Cole Hamels is “progressing really well” and “on course” to start next week


Cole Hamels was scratched from his scheduled start this week because of shoulder inflammation, but Todd Zolecki of reports that “he remains on course to rejoin the rotation next week.”

Hamels will have to throw a problem-free bullpen session first, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. noted that “he’s been progressing really well.”

Hamels needing just one rotation turn off would obviously be excellent news for the Phillies, but given their lock on a playoff spot and the diminished velocity he showed last time out it might not be the worst idea in the world to give him some extra time off just in case.

Whether he rejoins the rotation next week or in two weeks, their primary goal should be having him at full strength for October.

Mariners claim Dario Alvarez off waivers from Cubs

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have claimed pitcher Dario Alvarez off waivers from the Cubs. The Mariners will option him to Triple-A Tacoma and have him report to minor league camp. Alvarez will serve as bullpen depth for the Mariners.

Alvarez, 29, has  spent parts of four seasons in the majors with the Mets, Braves, and Rangers. He signed with the Cubs as a free agent in November. Across 48 innings of relief, the lefty owns a 5.06 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 22 walks. His spring with the Cubs wasn’t any better, as he yielded six runs on seven hits and six walks with 11 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.