Cole Hamels, after a couple of strong bullpen sessions, was supposed to throw to hitters today. That didn't happen, and it had nothing to do with the rain in Clearwater.
He had a setback. He insisted it wasn't the recurrence of the shoulder tendinitis this winter that required a cortisone shot and a suspension of his throwing and lifting programs. This, he said, was more of a fatigue issue.
“We are going to slow it up a bit. I threw the last bullpen (last Saturday) and everything felt great, felt good coming out, things were working … But the way my body responded later in the day and the next day, it just fatigued out. I was trying to push it and obviously try to get back, and I think I pushed it a little too hard, too quickly, and I wasn’t able to recover the way I’m used to or accustomed to.”
The plan at the moment is to back Hamels off and restart his throwing program at a more deliberate pace next week. This almost certainly kills any shot of his pitching for the Phillies in April.
"Yeah, I would say right now (we are) just really taking it day by day ... you just have to listen to the way your body responds to it. For me, it was slow back down, and build up a little bit more and try again.
Hamels did say after his last bullpen that one of the most difficult parts of his offseason issue was that it kept him from working on his upper body in the weight room. He believes the atrophy from that hiatus probably played a role in how he has felt in recent days.
"Definitely. The weight that I’ve lost, the strength that I’ve lost -- especially in my upper body because I wasn’t able to build up just the normal strength that I have in a normal offseason lifting program or throwing program. I didn’t have it and I knew I didn’t, so I’m trying to get it all in a short period of time, and something’s going to give. This is my body kind of telling me, 'Hey, you’ve got to take a step back and start over. You’re not ready to push it to the next level right at that moment.’"