Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The company line for the Phillies this offseason has been, “We like our chances as long as we stay healthy.” And it’s hard to envision any way for the team to compete unless Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels both turn in Cy Young caliber performances.
With that in mind, it is understandable that today’s Phillies news has caused a little bit of panic:
According to Ryan Lawrence, Hamels is downplaying the injury, saying that he expects to be ready by at least the second week of the season. And for what it’s worth, Hamels experienced some issues last offseason and still pitched the entire season. Then again, it’s rare for a pitcher to not downplay an injury. Remember how Roy Halladay insisted that his shoulder was fine right up until the day he scheduled surgery on it?
This may turn out to be a non-story. Hamels might indeed miss only one start and pitch like an ace this season. But there’s no denying that on the first day of Spring Training – a day that should be reserved for optimism – this is not the type of news that Phillies fans were hoping for.