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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.