Early Wednesday, as Phillies pitchers and catcher opened Spring Training 2014, Cole Hamels announced he will not be ready for the beginning of the regular season. Hamels is dealing with shoulder tendinitis, but declared that it’s not that bad, and he’s only slightly behind schedule.
As Hamels and the Phillies try to spin it in a positive direction, it’s cause for concern. The Phillies ace cannot miss much time, or this season will be a wash quickly.
To combat that, the Phillies have signed veteran pitcher A.J. Burnett to a one-year, $16 million contract. The news was first broken by a young TV reporter in Arkansas, Hayden Balgavy, via twitter. Burnett pitched with Pittsburgh the last two seasons, posting a 3.30 ERA with a 10-11 record.
This is a no-brainer move, regardless of the Hamels news. The Phillies were in dire need of a third starter and get one in Burnett, who is your second starter while Hamels preps for the season.