Pitchers and catchers only reported for spring training today, and already the Philadelphia Phillies have been dealt their first blow of the season. Luckily, it sounds relatively minor.
According to multiple reports coming out of Clearwater, Florida on Wednesday, Cole Hamels will not be ready for the start of the 2014 regular season. The lefthander informed scribes he was battling a case of shoulder tendinitis during the offseason, and recovery put him behind schedule for Opening Day.
Via Ryan Lawrence from the Daily News, Hamels said the shoulder is healthy now and nothing to be alarmed about, and guesses he’s about 8-10 days behind where he should be. That estimate would put him in line to miss a couple of starts.
Assuming that’s all it is and Hamels doesn’t suffer any setbacks, it’s not crippling by any means. That being said, if the Phillies are even thinking about sneaking into the playoffs this season, every game is going to matter.
The news presumably sets up Cliff Lee to start on Opening Day.
>> Hamels says he won't be ready for Opening Day [DN]
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.