Hamels Is Doing His Work
He allowed two hits, one run, one walk and one home run and struck out two in two innings against the Blue Jays. He got a couple outs with the cutter, which seems encouraging. It’s also encouraging that Hamels’ fastball regularly hit 89 mph. He barely touched 87 mph in his regular-season debut last season. A stronger arm will allow Hamels to work on his secondary pitches this spring, which in theory means they should be more effective once the season starts.
“I threw it a lot more than I anticipated,” Hamels said of the cutter. “I probably could have thrown my changeup in any of those situations, but I’m trying to stray from it and throw the curveball and throw the cutter. That’s what I was able to do. There were a couple counts when I would have gone straight to the changeup, but to add the curveball and cutter it makes it a little bit harder for the hitters.”
There has been talk this spring that Hamels would work primarily on the curveball, but Hamels sees the possibility that his cutter could become his third-best pitch with the curveball his fourth.
“I’ve watched guys like Andy Pettitte, Cliff Lee, (Jon) Lester have so much success with that pitch that I think it’s something if I’m able to add that in with the type of changeup that I have it can only make me that much better.”