Results tagged ‘ Cole Hamels ’
I’m not sure if this is an interesting fact or a case of digging too deep, but yesterday I discovered that today will be just the sixth day since the final month of the 2011 season that the Phillies will not have at least one everyday position player or member of their five-man rotation on the disabled list.
The Phillies had a five-day stretch in 2012 when Roy Halladay finished his stint on the DL on July 17 before Placido Polanco went on the DL on July 23.
That’s it, other than today.
The Phillies are averaging 9,373 fewer fans per game this season than last season, which is the steepest drop of any team in baseball. One reason is because fans simply didn’t buy the team’s sales pitch that they would be good if they were healthy. Well, they’re finally healthy, so they’ve got a chance to put that theory to the test. They are 10-10 without a full roster with three blown late-inning leads, including two in the ninth inning. They have been exactly what a 10-10 team looks like. They have shown some encouraging signs, but they also have played inconsistently, which is what .500 teams and teams with losing records do.
But the Philllies have played well these past two games against the Dodgers, who some considered the best team in the National League. If the Phillies can win one of these next two games in LA, they will head to Arizona to play a terrible Diamondbacks team with a chance to finish the 10-game road trip with a winning record.
This is why you hustle. Carlos Ruiz keyed last night’s victory by hustling to second base on a routine pop up in shallow left field.
Cole Hamels is set to make his first start of the season Wednesday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. He opened the disabled list because of inflammation in his left shoulder. His recovery following a setback March 1 cost him three starts.
“I’ve been waiting for that day,” Sandberg said. “First of all, we get everybody healthy. We get the full strength of the team with (setup man Mike) Adams and Hamels. The potential and possibilities in the rotation, once we did sign (A.J.) Burnett in the spring, we’ll see it next week when Hamels is in there. We’ll see the rotation in complete strength. I’ve been waiting for that day.”
Cliff Lee will pitch Monday, Burnett will pitch Tuesday and Hamels will pitch Wednesday. If everybody is healthy and pitches like they have in the past, it could be a formidable trio.
“I’m super excited just to be with them and watch the bullpens and be on the bench with them and know that I’m actually here to participate as opposed to just being around to get my work in,” Hamels said. “I’ll actually be able to have a part.”
Hamels went 0-1 with a 2.12 ERA in three rehab starts with Class A Clearwater.
“I was able to go down there and get everything accomplished, my strength, building up pitch count and really try to execute pitches to both side of the plate,” Hamels said. “That’s what you need to be successful in the big leagues, you have to be able to hit both sides of the plate with all of your pitches. My workouts are pretty much what everybody else’s are right now. Now kick it in gear and increase the intensity and know these games actually matter. This is where I wanted to be the whole time. It’s just unfortunate I wasn’t able to break early and be with the team early.”
Ryne Sandberg said this afternoon at Coors Field that Hamels is most likely to start Wednesday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium because it would allow the Phillies to split up left-handers Cliff Lee and Hamels with right-hander A.J. Burnett.
Lee is scheduled to pitch Monday. Burnett is scheduled to pitch Tuesday.
Hamels, who opened the season on the disabled list because of inflammation in his left shoulder, allowed one run in seven innings last night in his final rehab start with Class A Clearwater. He will join the team this weekend at Coors Field.
“Good reports on him,” Sandberg said. “Command was good. He was throwing strikes and throwing all of his pitches in the zone for strikes. That’s all good.”
Hamels opened Spring Training behind schedule after feeling shoulder discomfort in November. He expected to miss only a start or two until he suffered a setback March 1. At the time the Phillies said they hoped Hamels could rejoin the rotation sometime before May 1.
Technically, he came back a little earlier than expected.
It could be a big boost for a struggling pitching staff. Lee allowed one run and struck out 13 in a complete-game loss Wednesday against the Braves. Burnett threw seven scoreless innings yesterday in a victory over the Braves. The Phillies opened Spring Training with high expectations for the top of their rotation. If Lee, Burnett and Hamels pitch like they have pitched in the past, the Phillies should have a formidable rotation.
“I think those guys set a tone of what could be to come with adding Hamels to the rotation,” Sandberg said.
Hamels will make his home debut at Citizens Bank Park against the Mets on April 29.
