Hamels and Distractions
Here is what he said:
Question: Hamels jumped from a combined 190 innings in 2007 to a combined 262 2/3 innings in 2008. Could that jump be a reason why he has struggled?
Answer: It could be a lot of factors. His command hasn’t been very good. I don’t know if it’s innings last year. If it’s physical or mental, if he hasn’t focused as keenly as he did. Who knows? It could be a bunch of things, but he definitely hasn’t been as sharp. … It could be a number of things going on.
Q: What’s your level of concern, if there is any?
A: No more than any other pitcher we have. The same level of concern.
Q: You mentioned focus. Is that something that is going on with him?
A: I think it’s happened with our whole team. Oh, yeah. Some of the mistakes we’ve made? Yeah. We’ve seemed distracted at times. But again, the second half of last year we played very, very well. We didn’t make mental mistakes. We didn’t make sloppy mistakes pitching. We’ve made a lot of those. Whether it’s we’re physically tired or mentally not there, I don’t know which one it is, but we haven’t been as sharp as we need to be.
Q: How much have you talked about distractions?
A: We’ve talked about it some, yeah. You have make them aware of it. You have to make them aware of what you see. The way they’re acting.
Charlie Manuel said he is not worried about Hamels. “I see the same guy,” he said. But he also said the jump in innings from 2007 to 2008 could be a factor in his struggles.
“This guy was used to throwing 180 innings,” he said. “When he threw 262, that’s a jump. Also, the season’s longer, and his winter was shorter. The rest, during the winter, that comes into play. All that can affect you. All that’s mental. It’s a process of learning how to get through, if that makes sense. He had a long season to get to the end, and then, he had a short winter. That might have something to do with it.”