Cole Hamels pitches in minor league game, feels “great”

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Cole Hamels fell behind this spring due to shoulder fatigue and will begin the season on the disabled list, but he’s moving in the right direction.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Hamels pitched two innings in a minor league game this afternoon. It was his first game action of the spring. The southpaw threw 20 out of 30 pitches for strikes and reported feeling “great.”

“I’m really pleased,” he said. “I feel like I can truly get spring training in now. I feel healthy now and I have the strength to go out and get my reps in and build my pitch count up.”

Hamels has essentially just begun his spring training, so he’ll need a few more starts to get properly stretched out. Barring any setbacks, he’s likely on track to join the Phillies’ rotation by the end of April.

Giants tab Madison Bumgarner to start Opening Day

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants, to the shock of absolutely no one, have tabbed Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day, March 29 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He’ll pitch opposite Clayton Kershaw.

This will be the fifth consecutive season in which Bumgarner has started on Opening Day for the Giants. His five total Opening Day starts is still way behind the club record held by Juan Marichal, who started 10 Opening Days, including six consecutively from 1964-69.

Bumgarner, 28, missed nearly two months in the first half last season due to a dirt bike accident. He still managed to have a great season, compiling a 3.32 ERA with a 101/20 K/BB ratio in 111 innings.