Here’s the scoop: Cole Hamels left Clearwater tonight for the Philadelphia area to have his left elbow examined tomorrow by team doctor Michael Ciccotti. General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said that Hamels complained about “a little bit of a persistent soreness” in his elbow. “We thought it was important at this time for Dr. Ciccotti to check it out,” Amaro 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, you know, he’s had a little bit of persistent soreness and we want to be cautious about it and have him checked out.”
Hamels also downplayed it. “It’s not a big deal,” Hamels said, “It’s something I don’t want to have to deal with through the season… I have it every spring training, but normally it lasts about a week to two weeks.” He says this time it has lasted for “several weeks.”
But is his opening day start in jeapordy?
“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.
More good news: At about 9:45 this morning, Jim Salisbury, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, saw Hamels long tossing in the Bright House Field outfield. Salisbury estimated the distance to be 125 feet. This means the Phillies aren’t scared to have him throw. More reason to believe it’s not a severe situation.
When Hamels met the media at 11 AM, he had this to say: “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.”
Oh, and that opening day question… Hamels will be ready to go. “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.”