Written by Section 215’s Somers Price and Tim Kelly
Early Thursday morning, rehabbing Phillies starter Cole Hamels revealed that he had to cancel his first live pitching session due to arm fatigue.
“My body is telling me, ‘Hey, you’ve got to take a step back and start over,”
The 30-year old lefty dropped the first bombshell of spring training when he announced that he would not be ready for the start of the season due to tendinitis in his throwing arm. All indications leading up to Thursday was that the team’s franchise pitcher would only miss a couple of starts. This most recent development makes it more likely that Hamels will miss the entire month of April, if everything goes well.
“April is the last thing I want to think about right now, I would say, right now, we’re just taking it day by day. Ultimately I just want to get back out and get on the mound and see how I’m going to fare there.”
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki says that the hope around the team is that Hamels ‘pushed himself too hard to fast’, rather than this being a sign that he is experiencing an arm problem that could derail his entire 2014 season.
In CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Hawkin’s article, Hamels did clarify that he does not feel pain necessarily, but is dealing with more of a ‘dead arm’. Call it whatever you want, but the fact of the matter is just a week ago, the team’s new pitching coach Bob McLure said that Hamels could theoretically be ready for opening day, but the team did not want to push him too hard. Now it’s looking like the team will be without their homegrown ace for a sizable chunk of the early regular season, and possibly more.
This move makes the late signing of A.J. Burnett seem like an even more necessary move, as the Phillies will seemingly slide him into the number two slot now, rather than having to slide Kyle Kendrick into that spot. The signing of Burnett means that the Phillies still have an ace at the front of their rotation in Lee, and a solid number two in Burnett. Kyle Kendrick might be more ideally suited for the back-end of the rotation, but given how he has started the past two seasons, I’m not sure that pitching in the middle of the rotation for the first month or so is something that should scare Phillies fans. With Miguel Gonzalez and Roberto Hernandez not doing much to answer questions about whether they fit on the major league club, mixed with injuries to Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin, the idea that David Buchanan or Jeff Manship is likely to begin the season in the big-league rotation, may be a bit more alarming.