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.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.