Cole Hamels undergoes precautionary MRI on left shoulder

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Cole Hamels blamed his poor performance Friday on a dead arm, but the Phillies aren’t taking any chances with their prized left-hander.

According to Leslie Gudel of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies sent Hamels for a precautionary MRI on his left shoulder today. The results aren’t yet available.

Hamels gave up three runs on six hits and four walks over five innings against the Nationals on Friday while showing diminished velocity. While he told reporters following the game that he didn’t feel any pain, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said the left-hander experienced some stiffness in his shoulder.

The Phillies were rained out yesterday and have an off-day tonight, so they could push Hamels back in the rotation even if the MRI doesn’t reveal anything serious.

Hamels, 27, is 13-7 with a 2.62 ERA and 155/35 K/BB ratio over 25 starts this season. He ranks third in the National League with 172 innings pitched.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.

Matt Boyd earns No. 5 spot in Tigers’ starting rotation

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Matt Boyd has earned the No. 5 spot in the Tigers’ starting rotation, which means veteran Anibal Sanchez will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reported on Wednesday.

Boyd, 26, pitched well this spring, compiling a 2.49 ERA with a 21/0 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings. The lefty’s numbers in the majors last year weren’t nearly as good.

Sanchez, 33, is coming off of the worst season of his career and overall didn’t have a great spring, putting up a 5.03 ERA with a 20/4 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. He came on strong at the end, however, tossing 14 consecutive scoreless innings. Manager Brad Ausmus didn’t rule out the possibility of Sanchez returning to the rotation at some point.