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April 2014

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Is Jason Hammel Peaking Too Early?

Written by , Posted in General

When we came into the season, the talk surrounding Jason Hammel was not if he’d be traded, but when. It seemed like another example of a Theo and Jed low risk, flip for prospects special. Now, after another tremendous outing, I find myself a little frustrated with just how good Hammel has been. I know it sounds silly, but there is a reason behind my statement.

We saw guys like Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza shipped out for prospects in seasons past. Garza even went on record this weekend with a message for Jeff Samardzija that he needed to pitch his way out of Chicago. Those players have brought a nice return back, but a guy like Hammel, while dominant so far this season, doesn’t have the track record in his career to fall back on. Couple that with an injury history that would have teams concerned and you’ve got a guy that has value but is simply showing it too early in the season. To put it simply, he’s peaking too early and may end up regressing to the norm as the trade stove just begins to warm up in late May to early June. I hope I’m wrong, but looking at his career numbers, he’s a pitcher on the wrong side of 30 with a sub .500 record and career ERA close to 5.00. You’re not fooling GM’s with a hot April. For this to work, he’s going to have to continue to dominate through May. At that point, GM’s may start to take notice and then we’re looking at a return somewhere in the Scott Feldman range in a perfect world.

  • PLCB3

    But if he was pitching at his usual levels early and then got hot you feel we would get more? I suggested letting Jackson and Vitters play with the MLB team and then trade them when they play good and you said that teams aren’t stupid and won’t overpay because of a couple hot weeks because they have the same access to stats and information as the team he currently plays for.

  • AC0000000

    But if he was pitching at his usual levels early and then got hot you feel we would get more? I suggested letting Jackson and Vitters play with the MLB team and then trade them when they play good and you said that teams aren’t stupid and won’t overpay because of a couple hot weeks because they have the same access to stats and information as the team he currently plays for.

  • Doc Raker

    Hammel’s WHIP is 1/2 of what his career average is but he has spent his career in the AL East and Colorado. It does always help a pitcher to pitch in Wrigley in April. I don’t think GM’s will be fooled be a few weeks of improved performance but if Hammel turns out to be this good always I say keep him, don’t trade him.

    Blackhawks close out the St Louis Blues in 6 in a very hard fought entertaining series. The Ducks also close out the Dallas Stars by scoring 2 goals within the last 2 minutes, the equalizer coming at 22 seconds in regulation and then winning in OT. Very exciting. Just more proof CAPS knows nothing about hockey. CAPS new favorite hockey team will be Colorado or Minnesota and here’s to the Blackhawks taking them out also.

    • PLCB3

      How do you infer that yesterday’s games show I know nothing about hockey? My favorite team is the Bruins. We play Les Habs. I’m sure you want Les Habs to win. The road to the Cup runs through Boston.

      • Doc Raker

        A couple facts for you.
        1) the Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
        2) the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

        So how does the road to the Cup run through Boston? I think you are eating to much of freshly batched cooked Chowda. Your hockey IQ is low, stick to Zumba and making fun of Seymour and Jswan.

      • I thought making fun of Seymour and jswan was your job, Doc. Did you run the proposed change by the personnel committee first?

      • Seymour Butts

        Those who say diversifying is a bad thing, have yet to meet Raker.

      • Doc Raker

        I think you mean delegating Meat. See how easy it is.

      • Doc Raker

        As long as someone is doing it!

        What would we do without CAPS?

      • Still not Zumba.

      • Allow me to point out that batch cooking chowda is actually a reasonable thing to do. Pulling a Buddy the Elf and throwing a ton of noodles in a pot is where things sort of go to shit.

      • PLCB3

        How does the road to the Cup run through Boston? Simple. Because the Bruins have home-ice throughout the playoffs.

      • Doc Raker

        There is 4 rounds of playoffs. I wouldn’t start babbling on about where the Stanley Cup Finals run through until your team makes it there, long way to go.

        All I can say is the defending champs made it through round 1 and judging from last years SCF wouldn’t be afraid to play the Bruins again. If the Blackhawks and Bruins play again in the SCF I will bet you some chowda to tacos that the Hawks win again.

      • PLCB3

        I don’t cook chowda. I get it every time I go to a bar though. Best chowda is at The Fours, right outside the Garden.

      • Doc Raker

        It’s pronounced, GAArden.

      • PLCB3

        Actually it would be Gahden. This morning my dad said he couldn’t find his khakis. I said what are you talking about, your cah keys are right here.

  • Doc Raker

    Hammel’s WHIP is 1/2 of what his career average is but he has spent his career in the AL East and Colorado. It does always help a pitcher to pitch in Wrigley in April. I don’t think GM’s will be fooled be a few weeks of improved performance but if Hammel turns out to be this good always I say keep him, don’t trade him.

    Blackhawks close out the St Louis Blues in 6 in a very hard fought entertaining series. The Ducks also close out the Dallas Stars by scoring 2 goals within the last 2 minutes, the equalizer coming at 22 seconds in regulation and then winning in OT. Very exciting. Just more proof CAPS knows nothing about hockey. CAPS new favorite hockey team will be Colorado or Minnesota and here’s to the Blackhawks taking them out also.