Burnett received a cortisone injection today and is scheduled to start Wednesday.
“It’s something that I think is manageable,” he said.
And what makes it manageable?
“I guess manageable is that I’m going to have to deal with it,” he said. “Paying attention to it, knowing it’s there, knowing what I can do to overdo it and knowing what I can do to keep it where it needs to be. I’m more of a go getter and I’m not really a take it easy kind of guy, so it’s going to be a test.”
Burnett had to be pulled from Friday’s start in the fifth inning because of discomfort, but he said, “I’ve pitched with worse. The other night was more of an uncertainty because I didn’t know where it was coming from. I didn’t know if it was hip, groin, whether I tweaked something or pulled something. Now that I know upstairs what I’m dealing with, I can deal with it a lot better.”
Cole Hamels pitched with same injury in 2011 before having surgery in the offseason. He went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts) and finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award voting.
In a perfect world Burnett performs similarly to Hamels in 2011, and waits until the offseason to surgically repair it as recovery can take six to eight weeks. Burnett said he is confident he still can pitch like he had the past couple seasons with the Pirates, when he went 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA in 61 starts.
Burnett is 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts this season. In 16 innings, he has allowed 17 hits, 11 runs (seven earned runs) and 14 walks with 10 strikeouts.
“It could be a blessing in disguise and I pay attention more to my delivery,” he said. “The two pitches I felt it in my bullpen (Sunday) is when my timing was a tick off. I flew open early or something was off. But when I nailed my delivery in the next 15, it was fine. I’m not worried about it now that today happened. I talked to the doctors and had my questions answered. How severe is it? Can it get really, really worse?”
“It can get larger,” he said. “But as far as pain wise, they said it would be the same. Uncomfortable.”
But surgery will come at some point. He knows that. He just hopes it’s not until after the season.
He made a rehab start Sunday with Class A Clearwater, throwing about 65 pitches. He said he believes he will be ready to pitch in the big leagues once he builds to 90 pitches. He might need just two more rehab starts to hit that number. If that is the case, he will make rehab starts Friday and April, which would put him on course to pitch for the Phillies on April 21 or 22.
“I feel really good,” he said today at Citizens Bank Park. “My strength is definitely increasing. Just building up, getting out there, getting the reps in. Being able to throw all five pitches, is truly a good test. Because you’re going against guys that are competitive, they’re swinging. So you have to throw strikes and you have to execute pitches. But everything went really well. Health-wise, I feel really great.
“I believe the big test is the pitch count. 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. … There’s nothing lingering. I’m ready to go and they’re letting me go. And I think that’s where we’re really going, we’re playing it by ear, where we have the proper structure and they’re not pushing me too fast, too quickly. And i think everything is going really well.”
- Right-hander Mike Adams, recovering from right shoulder surgery (retroactive to March 26).
- Infielder Freddy Galvis, left knee infection (retroactive to March 21).
- Right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, right shoulder tendinitis (retroactive to March 21).
- Left-hander Cole Hamels, left biceps tendinitis (retroactive to March 21).
- Right-hander Ethan Martin, right shoulder inflammation (retroactive to March 21).
- Outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf, left oblique strain (retroactive to March 21).
Adams hopes he can rejoin the Phillies bullpen by April 15. Galvis, who is recovering from MRSA, could be back by the middle of the month, too.
The Phillies have indicated Hamels could rejoin the rotation before the end of April.
The Phillies said on March 21 that Ruf could miss 4-6 weeks. Martin just started throwing, and Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently Gonzalez could be a candidate for the 60-day DL to give them flexibility for the 40-man roster.
Cole Hamels remains about a month behind schedule, but the Phillies hope he could rejoin the rotation before the end of April.
He threw a live batting practice session this morning at Bright House Field. He threw two simulated innings of 15 pitches each. He said earlier this week he would throw two BP sessions before he pitched in a game.
“I feel great,” Hamels said. “Just all the progressions I’ve been able to make for the last week and a half have definitely been positive. … I think we’re just looking kind of how I respond in the next couple days and getting bullpen reps and seeing where and what they want to do.”
Hamels opened camp in February about two weeks behind schedule because of inflammation in his left shoulder. He had been progressing nicely once he started throwing again, until he suffered a setback March 1, saying he felt fatigue in his left arm. That pushed him back further, but since he restarted his throwing program recently he has been fine.
