A scout's take

On Cole Hamels, 22-year-old left-handed starter for the Philadelphia Phillies; 1-3 record, 4.41 ERA in 6 games

Pitches -- He's got three solid big league pitches: an above-average fastball, curveball and changeup. His fastball is 88 to 93 mph. His curveball is ... not over the top, but it has a good, sharp break. He throws all of his pitches for strikes.

Makeup -- He's a Southern California kid, a real good young man. He's going to make normal, young mistakes, but he has poise beyond his years.

Outlook -- He's got everything he needs to be a good pitcher. Time will tell if he can do it all, but he has more than what he needs. I don't know his health situation [Hamels has struggled with injuries in his young career], but he certainly was fine when I saw him pitch [in mid-June].

Note: "A scout's take" features one major league scout's opinion on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts are anonymous.

Say what?

"Tell him we'll pay his cab. Tell him to tell us where he lives and we'll bring him to the ballpark and we'll have a conversation. But that's the way he is. He's garbage, still garbage, going to die as garbage. Period."

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, clarifying his controversial comments about Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti

Numbing number


The career winning percentage of former Orioles pitcher Jason Johnson (55-94) before the Cleveland Indians traded him Wednesday to the Boston Red Sox. No other active pitcher with at least 1,000 career innings has a worse mark than Johnson, who was 3-8 with a 5.96 ERA for the Indians.

What's up?

More interleague play

Leo Mazzone goes back to Atlanta on Friday. Chances are he won't stay even if Bobby Cox asks nicely. Perhaps the most anticipated homecoming happens mid-week, when New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez returns to Fenway Park. The Mets have to go to Boston for three and then Yankee Stadium for three more this week. Another intriguing matchup has the Detroit Tigers hosting the Houston Astros for three games starting tomorrow.

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