Well, this isn’t a surprise. A Phillies player has an injury that is at first downplayed but now sounds ominously serious.
Per Leslie Gudel, on Monday Cole Hamels underwent a precautionary MRI on his left pitching shoulder. Hamels struggled in his last start, afterward offering up the excuse of a “dead arm” due to his workload and other factors.
“It’s one of those times of the year,” Hamels said, per phillies.com. “Travelling, pitching a lot of innings, things kind of mount and you just have to battle through it. … It just kind of comes up. You don’t ever know and you just try to do everything you can to get your body back and kind of waiting for your body to jump back, and I haven’t felt that yet. Once I start getting that jump, I think everything will smooth out.”
Perhaps taking a cue from the Ruben Amaro Jr. School Of Hiding Injuries, Hamels went on to further play down the issue.
“Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it happens in the middle, late … depending on the weather, the temperature, the schedule, how many games, innings, it just kind of happens,” he said.
After the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was fairly candid in his opinion, as usual a refreshing change from the culture of intrigue and subterfuge usually found from the front offices of sports teams.
“[Cole] was stiff,” Manuel said in his post-game presser. “It looked like was having a hard time getting loose. He didn’t have command and his shoulder wasn’t getting loose. He was having a hard time finding his fastball.”
Unfortunately, it seems Manuel was right to be concerned if Gudel’s report turns out to be true and a real injury is found. As she’s a respected long-time media figure it’s unlikely she’s just making this one up.
So it’s now up to the Phillies and Hamels to own the situation, though no comment from the organization has come out. For now, Hamels will possibly skip his next start to allow for some extra rest. With the extra off day caused by rain, the rotation can still retain some semblance of order with just a little re-shuffling. That covers the short term, with the biggest question now being what come’s next, with fans likely trying to forget when everyone from the Phillies said Chase Utley’s knee issue in spring training was no big deal. If Hamels misses as much time as Utley, the lefty ace will be watching the playoff run from the bench.
This doom and gloom piece brought to you by the dark clouds and unending rain of the past few days. Here’s to Wednesday being bright and sunny with a report that Cole Hamels‘ shoulder looks better than a steak dinner to an Ethiopian.
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