Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sure, the draft pick would have been nice, but having Hellickson around isn't too bad

Did Matt Klentak overplay his hand with Jeremy Hellickson?

At first glance, I think so.

Sure, the Phillies could have gotten a midlevel prospect or two at the trade deadline, but they were willing to ask for a higher price with Hellickson hitting an open market that didn't have much, pitching-wise.

But the Phillies will likely benefit from having Hellickson on the roster going into 2017.

Hellickson has been healthy for all but 1 season of his career. He's had three years in his six full seasons in which he was at worst a No. 3 starter. From 2011-12, he went 23-21 with a 3.02 ERA, 1.202 WHIP, 7.6 hits per nine and 3.2 BB per nine over 60 starts. Last year, he went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA, 8.2 hits per nine and 2.1 hits per nine.

But take a closer look at what he's done since July of 2014. It's a 42 game run that includes 251.1 innings pitched.

That's not a small sample size.

Since then, he's walked 63 batters and struck out 205 while allowing 33 home runs and 230 hits. That's 2.25 walks per nine, which is .75 walks fewer than his career up to that point. That's 7.3 K's per nine, a significant increase over his previous mark of 6.5. His 8.2 hits per nine are a slight decrease over what he previously allowed (8.4) He still gives up 1.1 homers per nine, which isn't spectacular, but not worrisome when you look at his other numbers.

In all, it seems Hellickson has turned a corner in his career.

If he keeps those numbers up in April, May and June of 2017, the Phillies could get a nice return on their investment of Sam McWilliams. The 20-year-old who was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks had an interesting season in A-ball? He pitched to a 3.98 ERA in 15 starts and walked just 18 in 74 innings, but allowed 10.4 hits and struck out just 5.2 batters.

No doubt the Phillies would have liked getting the supplemental pick that would have come their way had Hellickson signed elsewhere. But keeping things in perspective, they've so far gotten a starting pitcher who performed above expectations in 2016 and could be a valuable member of the team in 2017.

4 comments:

GM-Carson said...

I'm shocked Hellickson accepted the offer. I expected him to get a 4 year contract in the neighborhood of $13-14M per season.

Happy he's back though. However, the Phils have so many starting pitchers that should be given a shot at the rotation and this prevents them from doing so until August, most likely.

PatrickAbdalla said...

Yeah. I was convinced he would get a ton of coin on the market by someone like the Mariners or Tigers.

Bob D said...

Hellickson does not block anyone at least to start the year.
Eickhoff, Velasquez, Nola, and Morgan round out the 5 starters (on paper for now)
Thompson, Asher and Eflin provide depth and could replace Morgan or for any injuries that may occur.
Appel, Lively, Pinto, and Pivetta all provide decent to good upside depth in the minors to start, who will be near ML ready at some point this coming year.
That's 12 starting pitchers so I see no need to add any more veterans except the ones on minor league deals just to add depth and competition for Spring Training.
Hellickson could be a mid season trade candidate too.

GM-Carson said...

I think Asher, Thompson, and Eflin are all ahead of Morgan on the depth chart now. Just my opinion, but who knows.