-According to the beats on the scene, Cole Hamels will throw in in a batting practice session on Thursday in Clearwater. Hamels is behind schedule due to biceps tendinitis that first popped up in November.
Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News says that Hamels will throw a side session tomorrow, but will face live hitters for the first time on Thursday, a good first step in his progression. Pitching coach Bob McClure says Hamels shouldn’t miss more than two starts to begin the season.
The Phillies can ill afford to have Hamels on the sidelines for much more than those few starts. They’ll need their Big 3 of Lee, Hamels, and Burnett to make as many trips to the mound as possible if they have visions of postseason baseball.
-Jonathan Papelbon hit 93 a few times on the gun yesterday. That’s good news, but I’ll be hopeful he can do it in August. Last season was a bit of an off year for Papelbon, who dealt with decreased velocity as well as his detractors following relatively moronic comments. Turns out, he was also dealing with an ailment.
Paplebon says he was slowed by a hip injury that he was forced to grind through. That also tends to happen when you’re on the wrong side of 30, like many of these injury-prone players are.
-Looks like Cody Asche is fine after being hit by a pitch on Sunday. He reportedly had his hand bandaged, but there is no structural damage. Sign of relief.