Cole Hamels looked great in his most recent minor league rehab start Thursday with High-A Clearwater and Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that they are leaning toward bringing him back to start next Wednesday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Hamels was forced to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list due to left biceps tendinitis, but he showed no ill effects during his rehab stint, putting up a 2.12 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio in 17 innings over three starts. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball on Thursday.
Hamels, 30, posted a 3.60 ERA and 202/50 K/BB ratio over 220 innings last season. With Hamels, Cliff Lee, and A.J. Burnett, Philadelphia has a potent trio at the top of their rotation.
UPDATE: It’s official. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Hamels is confirmed to pitch next Wednesday.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.
Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.
In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.
There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.