Cole Hamels is in no hurry to make his exhibition-season debut.
Arm fatigue will keep Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher on the shelf and off of a mound for at least another week.
Hamels said March 6 after a throwing session that he would rest and focus on getting healthy.
"I threw 35 pitches," Hamels said. "To my body, it felt like a thousand."
The Phillies announced last month that Hamels might miss the start of the season because of tendinitis in his left arm.
Hamels said upon arrival to camp in Clearwater, Fla., that he was behind schedule and had yet to throw off a mound but could be ready not long after Opening Day.
On Thursday, Hamels said pitching in April is no longer a concern.
"Ultimately, I just want to get back out and get on the mound and see how I'm going to fare there," he said.
The 30-year-old Hamels previously had shoulder issues in 2006 and 2011 and also had elbow surgery in 2011. But he has averaged 213 innings and 32 starts per season since 2008.
In 33 starts last year, Hamels posted an 8-14 record with a 3.60 ERA in 220 innings. His career record is 99-74 with a 3.38 ERA in eight seasons with the Phillies.
The Phillies signed veteran A.J. Burnett last month. He would likely slot in as the No. 2 starter behind Cliff Lee if Hamels misses time, a notion that is becoming more likely each day.
--RHP Jonathan Papelbon threw a perfect inning in his first outing of the spring on March 2. Perhaps most impressive was Papelbon's ability to touch 93 miles per hour on a radar gun. "It looked like it had some giddy-up on it," Philadelphia pitching coach Bob McClure said. "That was good to see." According to Pitchf/x data, Papelbon's fastball topped out at 92.88 mph (his average velocity speed last May) in 2013. His average fastball remained under 92 mph after the All-Star break last year. Papelbon said he was dealing with nagging injuries throughout the season.
--SS Freddy Galvis is a heavy front-runner for one of the jobs open on the Phillies' bench. Although Galvis has hit just .230 in 128 games in the last two seasons, he is arguably the best defensive player on the club's 40-man roster and has the ability to play shortstop, second base, third base and left field.
--LHP Cole Hamels is on track to make his first Grapefruit League start during the week of March 10, barring a setback. Hamels, who entered camp behind schedule after experiencing biceps tendinitis in November, has thrown off the mound three times since the second week of camp and is scheduled to face hitters in a live batting practice session on March 6 and March 9.
--1B Ryan Howard collected two hits off left-handed pitchers in an intrasquad scrimmage on Feb. 25, and he was 1-for-4 with a run-scoring single and strikeout against southpaws after a week's worth of Grapefruit League games. Manager Ryne Sandberg is set on given a healthy Howard a chance to prove he can hit lefties this spring before going the route of platooning the former MVP with right-handed hitting Darin Ruf. In the last two seasons, Howard has hit .173 with nine home runs and 84 strikeouts in 179 at-bats against left-handed pitching.
--RHP Roberto Hernandez is the favorite to secure the fifth spot in the Phillies' rotation this spring, behind Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick. Hernandez threw three scoreless innings against his former Rays team on March 3. Hernandez was taken out of Tampa Bay's rotation last summer after sporting a 5.00 ERA in 23 starts. He signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Philadelphia as a free agent in December.
--RHP Ethan Martin left his first Grapefruit League start on Feb. 27 with shoulder discomfort after facing four batters. Martin was diagnosed with a strain of his right shoulder capsule and his triceps. He was shut down for at least three weeks.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think guys are real tired of not winning over here, from what I can hear and see. You have a lot of guys ready to show up, ready to stay healthy the best they can and put a good team on the field every day." -- RHP A.J. Burnett, on his initial impressions of his new team after spending two weeks in camp since signing a one-year, $16 million deal in mid-February.
LHP Cliff Lee
LHP Cole Hamels
RHP A.J. Burnett
RHP Kyle Kendrick
RHP Jonathan Pettibone or RHP Miguel Gonzalez or RHP Roberto Hernandez
The Phillies staff is bolstered by two premier starters in Lee and Hamels, who announced on Feb. 12 that he was behind on his throwing program and may not be available for the start of camp.
The club reportedly signed Burnett to fill the No. 3 spot in the rotation. Kendrick was signed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. The fifth spot is up for grabs between Pettibone, Gonzalez and Hernandez.
RHP Jonathan Papelbon (closer)
RHP Mike Adams
LHP Antonio Bastardo
LHP Jake Diekman
RHP Justin DeFratus
RHP Brad Lincoln
Philadelphia's bullpen was inconsistent last year and has a lot of questions coming into this year. Papelbon is the closer mainly because the Phils found no one to take his big contract off their hands. Adams is coming back off a shoulder injury. Bastardo is trying to return after a 50-game suspension. The rest of the bullpen will be made up of guys trying to solidify roles in the bullpen.
1. CF Ben Revere
2. SS Jimmy Rollins
3. 2B Chase Utley
4. 1B Ryan Howard
5. RF Marlon Byrd
6. LF Domonic Brown
7. C Carlos Ruiz
8. 3B Cody Asche
Not much changed from the veteran Phillies lineup that has been in place for the better part of the past seven years. Byrd, who had a fine 2013 with the Mets and Pirates, returns to the club that he broke into the majors with after signing a two-year deal in free agency. Ruiz also returns after inking a new three-year deal. Asche came up at the end of the 2013 season and showed promise, but could be pushed at third by hotshot prospect Maikel Franco. Ultimately, this team's fate will be determined by the performance of the big 3 in the lineup -- Rollins, Utley and Howard.
TOP ROOKIES: Asche, 23, played in 50 games for the Phils at the end of the 2013 season and is poised to be the club's everyday third baseman this season. During his time last year, Asche showed a good glove and some potential at the plate. He also did slump late in the year down to .235. With Franco waiting in the wings, Asche has to have a good year.
--LHP Cole Hamels (left biceps tendinitis) could make his first Grapefruit League appearance the week of March 10-16. Hamels entered camp behind schedule after experiencing soreness in November, slowing his offseason throwing program, but he threw three bullpen sessions without issue and was scheduled to face hitters in live batting practice sessions March 6 and March 9.
--3B Cody Asche (sore right hand) was by a pitch March 2 and exited the game. Initial tests on the hand were negative, and Asche was back taking ground balls March 3. He was expected to rejoin the lineup in a few days.
--RHP Ethan Martin (right shoulder capsule strain, triceps strain) was hurt Feb. 27. He was shut down until late March.
--RHP Mike Adams (right shoulder surgery in July 2013) is scheduled to throw his third bullpen session of the spring on March 5. Adams hopes to join the Phillies' bullpen at some point in April.
--RHP Jonathan Pettibone (right shoulder soreness) threw off the mound for the first time in two weeks on Feb. 28 and completed his second straight side session without issue on March 3. Pettibone, who entered camp competing for the fifth starter's job, was shut down during the first week of camp.
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