When we look at the past history of Cole Hamels, we know one thing is for sure. He absolutely understands his own body better than most people know their own.
Well, as it turns out, this past offseason Hamels let go a little bit, and because of the World Champion public circuit, Hamels was not able to focus of his workout regimen. Should this be a worry for all Phillies fans? Maybe. I would personally wait until we see his next two starts.
Hamels, 25, stated that a busy January schedule after the championship delayed his normal rigorous preparation for an upcoming season. When he tried to expand his training program during spring training, he began experienced soreness and inflammation in his left elbow, and that pushed him back even further than he could ever imagine.
As of today, Hamels is still trying to gain back his true form. His fastball is close and his changeup and curveball are still trying to round to form.
In his first two starts of this season, he has allowed 19 hits and 12 earned runs over 92/3 innings for an ERA of 11.17. After those numbers, light bulbs started to flash for both him and the team.
"I should be ready, and by not being ready I'm jeopardizing the team," Hamels said. "I think that's what I've done the last two starts because I pretty much didn't fulfill my end of the bargain and get ready the way I should have."
It was about the January schedule to him. He usually begins his throwing program in the beginning of January, but that didnt start until mid-month. Obligations all week every week really delayed his normal workout plan. Autograph signings and team banquets had him flying back and forth from home to Philly every week.
"I had distractions in January," Hamels said. "I had to fly to Philly every weekend to do something. I'd work out three days then I'd be off four days. Because of that, those three days of working out was pretty much like doing nothing. Normally, I'm working out all of January, but there were days I couldn't throw because I was in Philly doing appearances. I think this is the reason I'm behind."
If this Phillies team has any chance of even competing for the division this season, Hamels needs to be on target and winning. He is the fuel of this rotation; if you haven't noticed, the rotation has been absolutely terrible so far.
Hamels said he can usually balance his offseason obligations, but the capacity at which he was wanted over this past offseason made things difficult. Perhaps that occurs when your team wins the World Series.
He promised this would never happen again.
"The contract helps," he said. "Now I don't have to do that stuff. Now, it'll be baseball 24/7."
Quotes: Jim Salisbury