Hamels Has Elbow Soreness, Flying to Philadelphia
Cole Hamels has soreness in his left elbow and is flying to Philadelphia tonight to be examined tomorrow by team physician Michael Ciccotti.
“We do not think it is serious, at least at this time” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We thought it was important for Dr. Ciccotti to check him out and see if there is anything more serious than what we think it is. He’ll decide once he sees him tomorrow morning if he needs to do any testing or any further testing. We did do a physical on him before we ended up finalizing the multiyear deal with him and felt comfortable with the diagnostics and such. But he’s had a little persistent soreness and we want to be cautious about it and have him checked out.”
Hamels pitched in a minor-league spring training game yesterday at the Carpenter Complex. The Phillies said afterward that it went well and that he remained on schedule to start Opening Day on April 5.
“And he was,” Amaro said. “But he’s still got a little bit of soreness in there. We don’t feel that it’s serious, but again, I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t look inside his elbow. We just want to be cautious, and we thought it was important that he sees our doctor in Philly.”
Is Hamels’ Opening Day start in danger?
“It’s a possibility, I guess,” Amaro said. “But again, we won’t know anything until the doctor sees him. Right now he’s still on course to do that. We’ll see if there are any further issues.”
Amaro said Hamels had his normal soreness once he began his throwing program at the beginning of spring training last month.
“It hasn’t totally gotten out of there,” Amaro said. “He’s got better arm speed and arm strength and that’s encouraging because he’s progressing as far as that’s concerned. But all the soreness isn’t out. … We’re trying to be cautious with it. This is a pretty important piece to the puzzle for us.”
Hamels was placed on the 15-day disabled list from Aug. 22 – Sept. 18, 2007, with a mild left elbow strain. Amaro said this soreness is in a different part of the elbow, more in the back of his elbow with the soreness on the ulnar-side of the elbow.
“He doesn’t feel pain (when he throws),” Amaro said. “It starts to get tight in between innings. It’s more of a tightness than anything else. Tightness, soreness are semantics. I don’t believe he feels it when he throws.”
We expect to talk with Hamels later this morning, so keep checking back for more.
Update (10 a.m.): Hamels is currently participating in PFP (pitchers fielding practice) drills on the half-field just outside Bright House Field. It’s certainly strange, isn’t it? Phillies fans suddenly have a queasy feeling in their stomachs, but Hamels is running around, smiling, laughing and looking fine.
Update (11 a.m.): Hamels just met with reporters. Here is some of what he had to say:
“I was able to throw yesterday. It’s just been kind of that mild discomfort that I don’t want to deal with during the season. So if he can lessen the inflammation and the discomfort, I’ll be able to throw and be productive.”
“When I’m in games I feel fine. It’s coming out of the games, having it stiffen up. Normally, when I’m done I’m able to do stuff. It was still kind of lingering. Maybe it will kind of go away over time. It never got worse, but it never completely went away.”
Hamels said he has this tightness every spring, and for that reason he is no worried. He also said he is not worried becuase he feels absolutely no pain while he pitches or at any other time for that matter. The elbow just tightens up on him.
Hamels said he think he will be able to start Opening Day, but he won’t push it, either.
“Twenty days until Opening Day,” Hamels said. “My body and shoulder is pretty much ready. It’s just trying to get that mild discomfort out.”