Apparently, my father was right. He suspected that Cole Hamels’ shoulder problems were more serious than the Phillies were letting on, and this tweet by Todd Zolecki would seem to confirm it:
Cole Hamels suffers setback. Said he is fatigued. No pain in shoulder. But obviously not good news. Wouldn’t say if he could pitch in April.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 6, 2014
While I suppose it is good news that Hamels isn’t experiencing pain, it certainly isn’t a good sign that he has suffered a “setback” before even appearing in an exhibition game. And what exactly does fatigue mean? That sounds suspiciously vague. I have a bad feeling that neither the Phillies nor Hamels will admit that this is a serious problem, even as this “setback” lasts well into the year.
Obviously, this is not good news for the Phillies’ chances. The top of their rotation was thought to be one of their few obvious strengths, and without Hamels, it isn’t nearly as strong. Worse, this will force the Phillies to find another starter to fill in for Hamels, and unless you’re really high on David Buchanan, none of those candidates seem especially appealing at this point.