Cole Hamels one step closer to April 22 return

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Phillies starter Cole Hamels made a rehab start with Single-A Clearwater on Saturday, going six innings and allowing only one run. He’ll make another rehab start on Thursday, after which he could rejoin the Phillies and make his 2014 debut on April 22 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, reports Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly.

Hamels showed up to spring training with tendonitis in his left shoulder and the Phillies decided to shut him down for a while. He’s been playing catch-up ever since. It was initially believed he wouldn’t

Getting Hamels back would be a big boost for the Phillies, as A.J. Burnett is in peril of missing his next start due to a groin injury.

Michael Fulmer likely headed for Tommy John surgery

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Michael Fulmer was the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. Last year he had his worst season as a major leaguer, finishing 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA and a 110/46 K/BB ratio in 132 1/3 innings. This spring he has been utterly lost in eight innings of work, getting hit hard and exhibiting diminished velocity. A few days ago, the Tigers shut him down and said they’d work on his mechanics.

Now comes the news that no one wanted to hear: the Tigers have announced that Dr. James Andrews has recommended that he get Tommy John surgery.

Fulmer is said to be seeking a third opinion — before Andrews he had an MRI and team doctors feared the worst — but let’s be real about what’s gonna happen here: Fulmer is going to miss the entire 2019 season and, in all likelihood, a good chunk of 2020 as well.

Tough break for Fulmer, one of the few good pitchers the Tigers had developed in some time.