    • AC0000000

      How do you infer that yesterday’s games show I know nothing about hockey? My favorite team is the Bruins. We play Les Habs. I’m sure you want Les Habs to win. The road to the Cup runs through Boston.

      • Doc Raker

        A couple facts for you.
        1) the Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
        2) the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

        So how does the road to the Cup run through Boston? I think you are eating to much of freshly batched cooked Chowda. Your hockey IQ is low, stick to Zumba and making fun of Seymour and Jswan.

      • I thought making fun of Seymour and jswan was your job, Doc. Did you run the proposed change by the personnel committee first?

      • Seymour Butts

        Those who say diversifying is a bad thing, have yet to meet Raker.

      • Doc Raker

        I think you mean delegating Meat. See how easy it is.

      • Doc Raker

        As long as someone is doing it!

        What would we do without CAPS?

      • Still not Zumba.

      • Allow me to point out that batch cooking chowda is actually a reasonable thing to do. Pulling a Buddy the Elf and throwing a ton of noodles in a pot is where things sort of go to shit.

      • AC0000000

        How does the road to the Cup run through Boston? Simple. Because the Bruins have home-ice throughout the playoffs.

      • Doc Raker

        There is 4 rounds of playoffs. I wouldn’t start babbling on about where the Stanley Cup Finals run through until your team makes it there, long way to go.

        All I can say is the defending champs made it through round 1 and judging from last years SCF wouldn’t be afraid to play the Bruins again. If the Blackhawks and Bruins play again in the SCF I will bet you some chowda to tacos that the Hawks win again.

      • AC0000000

        I don’t cook chowda. I get it every time I go to a bar though. Best chowda is at The Fours, right outside the Garden.

      • Doc Raker

        It’s pronounced, GAArden.

      • AC0000000

        Actually it would be Gahden. This morning my dad said he couldn’t find his khakis. I said what are you talking about, your cah keys are right here.

  • Dork

    I want to talk about Barney, does he have any option left? I think it is time to get him AB’s at Iowa. Logan watkins is hitting 290, it is time to make this switch if it is possible. I thought Barney could not get any worse than last YR. 108 just is not cutting it.

    • Good point, Dork.

      • Seymour Butts

        Hey, there is no need to be name calling.

      • PLCB3

        It’s the economy, stupid.

      • AC0000000

        It’s the economy, stupid.

      • Dork

        Maybe I should change my screen name, just a referance to my stupid spreadsheet, that I cant seem so stop, which even in my opionion makes me a dork. (is this still a term)

      • Dork

        Maybe I should change my screen name, just a referance to my stupid spreadsheet, that I cant seem so stop, which even in my opionion makes me a dork. (is this still a term)

    • Dusty_Baylor

      Agreed. I’ve been a big fan of Watkins. I’d rather see him get some ab’s until alcantara or Baez is ready, than Barney’s .108/.2275/.212 crapola.

      • Dork

        Who knows, maybe Watkins has the trade value, he is only 24 at a pretty crowded position for the cubs. Although, he is actually playing the OF at Iowa I believe. We just have to get to competition above a 200 BA for playing time. Until that happens we will still be talking about prospects.

    • Dusty_Baylor

      Agreed. I’ve been a big fan of Watkins. I’d rather see him get some ab’s until alcantara or Baez is ready, than Barney’s .108/.2275/.212 crapola.

      • Dork

        Who knows, maybe Watkins has the trade value, he is only 24 at a pretty crowded position for the cubs. Although, he is actually playing the OF at Iowa I believe. We just have to get to competition above a 200 BA for playing time. Until that happens we will still be talking about prospects.

    • Doc Raker

      I agree Dork, we need to give AB’s to others, Barney is not in the mix on a future championship team.

    • Doc Raker

      I agree Dork, we need to give AB’s to others, Barney is not in the mix on a future championship team.

    • lbmango

      It’s clear that Barney is not in the long-term plans of the Cubs. In my opinion, they need to either trade him for what little they can get for him or just release him.
      If they’re committed to playing Olt more at 3rd, then Valbuena will likely take a lot of the PT at 2nd that Barney was getting. Barney’s not well-suited to be a pinch hitter or a pinch runner. Not sure how much value there is in having him on the roster as just a late-inning defensive replacement.
      I believe Barney may still have options, but if he’s not in the Cubs plans, what purpose does it serve sending him to AAA? Since there’s not much they can get for him, it appears they’re just holding on to him as insurance in case someone gets injured.

    • lbmango

      It’s clear that Barney is not in the long-term plans of the Cubs. In my opinion, they need to either trade him for what little they can get for him or just release him.
      If they’re committed to playing Olt more at 3rd, then Valbuena will likely take a lot of the PT at 2nd that Barney was getting. Barney’s not well-suited to be a pinch hitter or a pinch runner. Not sure how much value there is in having him on the roster as just a late-inning defensive replacement.
      I believe Barney may still have options, but if he’s not in the Cubs plans, what purpose does it serve sending him to AAA? Since there’s not much they can get for him, it appears they’re just holding on to him as insurance in case someone gets injured.

