Although it was announced when pitchers and catchers reported that Cole Hamels would not be ready to open the regular season due to bicep tendinitis, Hamels said that he has made “tremendous progress.” Hamels took another step in getting ready for the season as he threw his first bullpen session of the spring on Wednesday and pitching Bob McClure said that Hamels “looks 100 percent healthy”.
“I’m feeling like my body is ready to make a big jump. I’m building up for an entire season, for the marathon. In the past, I might have ramped it up. Having the experience I do, I’m trying to not to overdo it.” Hamels said about his health and rehab progress.
The Phillies played their first intrasquad game on Tuesday. The one good point from the game of was Ryan Howard’s success off left handed pitchers. Even though this is one game in a long season, this gives fans something to be slightly optimistic about as Howard hit a single off of pitcher Jesse Biddle in the first inning and a dead center home run off of pitcher Cesar Jimenez later in the game. Howard said about facing lefties, “It’s just a work in progress. It’s all about trying to progress all through spring training, work on different things, see different things, feel different things early on.” Manager Ryne Sandberg told the media that Howard has asked to see a lot of lefty pitching this spring. Another former Phillie was added to the broadcast team; Mike Schmidt will join the booth for all 13 Sunday home games.
The Phillies fell to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 in their first spring training game. New addition Roberto Hernandez was hit hard in two innings of work as he gave up four hits which included two double off of the centerfield wall and a home run by Jose Bautista. Phillippe Aumont is the wild card with tons of potential but he struggled in his spring debut as he walked the first two batters he faced in the third inning, allowed a two run single, a wild pitch and a ground out. Ryan Howard also went 1 for 2 with an RBI single in the first inning. Relief pitcher Mike Adams threw off of a mound since shoulder surgery and said his shoulder “felt good”. The Phillies fell to the Blue Jays again 7-5 on Thursday. Ethan Martin left his first outing on Thursday with a shoulder injury to make the Phillies pitching staff even thinner. Cliff Lee pitched well in his debut as he gave two doubles and a run in the first inning but recovered before more damage was inflicted. Lee had three strikeouts and no walks in two innings. Centerfielder Ben Revere had three of the club’s six hits in the game. Also Darin Ruf and John Mayberry Jr. both homered in the game.
The Phillies picked up their first win of the spring as they defeated the Detroit Tigers 10-6. Jimmy Rollins stood out this game as he hit a three home run and drew two walks in the victory. Manager Ryne Sandberg favored the walks over the homer as he said, “I liked the walks.” Kyle Kendrick made his debut this spring as he allowed three runs in two innings. Kendrick gave up two hits, walked three, and struck out three. Phillippe Aumont had positive results in this compared to his first outing as he had a 1-2-3 fifth inning in the game.