5 starts excluding his precautionary removal in his final appearance.
  • Thompson and Asher did not have early exits due to other factors.

IN OTHER WORDS:    

“I learned a lot from not having success, and realizing when you do have success, how hard it is to maintain it, and what you have to do to maintain it.” – Randall Johnson

Hopefully, This Is the Alfaro We'll See Next Year. Photo by Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports.

Hopefully, This Is the Alfaro We’ll See Next Summer. Photo by Eric Hartline – USA TODAY Sports.

When general manager Matt Klentak reviewed Alfaro’s September call-up and Williams’ final five weeks, the decision-maker anticipated both opening the season with the IronPigs. In other words, Williams must prove he can hit and coax walks for at least two months: Plate discipline equals a promotion. He averaged .161 in his last 31 games with 45 punch outs but only one free pass. On the other hand, Double D, Alfaro struck out eight times in 17 plate appearances as a Philadelphia Phillie, and it didn’t go unnoticed. He saw less playing time because of it.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:    

“I have discovered in 20 years of moving around a ballpark, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.” – Bill Veeck

If you’re lucky enough to be in Clearwater on March 4, you might see the Phillies holding a one-run lead after two outs in the top of the ninth. But Pat Neshek is in a jam with runners on the corners. The batter smokes the ball toward the shortstop hole. J.P. Crawford dives to glove the scorched grounder, springs up and cocks his arm. The runner from third is speeding home but Crawford fires a bullet to Tommy Joseph. Nipped him!

If Thompson Dominates with the IronPigs, He Could Force Management to Promote Him Again. Photo by Anthony Gruppuso - USA TODAY Sports.

If Thompson Dominates with the IronPigs, He Could Force Management to Promote Him Again. Photo by Anthony Gruppuso – USA TODAY Sports.

The Numerical Bible:

This review is not a sabermetrics article, which means no heavy statistical analysis. But because some readers rely on stats, this is only a reference: no reason to articulate the importance of these numbers.

These numbers do not include any postseason activity.

Pitching:

  • Hamels, 33: 32 Gms., 200 2/3 Inn., 15-5, a 3.32 ERA, a 3.98 FIP, a 3.85 xFIP, a 3.99 SIERA, a 3.0 fWAR and a 1.31 WHIP.
  • Diekman, almost 30: 66 Gms., 53 Inn., a 3.40 ERA, 4 Saves, 26 Holds, a 3.54 FIP, a 3.91 xFIP, a 3.70 SIERA, a 0.7 fWAR and a 1.17 WHIP.
  • Eickhoff, 26.5: 33 Gms., 197 1/3 Inn., 11-14, a 3.65 ERA, a 4.19 FIP, a 4.15 xFIP, a 4.05 SIERA, a 2.9 fWAR and a 1.16 WHIP.
  • Thompson, almost 23: 10 Gms., 53 2/3 Inn., 3-6, a 5.70 ERA, a 6.17 FIP, a 5.64 xFIP, a 5.68 SIERA, a -0.4 fWAR and a 1.51 WHIP.
  • Asher, 25: 5 Gms., 27 2/3 Inn., 2-1, a 2.28 ERA, a 3.33 FIP, a 5.08 xFIP, a 5.12 SIERA, a 0.6 fWAR and a 0.94 WHIP.

Triple-A Hitting:

  • Williams, 23.5: 125 Gms., 527 PA, a .258 Avg., a .287 OBP, a .427 SLG, a .169 ISO, a .325 BABIP, 13 HR, 64 RBI, a .714 OPS and 1.4 WARP.

Double-A Hitting:

  • Alfaro, 23.5: 97 Gms., 435 PA, a .285 Avg., a .325 OBP, a .458 SLG, a .173 ISO, a .347 BABIP, 15 HR, 67 RBI, a .783 OPS and 4.0 WARP.

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