  • Timo

    when you start the game and read the cubs line up 7. Baker 8. Barney 9. Pitcher you basically see “a free inning”.
    I really like Barney and what he brings in the field, but with this roster we need to find a way for offense. I am not sure that putting him in the Minors will help. Honestly being squeezed between these two hitters does not help, since everyone will pitch directly to him…he simply needs an average closer to .230. While this is not good then his defensive value should secure him a roster spot…

    • Dork

      I like Barney too, but you would have more confidence in bringing wood in as a pinch hitter off the bench at this point. Maybe regular at bats would get him going again.

      • PLCB3

        But then who loses out when he comes back to the MLB team?

      • Dork

        On this team I think that would sort itself out in a few more weeks – First Barney would have to get it together. We are getting very little from the outfeild at this point, so just about anyone of the guys not named Bonifacio are playing like AAA guys. Plus you are carrying an extra pitcher at this point.

      • PLCB3

        I meant who do you boot out of the starting lineup to give Barney regular playing time. I don’t care about the roster game to make it work, that’s different.

      • Dork

        Do you mean at AAA, who loses out on playing time? or are you suggesting he should play everyday or more often at the MLB level? Barney only has 6 AB’s in the last 7 days.

      • PLCB3

        I was under the impression that you want to send him down to AAA for regular playing time and then call him up to the MLB team once he’s in a groove. What would your master plan be? Get him hitting in AAA and then trade him?

      • Dork

        Can Valbuena play in the OF? I guess again I would say it sorts itself out. If Olt is still under 200 maybe Olt losses out. If Barney can out produce Valbuena then he loses out. It is just a competition for playing time right? Right now Barney is loosing out on that competition. Just because we want these guys to succeed does not me that they will or can.

      • PLCB3

        Good enough for me. I agree some time in AAA might help him, especially playing everyday.

      • Dork

        Clarification – It has been nice to see Kalish going in the last week, 6-14 – 3 runs scored. Hopefully he can keep this going.

      • Seymour Butts

        Dear Dork (and I mean that in the kindest possible way), frequent back and forth with CAPS can lead to premature hair loss. Be forewarned.

      • Doc Raker

        Be careful, next thing you know CAPS will be inviting you to his Zumba class.

      • PLCB3

        My gym has prohibited inviting guests to Zumba class due to high demand.

      • PLCB3

        Demand for Zumba class is so high that you must now register for it 12 hours in advance. Only 25 slots available. I got on at 8am for the 6pm class today, and 10 spots were already filled. Checked 2 minutes ago, and 22 people are registered now. Friday, I will be setting an alarm for 6am to get my spot.

    • Dork

      I like Barney too, but you would have more confidence in bringing wood in as a pinch hitter off the bench at this point. Maybe regular at bats would get him going again.

      • AC0000000

        But then who loses out when he comes back to the MLB team?

      • Dork

        On this team I think that would sort itself out in a few more weeks – First Barney would have to get it together. We are getting very little from the outfeild at this point, so just about anyone of the guys not named Bonifacio are playing like AAA guys. Plus you are carrying an extra pitcher at this point.

      • AC0000000

        I meant who do you boot out of the starting lineup to give Barney regular playing time. I don’t care about the roster game to make it work, that’s different.

      • Dork

        Do you mean at AAA, who loses out on playing time? or are you suggesting he should play everyday or more often at the MLB level? Barney only has 6 AB’s in the last 7 days.

      • AC0000000

        I was under the impression that you want to send him down to AAA for regular playing time and then call him up to the MLB team once he’s in a groove. What would your master plan be? Get him hitting in AAA and then trade him?

      • Dork

        Can Valbuena play in the OF? I guess again I would say it sorts itself out. If Olt is still under 200 maybe Olt losses out. If Barney can out produce Valbuena then he loses out. It is just a competition for playing time right? Right now Barney is loosing out on that competition. Just because we want these guys to succeed does not mean that they will or can.

      • AC0000000

        Good enough for me. I agree some time in AAA might help him, especially playing everyday.

      • Dork

        Clarification – It has been nice to see Kalish going in the last week, 6-14 – 3 runs scored. Hopefully he can keep this going.

      • Seymour Butts

        Dear Dork (and I mean that in the kindest possible way), frequent back and forth with CAPS can lead to premature hair loss. Be forewarned.

      • Doc Raker

        Be careful, next thing you know CAPS will be inviting you to his Zumba class.

      • AC0000000

        My gym has prohibited inviting guests to Zumba class due to high demand.

      • AC0000000

        Demand for Zumba class is so high that you must now register for it 12 hours in advance. Only 25 slots available. I got on at 8am for the 6pm class today, and 10 spots were already filled. Checked 2 minutes ago, and 22 people are registered now. Friday, I will be setting an alarm for 6am to get my spot.