blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter
blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter

Hellickson as Phillies Opening Day starter again?

Another year for Jeremy Hellickson to go out there and show his worth for his next contract

A lot of how the Phillies have been making their choices in the past couple seasons tells you the direction the team is actually heading in. We’ve all heard the Phillies are in a continuous state of rebuilding. Looking at the results of the past several years from the team explains this very well. You usually have a few years of growing pains before a team gets better is the norm in a rebuild.

Jeremy Hellickson was named Opening Day starter for 2017, a role that he had last year with the team. Looking at the way the Phillies actually ended up keeping Hellickson for this season says a lot about what the team thinks of him and his future of the team.

Hellickson being named Opening Day starter may send a signal that the Phillies are confused as to their commitments to certain players and as to why. Hellickson is not a $17.2M per year pitcher according to the way he’s been pitching. The Phillies had to offer him that though because they didn’t want to see him simply walk away and the Phils get nothing, it forced the Phils to offer him a qualifying offer. Jeremy went out on the open market and failed to attract a better offer, he’s not a pitcher that is very attractive at the price he was looking to get paid, he ran back to the Phils and snared the 1-yr deal.

Aaron Nola was touted to be the ‘star’ Phillies pitcher of the next several years, but he failed to impress the Phillies brass with his 2nd season on the big club and his 6-9 record to show for it. He still may develop into that pitcher that we heard he may become but he’s not there now.

Vince Velasquez is a pitcher that the Phils have to be pleasantly surprised with. In his second start ever with the Phillies he posted up 16 K’s, did very well the first half of the year then didn’t finish up well, as the whole Phillies team didn’t finish up well. He finished up last year 8-6 with a 4.12 ERA which isn’t terrible.

Clay Buchholz is brand new to the Phillies this year, He had an off year with the Red Sox last year. He finished up 8-10 with a 4.78 ERA and was very inconsistent. In fact, Boston Red Sox fans advised the Phillies fans to watch which Buchholz shows up to pitch on any certain day for 2017. That was an unofficial fan’s scouting report of him.

Jared Eickhoff finished last year with 11 wins, he tallied up 14 losses though with a 3.65 ERA during the season last year. So you couldn’t necessarily hand the ball to him for Opening Day. Again a lot of those losses may not be all his fault, but the record speaks for itself at the end of the season.

Which leads us back to Hellickson, he’s the same pitcher as he was last year for the Phillies. A pitcher of hope and the future and one that will have a great pay day for 2017. Why didn’t the Phils commit to him for a couple years? No many numbers surfaced from either side with what the other was looking for. It’s almost like an instant replay year for Hellickson in as much as if he has a very good year it can only help his case for free agency, he may even be a trade chip for the Phillies for 2017 if that happens and the Phils don’t want to hold onto him again so long.

Interesting though the our Opening Day starter now for the second straight year isn’t on board with this team as a pitcher of the future with the club, he’s just the most likely candidate to get the ball for Opening Day though.

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