Cole Hamels won't be ready for opening day

Cole Hamels won't be ready for opening day
February 12, 2014, 11:15 am

Cole Hamels says he won't be ready for opening day, but expects to pitch in April. (USA Today Images)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies spring training camp has not even officially opened and already there is news.

Bad news.

Cole Hamels will not be ready for opening day after experiencing discomfort in his pitching shoulder this offseason. Hamels said he was not alarmed and that he feels great now, but he is eight to 10 days away from throwing a bullpen session. He ruled out making his second straight opening day start, but said, “I see myself pitching in April.”

Hamels spoke to reporters late Wednesday morning, the day before the first official workout for pitchers and catchers.

“I just wanted to be up front with everyone,” Hamels said. “I am behind schedule in my throwing program. In November/December when I started my throwing program again, I felt discomfort in my shoulder. I talked to our trainers and saw Dr. [Michael] Ciccotti and he diagnosed a little tendinitis.

“I didn’t pick up throwing again until January, so right now I’m in the middle stages of my [offseason] throwing program, which doesn’t allow me to throw bullpens at the moment. Don’t feel alarmed. I’m at the point where I feel healthy now. I’m just trying to build strength and stamina.”

Hamels did not have an MRI after feeling the discomfort in November. He said team medical personnel did not believe the issue was serious enough to require one.

With Hamels behind schedule, Cliff Lee will likely start on opening day. He appears to be healthy. He threw a bullpen session on Wednesday.