Grading the Phillies’ pitching so far

The Phillies bullpen has slowly gotten better, led by young hurlers like Justin DeFratus.  Credit: Getty Images
The Phillies bullpen has slowly gotten better, led by young hurlers like Justin DeFratus. Credit: Getty Images

As we approach the All-Star break, let’s take a look back, as painful as it might be, at the Phillies lost half-season. There have been few ups and many downs for a team with few answers, especially offensively. The following report cards aren’t pretty. But that’s fitting considering the ugly first half Phillies fans have endured.

Starting Pitching

Cole Hamels: Hamels started the season on the disabled list but he has been very good to solid since returning to the rotation. King Cole was outstanding in June. Hamels posted a 1.23 ERA but was just 1-1 during that 30-day stretch. Lately Hamels has had control issues but that’s nothing compared to his teammates offensive problems. Grade: B+

 A.J. Burnett: He’s pitched decently through his hernia. Burnett has had his ups and downs but will be a good trade chip. Bet on the Pirates to try to reacquire him. Grade: C+

Cliff Lee: Lee pitched well during the first quarter of the season but has missed the second quarter due to his elbow injury. Grade: Incomplete

Kyle Kendrick: The Phillies who is most like a cardiogram. Kendrick is up and down. You never know what you’ll get from Kendrick, except that you can typically count on a rough first inning. Grade: C

Roberto Hernandez: If the big, burly pitcher was a fifth starter for a true contender, he would have a pretty good record. Hernandez will typically give up three or four runs over six innings but that usually sinks this Phillies squad. Grade: C-

David Buchanan: The kid has pitched decently. He needs pinpoint control to compete and he’s been sharp in many games. Grade: C

Bullpen

Jonathan Papelbon: Papelbon has lost some velocity but the wily veteran has figured out how to deal without his electric stuff. Pap has been reliable and he has yet to blow up in the clubhouse. Grade: B

Jake Diekman: Diekman is a work in progress, who dominates lefthanded hitters but still has trouble with righthanded hitters. All four of the homers he has allowed have been due to hanging sliders. He has so much potential. Grade: C+

Justin DeFratus: It’s about time some of these young bullpen arms have come around. DeFratus has been very impressive since he has returned from Triple-A. Grade: B

Antonio Bastardo: Bastardo is one of the biggest enigmas on the club. He has the stuff but he can’t harness it. Grade: C-

Ken Giles: It’ll be interesting to see what Giles does when he’s in pressure situations. So far, he looks like he belongs. That’s not just due to the 100 mph fastball. The kid has confidence and composure. Grade: Incomplete



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