Pettibone, Adams take positive steps in recovery

Pettibone, Adams take positive steps in recovery

Is Hamels' injury just a dead arm?

March 12, 2014, 1:00 pm
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Starter Jonathan Pettibone said the next step in his recovery would be to pitch a couple of innings in a game during the next two or three days. (AP)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There was plenty of news from Camp Sore Shoulder on Wednesday.

• Cole Hamels threw in the bullpen and was encouraged (see story).

• Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez became the latest Phillies pitcher to feel soreness in his shoulder (see story).

• Meanwhile, on a field dampened by morning rain, Jonathan Pettibone and Mike Adams ramped up their recoveries from shoulder issues.

Both pitchers threw to hitters at Bright House Field. For Adams, it was the first time seeing hitters since he was shut down last summer with a serious shoulder injury that required surgery in late July.

Pettibone faced hitters for the second time since slowing his program down after experiencing shoulder soreness early in camp. He missed the final two months of last season with a shoulder strain.

“I felt good, no pain,” Pettibone said after his workout.

Thin on starting pitching depth after experiencing a slew of shoulder problems, the Phillies are currently holding tryouts for the fifth spot in their rotation. David Buchanan, Jeff Manship, Sean O’Sullivan and Mario Hollands are the main candidates. The Phillies won’t need a fifth starter until April 13. That’s a month away. Could that be enough time for Pettibone to enter the mix?

“I think it could be perfect,” the 23-year-old right-hander said. “I’m behind, but I don’t feel like I’m a month out of it.”

Pettibone threw two 15-pitch sessions, the equivalent of two innings. He said the next step in his recovery would be to pitch a couple of innings in a game in the next two or three days. It was not clear whether that would come in a big-league game or a minor-league game.

Adams, 35, faced hitters for the first time. He threw 18 pitches.

“This was one of many hurdles,” said Adams, who wasn’t sure if he could continue his career after being diagnosed with three tears in his shoulder last summer. “My strength is increasing. The true test will be to see how I feel tomorrow. But overall, I’m happy. I felt good.”

Adams is expected to throw to hitters again in three days. If all goes well, he could see some type of game action next week.

Adams, once one of baseball’s best eighth-inning relievers, is in the second year of a $12 million contract that pays him $7 million this season. Like Hamels, he will open the season on the disabled list. He hopes to be ready sometime in April, but won’t rush his comeback. The condition of his arm will determine his pace.