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Make Your Case: Matt Cain vs. Cole Hamels

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Postby gostanford07 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:38 am

I didn't actually see Hamels pitch last year so my opinion is a little biased, but after watching almost all of Cain's starts I fell confident in saying that he will be one of the next pitchers to throw a no hitter.

He went on a stretch last year where he gave up ONE EARNED RUN in 6 consecutive starts. He threw a 1 hitter FIVE TIMES (one was 7.2 innings i believe).

He has an unbelievable 96 mph fastball/12-6 curveball combo that is devastating. His biggest probelm is that he throws too many pitches and needs to put guys away sooner (but has showed no signs of stress on his arm). He also walks guys a little more than the average rate, but I just think that in his flashes of brilliance last year he was unbelievable. Needless to say, he would be my choice, but not by much.
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Postby Yoda » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:43 am

Love them both. Picked up both when they first came up. Both finished strong and improved in a very short period of time.

I think Hamels will be better in 07. He straightened out his control issues and adjusted well in the second half 06. He seems a bit more refined right now and I can see him being more consistent.

Cain is still a bit raw and I can see him taking a bit longer to find consistency. He can't always throw his breaking balls for strikes. Dominant starts should definitely outweigh the rough ones in 07 but takes a real big step forward in 08, becoming a top 10 pitcher.
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Postby JustAnotherYanksFan » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:58 am

Great topic. I was just doing my SP rankings today and had a lot of trouble deciding which of these two guys I should rank higher. (For what it's worth, I have Hamels at 14 and Cain at 15 right now.)

Scooter1027 wrote:Man, this is a close one. I have a feeling it would depend on the makeup of my team at that point and what I plan on doing the rest of the way out. I think Cain is the more "safe" pick, as other pointed out. I lean towards Hamels overall though. That 145 K in 132 IP last year is impressive. Even if Hamels only goes ~180 IP, that projects out to ~198 K. He's on a better team (in my opinion), and has more upside (again, in my opinion).

But, like I said, if I had already drafted, say, Ben Sheets, I would probably take Cain between the two to be a little safer. It's so close I think I would play it situationally.


I think that's a great way to look at it. Hamels' K/9 and K/BB last year were just mouth-watering, but he's got injury concerns, whereas Cain is a safer bet to stay healthy but has more pronounced inconsistency in his control. In a vacuum, I'll take Hamels by a nose, but I think Scooter's approach is exactly right (make a decision based on what the rest of your staff looks like).
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Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:05 am

I think this "make your case" thread is the closest one posted. Both are absolutely electric and were definitely two of the better aces in the second half of '06.

Cain and Hamels made great strides the past season. Hamels adapted to pitching at the bandbox called Citizens Bank Park and challenged hitters, cutting down on his rather high walk rate from the get-go. Cain had overcome the similar issue of walk rate and was just terrific down the stretch.

I believe the X-factor is how much workload either has undertaken over the last couple of years. I don't quite perceive Hamels to be the injury risk some folks have labeled him as (freak injuries don't quite count until they're as frequent as Ben Sheets), but at any rate, he ate up a lot of innings quickly. As for Cain, he's had a little more seasoning in the big leagues and his mechanics are just a tad better. I'd go with Cain in '07.
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Postby wrveres » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:30 am

Ballpark ... Therefore Cain!
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Postby ukrneal » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:50 am

Cain is less risky. Sometimes pitchers can be inconsistent in, especially, their second season and/or first full season. I think one thing that may hold Hamels back this year is getting tired in August, similar to Verlander and other rookies last year (and in the past).
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Postby RynMan » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:21 am

I like Hamels for this year, mainly due to the strikeout and walk rates.
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Postby Yoda » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:44 am

Another thing that I see working in favor of Hamels is that he has far less mileage on his arm due to the time he missed in the minors with various injuries. I know it may sound crazy but I think the lighter workload Hamels had to carry will help him stay healthier in the future.

As for Hamels tiring out, he pitched 180 IP and got much stronger at the end. I don't see why that should even be a concern at this point.

Again, this is like being asked to choose my favorite child for me. I love them both but unless you are in a keeper, I would go with Hamels for 07.
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Postby Hobbes » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:26 pm

Yoda wrote:Again, this is like being asked to choose my favorite child for me. I love them both but unless you are in a keeper, I would go with Hamels for 07.

What makes you give Cain the edge in a keeper then, just the injury concerns for Hamels?

I have this exact dilemma, since I have them both on my 6-keeper team and can only keep one of them. I'm struggling with which one to keep.
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Postby Yoda » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:31 pm

Hobbes wrote:
Yoda wrote:Again, this is like being asked to choose my favorite child for me. I love them both but unless you are in a keeper, I would go with Hamels for 07.

What makes you give Cain the edge in a keeper then, just the injury concerns for Hamels?

I have this exact dilemma, since I have them both on my 6-keeper team and can only keep one of them. I'm struggling with which one to keep.


I think Cain has a higher ceiling than Hamels. As I mentioned, he is a bit more raw. When his command is on, he absolutely dominates like the upper echelon class of pitchers. I just think Hamels is more polished and is a better bet to produce in 07.

In a keeper though, I think you have to keep Cain. His upside is just too great.
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