Thursday, February 13, 2014

Phillies Baseball is Officially Here!

 Finally, baseball is back! While the upcoming season may not look too bright for the Phils, there's always room for optimism as the Phillies open up Spring Training today. One of the major story lines heading into camp is the health of starting pitcher Cole Hamels. We found out on Wednesday that Hamels will not be ready for Opening Day because of discomfort in his throwing shoulder. Officially, it has been diagnosed as bicep tendinitis, but Hamels is not expected to miss an extended period of time. The Phillies are just playing it safe as Hamels believes he will be back by the end of April. The health of the rest of the Phillies are just as important. Injuries have plagued this team the past two seasons, and if they want to contend, their star players need to be on the field. The core four, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Carlos Ruiz, have all battled injuries the past few years and haven't been the same when they've been on the field.
    Another thing to keep an eye on is the battle for the final spot in the rotation. Cliff Lee, AJ Burnett, and Kyle Kendrick will be in the rotation on Opening Day, and Cole Hamels will jump in when he returns from his injury. The other spot is up for grabs. The Phils signed Roberto Gonzalez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, and Miguel Gonzalez to be in the rotation, but the AJ Burnett signing will push one of them out. Jonathan Pettibone is also in the mix after he pitched well in his rookie season last year. Of course, there will be two rotation spots available in the beginning of the season and it will be very intriguing to see how it plays out when Hamels returns.

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