Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels reported feeling “really good” this morning, two days after throwing a 20-pitch bullpen session to test his injured shoulder, and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes that he’s slated to throw another bullpen session Sunday.
However, according to Hamels the Sunday session will likely only be at “around 60 to 65 percent throwing” intensity, so there’s no timetable yet for his regular season debut. Salisbury reports that “Phillies officials are holding out hope he could pitch sometime in April, but May 1 might be a more realistic target.”
Good news, but still a lot of hurdles to clear.
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.