Updates from Wednesday, April 23
Updates from Saturday, April 19
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports on when Cole Hamels will make his 2014 debut:
Updates from Friday, April 18
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports has the latest on Hamels:
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels will return to the team's rotation next week, manager Ryne Sandberg confirmed to reporters. His first start will come either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Hamels, 30, battled shoulder inflammation all through spring training and had to start the regular season on the 15-day DL. He also missed time with minor shoulder problems in 2006 and 2011.
Updates from Thursday, April 17
CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank has the latest on Hamels' return:
Cole Hamels could be just days away from making his 2014 debut, Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.
Proefrock said Wednesday afternoon before the Phillies-Braves game at Citizens Bank Park that Hamels will make a rehab start for the Clearwater Threshers Thursday night against the Lakeland Flying Tigers in Clearwater, Fla.
Proefrock said Hamels, who has missed the first two weeks of the season with biceps tendinitis, could very well open the season at some point during the Phillies’ four-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles starting Monday.
“I would say that’s a distinct possibility,” Proefrock said.
Philly.com's Ryan Lawrence provides more on Hamels' latest rehab start:
In what was very likely his final minor league rehab start, Hamels pitched seven strong innings for Class- A Clearwater on Thursday night. Hamels allowed one run on three hits while walking one and striking out two.
Hamels, making his third start for the Threshers, threw 57 of his 81 pitches for strikes. The only run he allowed came on a home run from Lakeland's Connor Farrell in the fifth inning.
Updates from Tuesday, April 8
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News has the latest on Cole Hamels after another rehab start:
"I believe the big test is the pitch count," Hamels said. "If I’m able to get 90 pitches, I know that I’m game ready. Because that gives me enough pitches and enough reps with my pitches to be able to go out there and have the confidence I can throw, especially to big league guys."
Hamels next start will come Friday at Class A Clearwater. The following day, Saturday, the Phillies will use a fifth starter for the first time this season.
As long as Hamels continues his current progression, he could jump into the rotation as soon as Tuesday, April 22 at Dodger Stadium (the date and place the unnamed fifth starter would be on tap for his third start).
Updates from Monday, March 31
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly has the latest on Cole Hamels' arm:
After the game, Hamels will fly back to Clearwater and make his second spring start in a minor-league game Tuesday. Hamels said his goal is to throw 45 pitches.
“I’m completely normal now,” said Hamels, who backed off his throwing program for a week in early March because of shoulder fatigue. “I can sleep at night knowing I’m not going to wake up sore the next morning. I’m able to get all my reps in.”
Updates from Thursday, March 27
Austin Laymance and Adam Berry of MLB.com had the latest on Cole Hamels' recovery:
Hamels, who suffered a setback on March 1 following his recovery from left shoulder inflammation, allowed two infield singles and recorded nine outs in a Minor League game against the Pirates' Class A Advanced affiliate at the Carpenter Complex. He threw 30 pitches, 20 of them for strikes, as he faced four batters in the first inning and five in the second.
Hamels said he felt "really great" in Thursday's outing and hopes it was the start of what should be a normal, albeit delayed, Spring Training going forward.
"From what happened March 1 to where I am now, I'm really pleased and really confident, and what I'm able to do now is to truly get Spring Training in," Hamels said. "Obviously it's a little late, but I feel healthy, and I think that's really the key. I have the strength now, and now it's just getting the repetition to feel confident to be able to do it up there in the big leagues."
Updates from Saturday, March 22
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia has the latest on Hamels' status:
Cole Hamels threw the equivalent of two innings in a live batting practice session Saturday morning at Bright House Field and finished with this proclamation:
“I feel great.”
Pitching coach Bob McClure watched Hamels’ 30-pitch warmup followed by two 15-pitch innings and was impressed.
“The ball was coming out of his hand really well -- crisp, real clean,” McClure said. “He didn’t hold back on any pitches and had velocity and life. I was really happy with it.”
“All the progressions I’ve been able to make for the last week and a half have definitely been positive,” Hamels said. “All the work I’ve been doing is really paying off.
“I have to thank the medical staff and the trainers for really narrowing down the type of program that I needed to get on and ultimately going out and accomplishing it.”
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow,” McClure said. “You always wait till the next day to see how they are. But he’s had no issues of late. I don’t expect any either. We’re pretty stoked about it.”
Once Hamels is ready for games, he will likely need the equivalent of a Grapefruit League schedule -- about a month -- to be ready for regular-season action. May 1 has been a loose target, but McClure isn’t ruling out the last week of April.
“I’m just guessing, but he could be ready close to the end of the month of April,” McClure said. “I couldn’t say for sure. But if everything goes as scheduled, somewhere in the last week, I would think.”
Updates from Wednesday, March 19
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com has the latest on Hamels:
Hamels spoke about his status with Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:
“It’s been coming quick, especially after I hit the wall (March 1),” he said. “That 10 days off really jump-started me. I feel like I’m 90 percent there with my total body strength.”
Hamels threw out of the windup for the first time this spring and mixed in cutters and changeups.
“It went really well,” he said. “I’m pleased that I’ve been able to build up my pitch count. I’m kind of getting anxious now that I’m feeling good to get the schedule set and get into a normal routine. We can get a little more aggressive.”
Updates from Friday, March 14
Philadelphia Daily News reporter Ryan Lawrence has the latest on Hamels' recovery:
Updates From Wednesday, March 12
Chris Branch of Delaware Online has the latest on Hamels:
An already thin Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation may be without Cole Hamels for a while.
According to the Associated Press, via FOX Sports, the 30-year-old lefty, who got a late start on spring training because of bicep tendinitis in November, won't throw off the mound for at least a week.
"I believe I threw 35 pitches," Hamels said following Saturday's session on the mound. "To my body it felt like a thousand."
Well, that sounds quite terrible.
Hamels, the Opening Day starter in 2013, went 8-14 last season with a 3.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 220 innings. But as ESPN's Eric Karabell noted, this news likely suggests he'll miss all of April:
The Phils, who are coming off a bad 2013 campaign, can ill-afford to lose anymore depth on the mound. With Roy Halladay retired, Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett remain at the top of the rotation, followed by Kyle Kendrick and Roberto "Fausto" Hernandez.
Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin are dealing with injuries of their own, meaning Ruben Amaro Jr. may have to scour the waiver wire if Hamels' injury keeps him on the disabled list for a significant period.