“Oh, of course,” said Hamels, asked if he is more optimistic he could be back earlier than he thought two weeks ago.
Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure seemed encouraged with what he saw Saturday.
“Ball was coming out of his hand really well,” he said. “Crisp, real clean. Didn’t hold back on any pitches. Had velocity and life. I was really happy with it. He’s had no issues of late. I don’t expect any either. We’re pretty stoked about it.”
If Hamels can rejoin the rotation before the end of April it would be a big boost for the Phillies. They need plenty of things to be close to perfect to compete this season.
“If everything goes as scheduled, I would think towards the end of the month there,” McClure said of Hamels’ potential return. “Somewhere in the last week, I would think so.”
He threw a 40-pitch bullpen session in the morning at Bright House Field. If he feels OK Thursday, he is expected to throw to hitters in a live batting practice session Saturday. He said he expects to throw one more live BP after that before potentially pitching in a game.
“It went really well,” Hamels said. “I’m pleased, being able to build my pitch count, getting the reps I need. I was able to get a lot of pitches out of the stretch, and I introduced the windup, which I haven’t done since last year. Getting familiar with that again and being able to build the reps from there, it’s obviously a step in the right direction.”
Hamels is weeks behind schedule and will open the season on the disabled list. He suffered inflammation in his left shoulder in November, which halted his normal offseason throwing and strengthening programs. He appeared to be recovering nicely earlier this month, when he suffered a setback, saying his arm felt fatigued.
Hamels said he has most of his total body strength back – about 90 percent in his estimations – which will allow him to continue without further setbacks.
“It’s that last 10 percent that really takes a little bit longer,” Hamels said. “But at the same time when you’re able to get it, it’s there. It’s there for the long haul. We’ve been staying on the safe side. I think seeing how I’ve been able to feel, how I’ve been able to respond, we can get a little more aggressive. Ultimately, we’ll always be cautious and on the safe side to get ready for games.”
He threw 27 pitches at about 70 percent as he recovers from a left shoulder issue that put him several weeks behind schedule. Hamels said he hopes to throw again Wednesday, then hopefully face hitters after that.
“I was really thoroughly impressed with the way I’ve been feeling all week,” he said. “The past couple days with recovering and still being able to maintain the exercises and the strength program without any hiccups or even having to take it back a notch, I’ve really been able to bounce back really well.”
Keep in mind Hamels seemed to be progressing nicely earlier this month before he suffered a setback. His arm felt fatigued as a result of pushing too hard too fast and being unable to build strength as he would during a typical offseason.
He indicated this time is different.
“Ultimately, my strength is now there,” he said. “I can throw at the distance I know I’m capable of throwing. I could probably throw more. Having that and throwing with the right type of intensity, then it leads right into the mound.
“The plan is to go Wednesday. A pen. And then, from there, get right into batting practice. So, I’m really looking forward to this week. This is going to be a big week, with some big stepping stones. I know with everything we’ve been able to do, the way I’ve been able to recover and gain the strength necessary to do it, I’m really pleased.”
He threw a 20-pitch bullpen session this morning at Bright House Field. It is the first time he has thrown from a mound since March 1, when he suffered a setback following his recovery from inflammation in his left shoulder. Hamels and Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said today’s session went well, but based on the time Hamels has missed this spring both acknowledged he essentially is starting his regular-season preparation from scratch.
“The day before Spring Training, when you get down here,” Hamels said, when asked when he might throw a 20-pitch bullpen session during a typical spring.
“I would say he’s a little bit ahead of scratch,” McClure said. “He may have another bullpen session and then get into a BP or so and feel like he could pitch in a game. It could go faster or it could be like from scratch. I can’t tell you that right now. It’s going to depend on where he’s at. Whenever we decide to do his next pen, he might feel real good in that one and go right into BP.”
Hamels is scheduled to throw his next bullpen session Friday or Saturday, but that depends how he feels Thursday.
If Hamels progresses from this point like everybody in Phillies camp hopes, McClure said there is a chance Hamels could pitch in a Grapefruit League game this month.
Pitching in a big-league game in April is remote, although McClure did not completely rule out the possibility.