Philadelphia Phillies’ Pitching First Half Grades


The Phillies‘ pitching has been kind of bad. 

On Monday, I took a stab at grading the Phillies’ position players for their first half efforts. Today, we’ll take a look at their pitching staff.

Once again, things haven’t been pretty.

Cole Hamels: It’s hard to be overly critical of Hamels, but its apparent he has been checked out since mid-June. I understand it is hard for him to take the ball every fifth day and be successful knowing he has no shot at a win, but giving up nine runs to the Giants isn’t the best way to woo a suitor. We know Hamels is a bonafide ace, but he hasn’t pitched like one this year.

Grade: B

Aaron Harang: On May 14th, Harang was 4-3 with an ERA of 1.82. That is really good. Since then he has gone 0-8 with an ERA of 6.94 and is currently sitting on the DL. That is really bad. Harang has erased any and all trade value, but let’s be clear: he is not a number two pitcher. He’s a four. Or a five. But even a fifth starter on a real Major League team shouldn’t be boasting an ERA north of six.

Grade: C-

Sean O’Sullivan: If Sean O’Sullivan is third on your team in innings pitched, you better be competing in the Atlantic League. His 6.08 ERA is second-worst in all of baseball, just ahead of our old friend Kyle Kendrick, who is struggling with that altitude in Colorado. O’Sullivan has been incredibly ineffective, but did you expect anything different?

Grade: F

Jerome Williams: Another pitcher, another ERA north of six. In case you’re wondering what Williams has been up to since hitting the DL in mid-June, he has allowed six runs in 7.2 innings during two rehab starts in the low minors. He has looked much, much different than the guy who came from Texas and posted an ERA of 2.83 in nine starts down the stretch of 2014.

Grade: F

Chad Billingsley: Yep, you guessed it, another ERA over six! Through six starts, Billingsley has been ineffective, allowing 24 earned runs in just 32 innings. After starting the year on the DL and making another trip there in May, it’s clear Billingsley’s once promising career is all but over.

Grade: F

Severino Gonzalez, David Buchanan, Kevin Correia, Dustin McGowan and Phillippe Aumont: Let’s save some time. All these guys have started at least one game. All of them have been utterly ineffective. Their ERAs range from 6.56 to 13.50.

Grades: F, F, F, F and F. (We’re up to eight total Fs for those of you keeping score at home.)

Adam Morgan: Wait! Before you jump off that ledge, look at this! Morgan hasn’t been too terrible. He’s three starts into in Major League career and it seems like maybe, just maybe, he could stick it out for the next few years and be okay. In his first two starts, the 25-year-old allowed just three runs in 12.2 innings before getting rocked by the Dodgers last week. It’s too early to say whether Morgan has the make up of a real Major League pitcher, but it’s alright to be cautiously optimistic.

Grade: B-

Jake Diekman: Don’t look any further for an example of the Phillies underachieving bullpen than the sidearm lefty. After displaying wicked stuff in 2013, Diekman has struggled with his control and hasn’t been getting people out consistently for nearly two seasons now. He was sent to Lehigh Valley for a couple weeks and since returning he has thrown 63% of his pitches for strikes and has an ERA of 2.19. Hopefully he can continue this for the rest of the season, because the Phillies won’t be able to get by with only one competent bullpen arm.

Grade: C

Justin De Fratus: De Fratus has been a victim of circumstance this year, not effective enough to be saved for potential leads, but good enough to eat innings, he has thrown more pitches than any other reliever in baseball. That’s commendable, but he still does not look like the guy who had a 2.39 ERA last year.

Grade: C

Jeanmar Gomez: Gomez has been a pleasant surprise this year. 30 of his 38 appearances have been scoreless and he has 32 strikeouts to boot. Right-handed relievers are a dime-a-dozen, but don’t be surprised if Gomez is added as a kicker in a bigger deal at the deadline in order for the Phillies to acquire a higher-level prospect.

Grade: A

Luis Garcia: On any other team, Garcia would be a replaceable piece in a bullpen– an average mid-inning guy. On the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies, Garcia has been one of the most consistent pitchers out of the ‘pen. An 8.4 K/9 is nothing to sneeze at, but Garcia needs to cut down on his walks if he wants to take his game up to the next level.

Grade: C+

Elvis Araujo: The 25-year-old has been very mediocre. He’s pitched well at times and has only allowed more than one run in one outing, not too shabby. But he also hasn’t blown anyone away with his stuff and it looks like he may have already hit his ceiling.

Grade: C-

Ken Giles: After worrying some fans with diminished velocity in the first month of the season and getting into a verbal altercation with some of his coaches, Giles has been lights out. He hasn’t allowed a run since May, a span of 14 appearances. He’s arguably the Phillies most valuable asset moving forward and it is worth wondering what kind of haul he could fetch in a trade.

Grade: A

Jonathan Papelbon: The Phillies may be awful, but at least Papelbon has keeps things interesting. He stirs the pot, he speaks his mind and in all honesty, I don’t think he has said anything wrong. He’s done all this while posting his lowest ERA in ten years and being named to his sixth All Star team. I think Amaro has no choice but to unload the closer at the trade deadline, but I’m really curious to how he would act if he is stuck in red pinstripes for a couple more months.

Grade: A

Next: Has Jamaal Charles Lost a Step?

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