Results tagged ‘ Cole Hamels ’
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.
Cole Hamels suffered a setback in his recovery from inflammation in his left shoulder, which makes his chances of pitching in April seem remote. He said he feels no pain in his shoulder, but his arm is “fatigued out.” He said no MRI or cortisone injections are scheduled, and he hopes to throw off a mound again sometime within the next week.
“I know nothing has gone wrong,” Hamels said this morning about his shoulder. “Trying to get in the best possible shape that I can in sort of a rushed, competitive atmosphere, something’s going to not want to push it a little more so it prevents the injury. Ultimately my body is telling me, ‘Hey, slow it down a little bit and start over in a certain way so that you can prevent injury but build up for the long haul.’”
That is the hope in Phillies camp: Hamels simply pushed himself too hard, too fast.
“I think any time you use and abuse your arm you’re going to get inflammation,” Hamels said. “But no, I wouldn’t say it’s painful. I think ultimately when people think about the shoulder and not being able to throw a baseball, they think injuries, tears, the pain indication. It’s not that. It’s really tired and it was kind of more difficult to go through the throwing motion, let alone try to throw something very competitive.”
But players almost always offer rosy outlooks about their health – in recent seasons Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Brad Lidge all publicly stated they were healthy in Spring Training only to struggle with their health during the season – so the fact Hamels seemed to be progressing quite nicely and suddenly has to stop throwing is a concern.
All is well.
He threw his first bullpen session of the spring at Bright House Field. He will throw his second Saturday. Hamels, who is behind schedule after feeling discomfort in his left shoulder in November, could open the season on the disabled list, but everyone in camp seems to believe if he misses any time it will be only a start or two.
“It was good,” Hamels said. “Better than expected, which is huge. It didn’t feel as foreign, getting off the mound after such a long time. But everything felt good. Physically, I’ve been feeling great. It just carried over. Now it’s just getting the reps in, working on location, working on pitches. But I still have a really good feel for what I’m doing out there. Ultimately, I feel like my strength has really picked up. It’s just a matter of time of getting through the throwing program, the bullpens, the live BP and into the games. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Hamels said earlier this month he typically is ready to pitch after just four Spring Training starts. He made five last year.
Does he have enough time to make four before the end of Spring Training?
“Ultimately, I hope so,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to have any setbacks. I feel really good where I am physically. I feel like they’re going to slot me in there and I’ll be able to get that in. I feel like I’ll recover like I normally do. I’m not worried at all about being ready for the season.
“I know when I first talked to you guys, an injury is always the biggest concern and I think the biggest worry. I didn’t have an injury. It was just a matter of building up. There’s nothing to really worry about in any sort of injury-related throwing. I’ve been there. I’ve done it before. I feel really confident that I can get everything done and I can be in the best shape I can for the season.”
He is behind schedule after feeling discomfort in his left shoulder in November. He said he could open the season on the disabled list, but if he does he does not expect to miss much time.
Right-hander Mike Adams is throwing off flat ground two more times before he could throw his first bullpen session Feb. 27. He is behind schedule following right shoulder surgery in July.
He said he would be pushing it to be ready by Opening Day on March 31.
“I would love to be ready for Opening Day, but I’ve got to do what’s best for myself and best for the team. I want to make sure I’m there for the long haul and not rush myself out there and do something that’s not smart. I’m thinking early to mid-April might be more realistic. Once I’m ready to go, I don’t want to have no more setbacks or go on the DL or anything. If it’s late April, it’s late April. Do what’s best.”
He said he will not be ready to start the season, but insisted he will be pitching for the Phillies sometime in April.
“Oh, yeah, yeah,” said Hamels, asked if he expects to be pitching before May 1. “I see myself pitching in April. I guess I don’t see myself pitching in March. It’s not any pain or discomfort. It’s just the building up of muscles. When you start you can’t run a marathon right off the bat. You have to build up to it.
“Not too far behind (Opening Day) I’ll be ready.”
Phillies pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout Thursday at Carpenter Complex, but Hamels will not be throwing off the mound with his teammates. He said he just started to throw Jan. 1, when he typically begins to throw Dec. 1.
“I felt some discomfort in my shoulder,” Hamels said.
He later said the tendinitis is in his biceps, but for Phillies fans who understand several things need to go perfectly for the team to make the postseason in 2014, it is cause for concern. But Hamels seemed unworried and said after talking with Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti and head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan they simply decided he should not throw in December.
Hamels, 30, did not have a MRI.
“Right now I’m just kind of in the middle stages of my throwing program, which doesn’t allow me to throw bullpens at the moment,” he said. “Don’t feel alarmed. I feel healthy now. It’s just trying to get the strength and the stamina to be able to do that comfortably and not injure myself. But other than that, I’m glad we were able to find it earlier. Things look good. I will progress during Spring Training into the start of the season.”
ESPN and CBSSports.com reported the Phillies have told teams they will listen to offers for Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Now why in the world would the Phillies do that? Well, it is important to note that listening is different than trading. But if some team is willing to offer premium talent for Hamels or Lee — and take their entire salary to boot — it would be foolish not to listen.
It would be foolish, however, to trade one of them for a package that does not address numerous and immediate needs. After all, what was the purpose of extending Chase Utley, signing Marlon Byrd and resigning Carlos Ruiz if the Phillies are not trying to win the next couple seasons?
The Phillies better than anybody know the risks of trading a top starting pitcher for young talent. They traded Lee to the Mariners in Dec. 2009 for Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. They also have acquired Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt for prospects that included Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Jason Knapp, Kyle Drabek, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose.
Have any of those players come back to haunt the Phillies yet?
How certain can the Phillies be that the players they would get in return for Hamels or Lee would make a difference?
It also must be noted there are obstacles involved in any potential Hamels and Lee talks. First, both have limited no-trade clauses. Second, they are owed a ton of money. Hamels is owed $118.5 million over the next five years, which includes $22.5 million in salary each of the next five seasons, plus a $6 million buyout for a vesting option in 2019. Lee is owed $62.5 million over the next three years, which includes $25 million in salary each of the next two seasons, plus $12.5 million buyout for a vesting option for 2016.
If the Phillies trade either of them the other team must take their salary, which limits potential partners. The Phillies last ate money in a trade in 2005, when they shipped Jim Thome to the White Sox.
There are reasons it makes sense for the Phillies to listen. They have holes everywhere. They need to get younger. They could use the payroll relief. But there are plenty of reasons it won’t happen, too.
He already has.
Hamels is 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts since the end of June. His ERA ranks 10th out of 93 qualifying pitchers in baseball in that span. His 1.00 WHIP is 13th. His 5.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio is fourth.
Of course, not everybody has noticed because Hamels is 5-13 with a 3.65 ERA overall. His 13 losses are tied with Angels right-hander Joe Blanton (5.52 ERA) and Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell (5.34 ERA) for the most in baseball, which should be an excellent reminder a starting pitcher’s record is often a highly inaccurate gauge to their abilities and effectiveness.
Hamels’ 3.33 run support average this season is 85th out of 90 qualifying pitchers, which tells the story about his record as much as anything.