Hamels Throws 44 Pitches In Rehab Start; Possible Franco Promotion

Franco could eventually be a call-up. (Photo: Jay Floyd)

Tonight, Cole Hamels pitched three innings (44 pitches) in Clearwater in his second rehab start. Hamels, pitching for the Class A Lakewood Blueclaws in an exhibition game against High A Clearwater Threshers, gave up two hits, one run, two walks, and struck out three.

Hamels, who is recovering from shoulder inflammation, threw 30 pitches (20 for strikes) in his first rehab outing last Thursday. This was Hamels’ second of what will likely be six rehab starts before he is activated.

And our own Jay Floyd reported tonight that with Darin Ruf already on the DL, if an injury to Ryan Howard were to occur, the Phillies would likely promote top prospect Maikel Franco. Franco, whose natural position is third base, will get some starts at first base this season in AAA Lehigh Valley. Franco entered this year as MLB.Com’s 26th best prospect in baseball and the Phillies’ best prospect in the system. He hit .320 last season with 31 HRs & 103 RBIs between High A Clearwater and AA Reading.

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